19 June 2018
Press Office of the Amber Museum

Phytophagy is an animal's ability to feed on living or dead tissues of vegetable organisms. Living organisms explored this rich on nutrients resource for millions of years – specialized groups appeared, who used more and more plant tissues as a source of food. Part of the phytophagous group are phyllophages – consumers of leaves, for whom this way of nutrition has become the only possible.

They are basic for food chains, that is how they activate the processes of the cycle of matter and energy.

In amber all taxonomic and ecological groups of phyllophages can be found: pine needles and leaf-eating, miners, gall makers, etc. The most part of phyllophages found in amber are leaf-eaters, less often – conifer needles eaters.

Classic phyllophages of conifers are lepidopterids, hymenopterans (only from the order phytophagous hymenopterans) and bugs, who ate pine needles of the amber tree (Pinus succinifera) during the nymph stage of development.

Orthoptera insects are also phyllophages, who fed on vegetation layer of the "amber" forest.

You can see on the photos: a maple petiole borer, a centipede, a grass hopper and a tree leaf with biting marks.