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Outdoor Hour Challenge – More Nature Study #2 Leaf-Miners and Leaf-Rollers

Outdoor Hour Challenge Leaf Miners and Leaf Rollers Insect Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Here comes the second challenge in the new series of Outdoor Hour Challenges! I will be posting one new challenge each Friday and you are welcome to jump in and work through the challenges as you have time.

Leaf Miner 1

Inside Preparation Work:
1.Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 329-334 (Lessons 77 and 78). Pay special attention to the “Leading Thoughts” and the “Methods” sections in each lesson. These will give you hints and ideas for searching for Leaf-miners and Leaf-rollers.
2. Optional YouTube Video: Watch a leaf roller HERE. One short one showing it up close HERE.
3. Preview this YouTube video of a leaf miner at work: The Good, The Bad, the Ugly…Larva. Awesome! Watch it full screen if you dare.

  • Hints: Look on sumac, basswood, and witch hazel for leaf-rollers. We have found leaf-rollers on our crepe myrtle and coneflowers. For leaf-miners, look on nasturtium, columbine, lamb’s quarters, dock, and burdock. You may also try pine needles for yellow tips. We have found leaf-miners on oaks.

Outdoor Hour Time:
1. Go outside with the intention of looking for and observing some insects. Keep in mind the images of the leaf-miner and the leaf-roller. Look for signs of these kinds of insects on the leaves in your garden or in your neighborhood. There are many varieties of each kind of insect so you may wish to consult your field guide before you head out.
2. If you don’t find any insects to observe, take a few minutes of your Outdoor Hour time to examine various leaves with a hand-lens. Look for anything that has damaged the leaves and describe what it looks like. Many things can damage leaves besides insects.

Follow-Up Activity:
1. Insects are hard to identify but the point of this challenge is mainly to look for Leaf-miners and Leaf-rollers and how they use leaves during their life-cycle. If you can see the larva or the insect itself, you may have a good chance at identifying it. On the other hand, you may just need to talk about the behavior of this kind of insect and give the opportunity to sketch the leaf and your observations. You can use the accompanying notebook page for convenience (ebook users only).
2. Advanced Follow-Up: Read this link for more information on leaf rolling insects: Leaf Rollers on Ornamental and Fruit Trees ( UC Davis). Complete the Upper Level notebook page with your research (ebook users only).

More Nature Study Autumn

This challenge is part of the More Nature Study – Autumn series. All of the challenges are gathered into one ebook with notebooking pages (regular and for advanced students) and additional resources. You can gain access to this ebook by purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. See the Join Us page by clicking the link at the top of the website for more information about what comes with your Ultimate membership.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy


3 thoughts on “Outdoor Hour Challenge – More Nature Study #2 Leaf-Miners and Leaf-Rollers

  1. We’re going hunting today! Thanks for the location-of-bugs hints.

    Also, the new blog layout looks beautiful!

  2. Thanks for the links, my son like watching them 🙂

  3. It took a while for the boys to warm up to wanting to look at the leaves – but they eventually took over the project. Great day – What I didn’t mention in the post – we drove around town looking for them, assuming they weren’t in our yard – and ended up a foot from the back door. 😉

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