goldenrod leaf miner

(Microrhopala vittata)

Conservation Status
goldenrod leaf miner
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Goldenrod leaf miner is a small, widely distributed, hispine leaf beetle. It occurs across the United States and southern Canada except for the southeast and the far southwest. It is uncommon in Minnesota. Adults are found from late May to late August feeding on the flowers and leaves of goldenrods in the Solidago and Euthamia genera. They feed on the upper leaf surface, removing the soft tissue between the veins, and leaving short, straight trails. Larvae mine the leaves of the same species. They feed between the upper and lower leaf surfaces, leaving meandering trails.

The adult is 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm) in length. The body is elongated and nearly parallel-sided, only slightly widened toward the rear. It is black with orangish-red markings, but this coloration is somewhat variable. Some individuals are mostly jet black with bright, highly contrasting, orangish-red markings. Others are reddish-black with dull, slightly contrasting, blackish-red markings.

The head is orangish-red and slants backward. The compound eyes are small and black. They are not notched. The distance between an eye and the mouth is equal to the length of the third antenna segment. The mouth parts are small. The antennae are short, less than half as long as the body, and gradually enlarged toward the tip. They are usually black, sometimes reddish. They have 11 segments but the terminal segments are fused together, making them appear to have just 8 segments. The third segment is shorter that the first two segments combined.

The hardened plate on the upper side of the thorax (pronotum) is reddish and rectangular. The sides narrow slightly toward the head. It is broader at the front than the head and narrower at the rear than the base of the hardened forewings (elytra). The front margin is narrowly transparent.

The elytra are long, covering the entire abdomen. They are gradually and evenly curved at the tip. The margins are never toothed. They have rows of punctures bordered by distinct ridges. There is a single reddish stripe on each elytron. There is no reddish spot near the tip.

The legs are black. The last part of each leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, is black and has 5 segments. The fourth segment is very short and is concealed within the broadened tip of the third segment, making the tarsus appear to have only four segments.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Goldenrods

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May to late August (CCESR)

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The larvae is a leaf miner. It feeds between the upper and lower leaf surfaces, leaving a meandering trail. The adult is a skeletonizer. It feeds on the upper leaf surface, removing the soft tissue between the veins, and leaving a short, straight trail.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female lays clusters of eggs on the underside of a leaf of a host plant.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Leaves of goldenrods (Solidago spp. and Euthamia spp.)

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Leaves and flowers of goldenrods (Solidago spp. and Euthamia spp.)

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  11/10/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Chrysomeloidea (long-horned and leaf beetles)  
 

Family

Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Cassidinae (tortoise beetles and the hispines)  
 

Tribe

Chalepini  
 

Genus

Microrhopala  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Microrhopala laetula

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

goldenrod leaf miner (larva)

goldenrod leaf miner beetle (adult)

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  goldenrod leaf miner   goldenrod leaf miner
       
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Other Videos
 
  Goldenrod Leaf Miner pupa
MJBugs
 
   
 
About

Feb 23, 2014

rearing Goldenrod Leaf Miner (Microrhopala vittata) larvae from Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
The pupa can scoot pretty quickly
5 adults emerged

   
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
8/4/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

goldenrod leaf miner


     
     
 
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Created: 11/10/2020

Last Updated:

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