Citrus

Citrus Peelminer, Citrus Leafminer, and Their Damage

Damage Larvae
Adults Pupae

Names link to more information on identification and management. See also, UC ANR publication 8321, Citrus Leafminer and Citrus Peelminer.

Damage

Citrus peelminer damage
Citrus peelminer damage
Identification tip: Larvae tunnel just beneath the surface of citrus rinds and green stems (sucker shoots). Most damage is to fruit or suckers in sheltered places, such as the side of fruit facing into the tree.

Citrus leafminer damage
Citrus leafminer damage
Identification tip: Leafminer larvae tunnel mostly in succulent terminal flushing new leaves, causing leaves to curl and distort. Larvae occasionally mine green shoots and rarely mine fruit.

Citrus peelminer mine
Citrus peelminer mine
Identification tip: No obvious, dark frass (excrement) is left behind in peelminer tunnels.

Citrus leafminer and mine
Citrus leafminer and mine
Identification tip: Obvious, dark frass (excrement) is excreted in the leafminer mine, leaving a dark trail.

Adult moths

Citrus peelminer adult
Citrus peelminer adult
Identification tip: A dark moth, the adult peelminer's front wings are mostly brown with tan markings.

Citrus leafminer adult
Citrus leafminer adult
Identification tip: A pale moth, the adult leafminer's front wings are mostly white or silver with black and tan markings. Leafminer also has a black spot on the tip of each front wing.

Citrus peelminer in sticky trap
Citrus peelminer adults in a sticky trap
Identification tip: Adults are dark brown, tiny moths about 0.15 inch (4 mm). Adult leafminers are shown here relative to grid lines marked in 1-inch squares.

Citrus leafminers in sticky trap
Citrus leafminers in sticky trap
Identification tip: Citrus leafminers are tiny moths, each about 0.15 inch (4 mm) long. Adult leafminers are shown here in comparison with the 1 inch (2.5 cm) square grid marked on a trap.

Larvae

Citrus peelminer larva
Citrus peelminer larva
Identification tip: Peelminer larvae are whitish, except during the last instar, which is reddish. Larvae are minute, less than 0.2 inch (5 mm) long at maturity.

Citrus leafminer larva
Citrus leafminer larva
Identification tip:  Leafminer larvae are a translucent yellowish green, except for the last instar, which is paler. Leafminer body segments have rounded edges, and last larval instar is almost cylindrical. Larvae are less than 0.15 inch (4 mm) long at maturity.

Pupae

Citrus peelminer pupa
Citrus peelminer pupa
Identification tip: Pupae form a white silk sheet covering with minute, crystalline or pale balls. Larvae pupate in protected spots on fruit or in bark crevices or leaf litter.
Citrus leafminer pupa
Citrus leafminer pupa
Identification tip: Pupae occur in a cell under a curled edge of leaves. Pupae initially are pale, then darken before the adult moth emerges.

Citrus peelminer parasitized pupa
Citrus peelminer parasitized pupa
Identification tip: A parasitic wasp (Cirrospilus coachellae) forms about 2 to 7 naked black pupae in peelminer tunnels. Parasitized pupae are visible through the rind epidermis as small, black, oblong shapes surrounded by black dots (parasite fecal material).

 

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