Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Watermelon (American serpentine) leafminer (259)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On over 400 species in 28 families (potato, legume, cucumber, cabbage and daisy), on vegetables and ornamentals. An important pest.
  • Eggs laid beneath leaf surface; larvae hatch and mine 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).
  • Natural enemies: parasitoid wasps; insecticides use for other pests kill them and lead to leafminer outbreaks.
  • Cultural control: monitor using yellow sticky traps above crops; avoid water stress; weed.
  • Chemical control: Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), spinosad, abamectin, cyromazine; resistance to pyrethroids exists.
Common Name

American serpentine leafminer, serpentine leafminer, broad bean leafminer, celery leafminer, chrysanthemum leafminer.

Scientific Name

Liriomyza trifolii. See other fact sheets for accounts on separate species (Fact Sheet nos. 262, 377) and, for a general account, (see Fact Sheet no. 110).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press. Melbourne; and CABI (2015) Liriomyza trifolii (American serpentine leafminer). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Johnson MW (1993) Biological control of Liriomyza leafminers in the Pacific basin, Micronesica, Supplement 4, 81-92; 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). Photo 1 Sione Foliaki, Deputy Director and Head of Agricultural Research and Information Division, MAF, Tonga.

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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