Leafmining caterpillars


Citrus - Phyllocnistis citrella; Groundnut and soybean - Aproaerema modicella; noch weiter recherchieren!

Is this a Minor Pest?
Minor Pest Title

Groundnut leafminer (Aproaerema modicella)

Minor Pest Description

It is a common pest of groundnuts in South and South-East Asia and a major pest in India, and it has recently invaded Africa. It was first found in Uganda in 1998 and is now recorded in Mozambique, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. In all African countries where this leafminer has been found, the pest has reached epidemic densities and severe yield losses have been observed on groundnut (The New Vision. 2004; Kenis and Cugala, 2006). The adult is a mottled moth, with a full wing span of up to 18mm. The moth lays eggs on the underside of the groundnut leaf and petioles. Yellowish green caterpillars hatch, tunnel into the leaves and feed between the upper and lower epidermis of the leaf. Mined leaves become distorted within a few days. Caterpillars are grey-green with a shiny black head. There are five larval instars. The first instar has an average length of 0.56 mm. At pupation, they rarely exceed 8 mm in length.

Three or four mines per groundnut leaflet can cause so much distortion that a leaf exposes as little as 30% of the potential photosynthetic area to the sun. Later, when the caterpillar becomes too large to occupy the mine, they emerge to the leaf surface and either fold over a single leaf and hold it down with silk, or web together two or more leaflets. They live and feed in the shelter they have constructed. Pupation takes place inside the webbed leaflets. Damaged leaves become brownish, rolled and dry, which results in early defoliation and affects the growth and yield of the plants.



Minor Pest What to do.
  • Use tolerant/resistant varieties. In Uganda, it has been reported that the variety "Egola-1" had shown signs of relative resistance.
  • Plant during the first short rains when normally the miner population is low.
  • Avoid drought stress by irrigating or early sowing so as to avoid periods when drought is likely. Plants that are drought stressed are much more susceptible to leafminer attack than irrigated plants.
Minor Pest Position
Minor Pest Firstcontent
Pest Type
Host Plants