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Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Liriomyza trifolii
Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Liriomyza trifolii

Chrysanthemum leaf miner
The chrysanthemum leaf miner (Liriomyza trifolii), in the order Diptera, suborder Brachycera, infraorder Muscomorpha (division: Schizophora, subdivision: Acalyptratae) and superfamily Opomyzoidea, belongs to the family of leaf-miner flies (Agromyzidae), to the subfamily Phytomyzinae and to the genus Serpentine leafminers (Liriomyza).
Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Side view
Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Side view
The chrysanthemum leaf miner is commonly found throughout the Palearctic and subtropical regions. This species was introduced to Europe, where it is now also found in large numbers. Chrysanthemum leaf miner propagate rapidly and are therefore non-endangered.
Liriomyza trifolii - Rear view
Liriomyza trifolii - Rear view
These are very small flies, about 2-3 mm in length and their bodies are mostly yellow in colour. The head and antennae are bright yellow. The top section? the upper surface? of their chest (thorax) is shiny black. Their scutellum is also light yellow. They have markings on the upper surface. The females have an ovipositor on the end of their bodies.

The adult flies have a life span of about 1 week and only feed on vegetables (phytophagous). Aside from the open air, they are mainly encountered in greenhouses. After hatching from pupae, the females start feeding immediately. They drill small holes in the top surface of plantsí leaves using their ovipositors and suck up liquid with their mouth parts. The damaged areas on the leaf tissue (which also enable bacteria and fungi to penetrate into the plant) are clearly visible as yellowish stains.

The males live on nectar or honeydew but they can live without nutrition until they mate. The females lay their eggs on the food plants of the larvae, for example chrysanthemums (hence their name) and gerberas.

In vegetable plantations, chilli plants and potatoes are often affected. The females use their ovipositors to drill into the upper side of leaves and place 50 to 100 (sometimes even up to 400) eggs there. The hatched larvae develop rapidly. At the end of the third and last larval stage the bodies of the larvae can reach lengths of up to 3 mm. The bodies are yellowish-white in colour and have no legs. The larvae remain in the leaf and bite twisting (serpentine like) passageways into the cell tissues by moving their mouth hooks up and down. Hence the English name "Serpentine leafminers" for the genus Liriomyza. The outer layer of the leaves remains intact.

After 4 days the larvae are fully developed and leave the leavesí interior, through a slit, in order to pupate. The development from egg to pupae (reddish-yellow to brown in colour) to adult takes about 17 days.

Endoparasites are natural enemies of the Chrysanthemum leaf miner larvae, for example, the larvae of the ichneumon wasps Dacnusa sibirica and Diglyphus isaea. The ichneumon wasps lay their eggs in the larvae of the Chrysanthemum leaf miner. The hatching wasp larvae cause mass deaths of the host larvae by feeding on their insides. Amongst humans, the Chrysanthemum leaf miner ( is regarded as a pest when encountered in greenhouses and plantations, especially en masse as they can cause significant damage and crop yield losses. Pesticides are of little use as leaf-miner flies have developed a resistance to the poison and it only kills more of their natural enemies.

Liriomyza trifolii
Common namesChrysanthemum leaf miner, American serpentine leafminer, Vegetable leafminer
German namesFlorida-Fliege
Finnish namesFloridankärpänen
Swedish namesFloridaminerarfluga
AuthorBurgess, 1880

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (South England (Southeast England (Hampshire)))))), Scandinavia (Sweden), Fennoscandia (Finland)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sicily, Sardinia), North Italy, South Italy)), West Europe (France), Central Europe (Czech Republic), Malta
Far East (East Asia (Taiwan, Korea (South Korea))), West Asia (Near East (Turkey, Israel, Egypt))
Solomon Islands (Santa Ana)
South America
Colombia, Argentina (San Juan Province, Cordoba), Guyana
North America
USA (Florida (Manatee County), California, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, Virginia, Arkansas, Pennsylvania), Canada (Ontario, Nova Scotia)
Central America
Costa Rica
Caribbean islands (Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad), Bahamas, Antilles (Greater Antilles (Dominican Republic), Lesser Antilles (Leeward Islands (Guadeloupe, Montserrat))), Barbados)
East Africa
Kenya (Nairobi), Ethiopia, Indian Ocean islands (Mauritius)
Southern Africa
Republic South Africa (Gauteng)

Ecozones: Nearctic, Neotropical

CountriesArgentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Guyana, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, USA, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesLiriomyza trifolii in
Liriomyza trifolii in
Liriomyza trifolii in

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Liriomyza trifolii
2. Chrysanthemum leaf miner - Side view
3. Liriomyza trifolii - Rear view
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Liriomyza trifolii
Chrysanthemum leaf miner, American serpentine leafminer, Vegetable leafminer
AuthorBurgess, 1880
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