Soybean leaf miner: Biology and ecology

Aggregation of soybean leafminers: An aggregation of 37 soybean leafminers, Odontata horni.Aggregation of soybean leafminers: An aggregation of 37 soybean leafminers, Odontata horni.

Adult beetles in the genus Odontota have a wide range of food hosts. However, the larvae of this group have a more narrow host range, the legumes (Fabacaea) (Ford and Cavey 1985).

Soybean leaf miner larvae are unique in that they feed within the tissue of leaves (forming mines in the mesophyl) and ultimately with pupate with these excavations. The larvae will feed on both cultivated (e.g., soybean) and wild (e.g., several species of Desmodium) (Ford and Cavey 1985, Werner et al. 2003, Bradshaw et al. 2007).

Egg
Eggs are laid singly or in loose groups of up to 5 eggs on the underside of soybean leaves.

Larva
Larvae burrow into the leaf tissue upon hatching and go through 3 larval stages. Usually there is only one larva per mine (occasionally two) (Buntin 1993).

Pupa
This unique beetle then pupates within the mine created by the larva.