Leaf miners are the larvae of moths, beetles, maggots, flies or caterpillars that have hatched between the upper and lower epidermis of a leaf. They then burrow there way out eating part of the leaf and leaving a trail.
Common Types from 524 Leaf Miners
- Chrysanthemum leaf miner ‘Phytomyza chrysanthemi’ also known as the Margurite fly.
- Privet leaf miner ‘Gracilaria cuculipennella’
- Palm leaf miner ‘Homaledra sabelella’
- Other favourite indoor targets include Ficus species and African Violets.
- A few mining insects use other parts of a plant, such as the surface of a fruit.
- The horse chestnut leaf miner ‘Cameraria ohridella’
Damage and Control
- Deterioration of plants leaf by leaf results from the tunneling or mining activity.
- Some damage is linear some is serpentine.
- Blotches and circular ruptures may occur where the surface has been eaten away.
- Sprays are largely ineffective as the insect is protected under the surface of the leaf.
- Systemic insecticide is the only cure. Insecticides recommended for leaf miner control on farm crops include carbaryl, chlorfenvinphos, diazinon, dimethoate and trichlorphon.
- Infected leaves should be pruned off and destroyed.
- Farmers may reduce or prevent problems by planting trap or distraction crops near the plants to be protected
Sources Creative Commons
Top; by Martin LaBar, on Flickr’ leaf miners, insects that, generally as larvae, burrow between the upper and lower epidermis of leaves. An interesting ecological niche!’
Lower; leaf miners by tonrulkens, on Flickr
Read British Leaf Miners