Vegetable leafminer

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Leaf miner
Vegetable leafminer
Vegetable leafminer Liriomyza sativae Fly.jpg
L. sativae flies
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Agromyzidae
Genus: Liriomyza
Species: Liriomyza sativae

The vegetable leafminer (Liriomyza sativae) is commonly found in the southern United States from Florida to California and Hawaii, and in most of Central and South America. Occasionally it is reported in more northern areas because it is transported with plant material. It cannot survive cold areas except in greenhouses.[1]

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Foliage punctures caused by females during the acts of oviposition or feeding may cause a stippled appearance on foliage, but this damage is slight compared to the leaf mining activity of larvae. The irregular mine increases in width from about 0.25 mm to about 1.5 mm as the larva matures, and is virtually identical in appearance and impact with the mines of the chrysanthemum leaf miner (L. trifolii). Larvae are often easily visible within the mine where they remove the mesophyll between the surfaces of the leaf. Their fecal deposits are also evident in the mines.[1]

Control[edit | edit source]

Chemical[edit | edit source]

Foliar application of insecticides is often frequent in susceptible crops Insecticide susceptibility varies greatly both spatially and temporally. Many organophosphate and carbamate insecticides are no longer effective. Insecticides are disruptive to naturally occurring biological control agents, and leafminer outbreaks are sometimes reported to follow chemical insecticide treatment for other insects.

Non-chemical[edit | edit source]

Some crops vary in susceptibility to leaf mining. This has been noted, for example, in cultivars of tomato, cucumber, cantaloupe, and beans.[2] However, the differences tend to be moderate, and not adequate for reliable protection. Nitrogen level and reflective mulches are sometimes said to influence leafminer populations, but responses have not been consistent.[3][2] Placement of row covers over cantaloupe has been reported to prevent damage by leafminer.[4] The same study evaluated the benefits of transparent polyethylene mulch, and found no reduction in leafminer populations. Sometimes crops are invaded when adjacent crops are especially suitable[5], in California, where cotton was an important source of invaders. Weeds are a source of flies[6], but also a source of parasitoids.[1]

Gallery[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]


  1. a b c Capinera, J.L. (2007). Vegetable Leafminer. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology and Nematology. Retrieved: 2011-02-10.
  2. a b Hanna HY, Story RN, Adams AJ. 1987. Influence of cultivar, nitrogen, and frequency of insecticide application on vegetable leafminer (Diptera: Agromyzidae) population density and dispersion on snap beans. Journal of Economic Entomology 80: 107-110.
  3. Chalfant RB, Jaworski CA, Johnson AW, Summer DR. 1977. Reflective film mulches, millet barriers, and pesticides: effects on watermelon mosaic virus, insects, nematodes, soil-borne fungi, and yield of yellow summer squash. Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 102: 11-15.
  4. Orozco-Santos M, Perez-Zamora O, Lopez-Arriaga O. 1995. Floating row cover and transparent mulch to reduce insect populations, virus diseases and increase yield in cantaloupe. Florida Entomologist 78: 493-501.
  5. Sharma RK, Durazo A, Mayberry KS. 1980. Leafminer control increases summer squash yields. California Agriculture 34: 21-22.
  6. Parkman P, Dusky JA, Waddill VH. 1989. Biological studies of Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae) on castor bean. Environmental Entomology 18: 768-772.