Soybean leaf miner: Injury and damage

Soybean leafminer injury: Adult soybean leafminer injury (the tan, lacy injury and the irregular-shaped holes) interspersed with bean leaf beetle injury (the somewhat round holes). (Photo Marlin E. Rice)Soybean leafminer injury: Adult soybean leafminer injury (the tan, lacy injury and the irregular-shaped holes) interspersed with bean leaf beetle injury (the somewhat round holes). (Photo Marlin E. Rice)

Soybean leafminer injury: Leaf injury to soybeans from adult soybean leafminers. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)Soybean leafminer injury: Leaf injury to soybeans from adult soybean leafminers. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)

Soybean leafminer larvae create "mines" or burrow within the green tissue of leaves. The mines are generally 1.4 to 4.8 cm2. These mines presumably protect the larvae from predation and eventually house the pupa.

The adults also feed on the leaves. They begin feeding within 24-28 hours of eclosion and reach a maximum consumption rate of about 1.1 cm2 per day (Buntin 1993) in about 6 days. Adult soybean leaf miners will consume about 15.40 ± 3.77 cm2 of leaf tissue over their life span. The injury from the adult beetles is variable in form; from a fine skeletonization of the leaf to irregular holes, depending on the intensity of the injury. Buntin and Pedigo (1993) also found that the soybean leafminer does not prefer soybean pods only causing superficial injury to the pod.