"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

May 14, 2010

May 14 - Desmia funeralis

Ahhh...it's Friday. And you might be thinking about enjoying a nice glass of wine after work today. If so, then you probably won't be a fan of today's parasite, Desmia funeralis, or the grape leaffolder. These moth larvae not only gobble up the leaves, they also do a little construction to convert their food sources to houses as well, and that's what gives them their common name. Using silk threads, the caterpillars pull the leaves together, either making rolls or folds, depending on the size and thickness of the leaf that they're on. When they're ready to pupate, they make three cuts in the leaf and fold it so as to create an envelope (who knew that insects practiced origami?). They like both wild and cultivated grapes, but will also parasitize redbud trees.

Image come from this site and you can read more about the worms and see the damage here.

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