Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mystery Insect Housing

Rolled Leaves
Many of the outer leaves of the Native Mulberry bush (Pipterus argentus) are rolled and tied with webbing making dozens of cosy little houses for some insect kind.

I haven't found any yet but I know it isn't just this bush that suffers this malady. I'm calling it that, because for the plant it isn't that good to have a hundred or more leaves out of food production. Not a lot of photosynthesis can happen in a rolled up leaf.

I'm assuming it is the same insect that rolls leaves in the different varieties of teak, crows ash and the like.

In my ignorant past I would've cut the leaves off and burnt them. It's quite difficult to stand by and just let it happen. After all, a hundred rolled up leaves means a hundred insects eating the shrub. I unrolled a couple and did not find anything other than droppings. In other words, the insects gone.

Hence I'm doing the usual, taking a look every day to see if I can see any changes, or signs of (insect) life though I can't imagine why these bugs aren't at home, with nights cold enough for frosts.

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