The first 1,000 images of Australian leaf mines: How an iNaturalist project has discovered new species and records.
Ying Luo (S)Room 2: T2
Ying Luo (Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO and Australian National University)
In this talk, I'll discuss how utilising the free Projects feature on iNaturalist has allowed users to collate over 1000 records of Australian leaf miners. Leaf miners are insects whose larvae feed inside leaves. They leave distinctive trails on leaves, which means that they can be easily photographed in the field. However, not much is known about their distribution or occurrence, so it would be inefficient for someone to go out and sample across Australia. This is where iNaturalist comes in. For the group of leaf mining moths I study (Phyllocnistis from the family Gracillariidae), we have records of what their host plants are, but only herbarium records of what the leaf mines look like. Through this project, I was able to get fresh images of leaf mines and even determine that the distribution of some leaf miners is larger than first expected.