Larvae of Phylloicus species, in both temperate and tropical localities, are important processors of leaf-litter. They are one type of "shredder," and help convert coarse particulate matter into fine particulate matter. The choice of leaves to cut and shred, to use for food or shelter, is based partly on the chemical properties of the leaves, and also on other characterisitics such as thickness (Rincón and Martínez, 2006).
Photo location: Ramsey Canyon, Cochise County, Arizona.
American Insects site