Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Cabbage leafminer (377)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Widespread distribution. In Oceania, several Pacific island countries. A major pest of many important vegetables in the cabbage and legume families, and weeds. Identification needs taxonomic expertise.
  • Damage: Eggs laid both sides of leaf under epidermis. Larvae make irregular, pale-coloured mines in leaves that gradually widen; mines have dark green line of faeces in middle. Pupation is in the soil. Adults take sap from leaves (females only) and feed on nectar.
  • Spread is by flying and via international horticultural trade.
  • Biosecurity: trade in horticultural produce across national borders is a risk and needs careful regulation.
  • Natural enemies: many predators and wasp parasitoids.
  • Cultural control: weed, nursery and field; plough exposing pupae before planting; check nursery plants before planting out; avoid overlapping crops; handpick or squash leaves with mines; high-value crops - cover soil with mulch preventing adults emerging; collect and burn debris after harvest.
  • Chemical control: biorational (i) insecticidal soap, white or horticultural oils; (ii) botanicals (chillies, neem, derris, pyrethrum); (iii) microbials (abamectin, spinosad). Avoid organophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids.

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