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Phytophagy Intro

Submitted by nskinner on Wed, 09/11/2019 - 09:40

The act of phytophagy is the act of eating plants. In some way or another almost all living things depend on the feeding of plants. This ranges from herbivores that directly eat plant matter to carnivores that eat other organisms who may depend on plants. Species as large as an elephant depend on plants to feed and species as small as a beetle depend on plants for food. In some cases, it is easy to find a plant that shows evidence of phytophagy by insects. Leaves may be discolored and brown and show patterns of an insect eating its way through the leaf while other may show large holes in the leaf. In the case of the a Blue Vervain plant located in the back of the parking lot in Lot 12 at University of Massachusetts Amherst, there was clear indication of an insect eating many holes through the leaves of the plant. The stem was untouched, the pinnacles with small flowers were also untouched, yet the leaves where nearly destroyed by the insect using them as its food source.