Distribution. The cabbage leafminer is common throughout tropical areas of North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia, but it also occurs in some temperate regions. In North America, cabbage leafminer has been reported from most regions of the United States, and is found as far north as Manitoba, Canada. However, it occurs as a pest principally in southern states. It likely is not native to North America.
Host Plants. Cabbage leafminer attacks many plants in the family Cruciferae, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, turnip, watercress, and various mustards (Stegmaier, 1967). It is also known from peas (Leguminosae), and nasturtium (Tropaeola-ceae). Although it is the most common leafminer attacking crucifers, other species are sometimes found on these crops.
Natural Enemies. Stegmaier (1967) reported three species of eulophid wasps parasitizing cabbage leaf-miner in Florida: Diaulinopsis callichroma Crawford, Chrysocharis sp., and Pnigalio sp. (all Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Oatman and Painter (1969) found seven species of Eulophidae, as well as one species each of Pteromalidae, Cynipidae, and Braconidae attacking this leafminer in California. In the latter study, the proportion of flies parasitized was lowest in January (26%) and highest in October (84%). The eulophid Diglyphus begini (Ashmead) was the predominant parasitoid, and attacked the larval stage.
Life Cycle and Description. Cabbage leafminers breed continuously in tropical climates. In more temperate climates such as California, L. brassicae occurs throughout the year, but it is much more abundant during the summer months (Oatman and Platner, 1969).
leafminer has less than 25% yellow. The female deposits the egg singly by puncturing the lower surface of leaves with her ovipositor. Such punctures always serve as feeding sites, but sometimes also serve as egg receptacles.
The biology of this insect is not well known. Beri (1974) presented the most detailed life history information.
The principal form of plant damage is caused by larvae mining the leaf tissue. An elongate, irregular mine that widens as the larva matures is typical of this insect's feeding pattern. Feeding and oviposition punctures may damage young tissue, but this is usually insignificant. The large numbers of mines evident on many plants do not always result in serious damage. Oatman and Platner (1969), for example, reported that though mine numbers reached 178 per plant, most of the mining was confined to the old, outer leaves that drop off or are removed at harvest.
Management of this insect is poorly studied. The techniques discussed under American serpentine leaf-miner, L. trifolii (Burgess), and vegetable leafminer, L. sativae, are probably appropriate for this insect as well.
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