University of Florida


Liriomyza sativae, L. trifolii

  • Adult: small fly, approximately 1/8 in. long, black head yellow between the eyes, thorax black on top, punctures upper leaf surface and lays eggs.
  • Larva: yellow maggot with black, sickle-shaped mouth hooks found between upper and lower leaf surface, feeds approximately 7 days.
  • Pupa: golden brown, barrel-shaped and ribbed, found in upper soil layers or on mulch, adult emerges in 7-14 days.
  • Generation Time: 15-28 days.
  • Damage: serpentine larval mines in leaves. Important pest in South and Central Florida.

Leafminer Pictures

Leafminer Pictures
Image #33.
Leafminer -

a) adult is a small yellow and black fly and female (shown) uses ovipositor at end of abdomen to lay eggs directly in leaves;

b) larvae exit leaves and form ribbed, barrel-shaped puparia on soil surface or on top of plastic soil mulch;

larvae hatch from eggs in leaves and form serpentine leafmines with black trail of frass.

Leafminer Damage
Image #34. Leafminer -

a) female adult uses ovipositor to tear holes (stipples) in upper leaf surface for feeding and laying eggs;

b) heavy leafmining damage can reduce photosynthesis and cause leaf desiccation and abscission.