Leaf Miners: A note from the edge of conservation
Found one place on Earth and only about the size of a grain of rice, the unusually small leaf miner moths are the subject of a new documentary by University of Florida doctoral student Chris Johns, a National Geographic explorer. The caterpillars of these micromoths eat, or “mine,” their way into the leaves of plants that are as endangered as the moths themselves. Through expeditions into the mountain forests of Hawaii, Johns and his team are learning more about the various leaf miner species and aim to help scientists better understand how to conserve them. At the intersection of science and conservation, it’s a story about appreciating the small things and their right to exist, Johns says.