Larva American serpentine leaf miner

This mainly North American species is frequently introduced into Europe, especially on chrysanthemum cuttings; infestations may then develop on glasshouse-grown crops such as celery, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and various ornamentals. Growth of heavily infested plants is checked, affecting both crop yields and quality; host plants are also disfigured by adult feeding and egg-laying punctures. Larval mines are long, contorted and whitish, and each contains an irregular line of dark frass. Pupation occurs in the soil (cf. chrysanthemum leaf miner, Phytomyza syngenesiae, p. 192). Infestations build up rapidly and the pest breeds continuously whilst conditions remain favourable. During the summer, infestations may spread to outdoor plants, including Vicia bean and weeds such as Senecio jacobaea and Solanum dulcamara. Adults (wings 1.2-1.5 mm long) are greyish-black with a mainly yellow head and bright yellow scutellum and antennae. Larvae are 2 mm long, yellow to orange-yellow, and the posterior spiracles each 3-pored (cf. Liriomyza huidobrensis, p. 188; cf. Phytomyza spp., p. 191 et seq.).

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