Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Zucchini (vegetable) leafminer (262)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On many plants in the cabbage, carrot, cucumber, daisy, legume and potato families, including crops, ornamentals and weeds. An important pest.
  • A fly, less than 2 mm long, laying eggs in the leaf surface, with maggots that tunnel (or “mine”) between the upper and lower surfaces. Adults black and yellow, feeding on plant sap (females puncture leaves when laying eggs), and nectar. Leaves die early reducing yield, seedlings wilt and die, and poor-quality produce affects price, especially ornamentals.
  • Cultural control: weed; check plants in the nursery; plough to expose pupae in soil; avoid planting susceptible crops on same land and immediately after harvest of infested crops; handpick leaves with mines; keep plants well-watered.
  • Chemical control: Avoid broad spectrum insecticides, such as synthetic pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates. Use neem, abamectin, or cyromazine - an insect growth regulator. 
Common Name

Vegetable leafminer, chrysanthemum leafminer, melon leafminer

Scientific Name

Liriomyza sativae. See other fact sheets for accounts on separate species (Fact Sheet nos. 259 & 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 sativae (vegetable leaf miner) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from Liriomyza sativae (Blanchard), Crop Master. EXTension ENTOmology & UH-CTAHR Integrated Pest Management Program. (; and from JL Capinera, UF/IFAS, University of Florida. (

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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