Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Leafminers - General (110)

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  • Worldwide distribution. There are several types attacking cucumber, bean, tomato, cabbage, and other families, and many plants in the cut flower trade. Damage is done by the larvae or maggot; the adult is a fly. 
  • Eggs laid beneath leaf surface; larvae hatch and mine the leaves, which dry up and fall early; loss of leaves may cause sunburn. Damage also done by female using ovipositors to feed on sap (both sexes feed on nectar).
  • Biosecurity: not all species in all countries.
  • Natural enemies: many exist giving effective control.
  • Cultural control: remove weeds as they are leafminer hosts; collect and destroy trash after harvest.
  • Chemical control: Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), spinosad, abamectin, cyromazine; resistance to pyrethroids exists.
Common Name

Leafminers. See other fact sheets for accounts on separate species (Fact Sheet nos. 259, 262 and 377).

Scientific Name

Liriomyza sativae (vegetable leafminer); Liriomyza trifolii (chrysanthemum leafminer or American serpentine leafminer), Liriomyza huidobrensis (serpentine leafminer); Liriomyza brassicae (cabbage or serpentine leafminer).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press; and Liriomyza huidobrensis (serpentine leafminer-, Liriomyza brassicae (serpentine leafminer-, Liriomyza sativae (vegetable leaf miner-, and Liriomyza trifolii (American serpentine leafminer- Crop Protection Compendium; and Leaf miner (2020) Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. (h; and from Sooda A et al. (2017) Multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of three invasive leafminer species: Liriomyza huidobrensis, L. sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Austral Entomology 56, 153-159. Photo 1 Pest and Diseases Image Library, Photo 2&5 J. Poorani, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (formerly PDBC), Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Photos 3&4 Ella Pirtle, cesar Pty. Ltd., 293, Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. Photos 6&7 and editing Peter Ridland. University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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