I document observations of birds feeding on the larvae of the leaf-mining moth Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella (Gracillariidae) in Michigan, USA. The larvae were feeding on Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii (Caprifoliaceae), a non-native plant that has not been documented as a host for any species of Gracillariidae in North America, and which has few records of use by invertebrate herbivores anywhere in its range. Most bird observations were of chickadees (Paridae), which have been previously recorded feeding on leaf-mining insects. Observations also include three species of warblers (Parulidae) and one kinglet (Regulidae), which represent the first documentation of these families feeding on leaf-mining moth larvae. I describe this novel multitrophic interaction between a non-native plant, a native insect, and native vertebrate predators, and discuss the potential spread of the moth in North America, its use as a food source by birds, and the ecological implications.
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Vol. 24 • No. 3-4