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Serpentine Leafminer

Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
 This native leafminer has long been found in the eastern United States and Canada, northern South America, and the Caribbean. However, in recent years it has been introduced into California, Europe, and elsewhere. Expanded traffic in flower crops appears to be the basis for the expanding range of this species. Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess), sometimes known as the American serpentine leafminer, readily infests greenhouses. As a vegetable pest, however, its occurrence is limited principally to tropical and subtropical regions. Locally in Maryland it's been found on sweet bay magnolia.

Adults are small, measuring less than 2 mm in length, with a wing length of 1.25 to 1.9 mm. The head is yellow with red eyes. The thorax and abdomen are mostly gray and black although the ventral surface and legs are yellow. The wings are transparent. Key characters that serve to differentiate this species from the vegetable leafminer, Liriomyza sativae Blanchard, are the matte, grayish black mesonotum and the yellow hind margins of the eyes. In vegetable leafminer the mesonotum is shining black and the hind margin of the eyes is black. The small size of this species serves to distinguish it from pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard), which has a wing length of 1.7 to 2.25 mm. Also, the yellow femora of American serpentine leafminer help to separate it from pea leafminer, which has darker femora.
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