Leaf Curl/Roll

leaf rolling caterpillarleaf rolling weevil and rolled leaf

Some insects modify foliage to form a shelter in which they (or their offspring) hide while they feed on the leaf tissue. For example, some caterpillar species will roll/fold a leaf in on itself, forming a protective tunnel so that they may feed on the leaf tissue within (photo 1). Leaves are usually held in their rolled position using a silk thread or web.

Some species of leaf-rolling weevils (Order Coleoptera, Families Rhynchitidae & Attelabidae) construct complex leaf rolls to house their eggs (photo 2). After hatching, the larvae feed on the plant tissue inside the roll.

Leaf rolling caterpillar photo © 1998-2003 Troy Bartlett http://troyb.com/photo/index.htm

Leaf rolling weevil photos courtesy of Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University. Image 1419022 and 1419065, www.forestryimages.org.