How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Tentiform leafminer

Female moths lay eggs singly on the undersides of developing leaves. Larvae hatch and mine through their egg cases directly into leaf tissue, where they pass through five larval stages. Young larvae separate the outer layer of the leaf undersurface from the tissue above and form snakelike mines. Older larvae tie the sides of the mine together with silk, giving the mines a tentlike appearance. Pupation takes place within the mine and lasts 7 to 10 days. Leafminers overwinter as a pupae within the tissue of fallen leaves. Adult moths emerge as early as late February or early March. There are four generations a year; later generations overlap.

Leafminer larva
Leafminer larva

Leafminer pupa
Leafminer pupa


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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