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情景

葉上劃符-潛葉蠅

上圖是草海桐在被潛葉蠅leaf miner啃食時出現在葉面的痕跡.潛葉蠅的幼蟲以葉肉作為食糧,經歷了蟲齡的多次蛻殼成長階段,最終鑽出葉面蛻變而飛出來.在葉片的隧道留有幼蟲的成長記錄, 蟲日漸肥大的身體做成前幼後粗的隧道,而排出廢物亦會留在隧道中,由起初的一小點(入口)和最終的一大點(出口),在葉片上都是清楚可見.

有時間,可以記錄葉片每天的圖案,作一個成長記錄.

潛葉蠅在多種葉片上都會出現.

The picture above shows the trace left by Leaf miner whilst it’s eating the leaf tissue of Scaevola hainanensis草海桐.   

The larvae of Leaf miner live in and eat the mesophyll.  They go through several instars and molting stadia and eventually push their way out through the foliage.  The feeding tunnel shows the growth record of the larva.  As the larva grows, the tunnel becomes wider.  Droppings are left along the tunnel - from an initial one dot (entry) to the final big spot (exit) - and can be clearly visible. 

If time, you may keep track of the pattern on the leaf everyday as a record of growth.

Leaf miners can be found in many species of plants.

豺皮樟

刺柊

黑面神是一種有趣的植物,當它的葉片脫落便會自然轉黑,它便叫作黑面神.但當有潛葉蠅leaf miner在葉肉上啃食掘出隧道時,它有一個更貼切的名字-鬼劃符.以下的幾張圖片,便是潛葉蠅劃的符.是治鬼用的符,還是鬼治人的符,可要進一步的考究了.

Breynia fruticosa (Chinese name:  黑面神, literally means “Black-faced God”) is an interesting plant.  When its leaves fall off, it naturally turns black and that’s how it gets the Chinese name.  There is a more appropriate Chinese name 鬼劃符 (literally means ghost charm or illegible scribble) when leaf miners eat the leaf tissue and form a feeding tunnel, leaving damage pattern on the leaf surface – as shown in the pictures below.  Whether the ‘charm’ is used by the ghost against human or the other way round is yet to be found out.

4種(草海桐豺皮樟刺柊黑面神)葉片上 都有潛葉蠅掘隧道的圖案,以黑面神做出來的最省資源,最有心思.選為"鬼劃符",當之無慚.

See the different damage patterns made by Leaf miners on Scaevola hainanensis, Litsea rotundifolia, Scolopia saeva, and Breynia fruticosa.  The one on “Black-faced God” is made with the least resources but with the most ingenuity.  The nickname of “ghost charm” is well deserved.

想像你是那一條潛葉蠅幼蟲,在見不到盡頭的葉肉中左轉右轉,時限是當食到最後一片葉肉時,便到了結蛹蛻變的時刻.如何在一片小葉片中用 盡所有資源?你可以順著牠的路線走一趟,向左向右跨越葉脈,每一個都是困難的決定!看來黑面神的潛葉蠅有牠天生的智慧.

Imagine that you are the larva.  You cannot see the end of the mesophyll and just navigate like a headless chicken.  The time limit is when you are at the last bite of the mesophyll, you are in the final metamorphosis.  How to make full use of all the resources in such a small leaf?  You can follow the trail; turn around and across the vein.  You will realize every turn is a tough decision to make.  It looks as if the leaf miner of Black-faced God has its innate wit.

*translated by Mary Chung

作者: Leon Lau, 譯者: Mary Chung

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