Phytomyza horticola

Phytomyza horticola Goureau

(Formerly called Agromyza atricornis Meigen or Chromatomyia horticola Goureau).

Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Diptera, Brachycera, Agromyzidae.

Common name: Pea leaf miner.

Distribution: Europe, Africa and Asia. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, #374 1987, revised.

Morphology: Adults about 1.3-2.3 mm in length, dorsum mostly black, venter grey-yellow, head black but “face” (clypeus) yellow. Legs mostly black. Maggot whitish.

Host plants: Polyphagous, attacking several hundred species, mostly in the families Brassicaceae, Fabaceae and Asteraceae.

Life history: The feeding of the maggots in the upper or lower leaf surfaces forms whitish mines, at the end of which the insect pupates. A life cycle requires about 3-4 weeks, fecundity comes to 65-80 eggs/female and 4-5 annual generations are raised.

Economic importance: Phytomyza horticola is a serious pest, especially of vegetable crops. In Europe it affects glasshouse crops, like tomatoes and lettuce, whereas in Mediterranean areas it is a pest in glasshouses as well as in the field, affecting, among others, Cicer, Brassica and Pisum. Infestations of seedlings are especially damaging, as plants wilt or die. Infestations on older plants reduce flowering and fruiting, and thus yields.


Monitoring: yellow sticky traps that attract mainly the males.

Chemical control: Most commonly-used pesticides kill P. horticola, but their application caused the destruction of the natural enemies, which was followed by a large pest outbreak.

Biological control: The pest is attacked by more than a dozen parasitoids. The eulophids Diglyphus isaea and Pediobius metallicus (Nees) are dominant in several regions.


Al-Ghabeish, I. and Allawi, T. F. 2001. Agromyzid leafminers and their parasitoids in Jordan. Dirasat. Agricultural Sciences 28: 172-177.

Bhat, D.M. and Bhagat, R.C. 2009. Natural parasitism of leaf miner, Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) on vegetable crops in Kashmir (India). World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 5: 888-891.

Civelek, H.S. 2002. A new record for the parasitoid fauna of Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau, 1851) (Diptera: Agromyzidae): Pediobius metallicus (Nees, 1834) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Türkiye Entomoloji Dergisi 26: 155-159 (in Turkish with an English abstract).

Fathi, S. A. A. 2010. Host preference and life cycle parameters of Chromatomya horticola Goureau (Diptera: Agromyzidae) on canola cultivars. Munis Entomology & Zoology 5: 247-252.

Gençer, L. 2009. Contribution to the knowledge of the chalcid parasitoid complex (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) of agromyzid leafminers (Diptera: Agromyzidae) from Turkey, with new hosts and records. Journal of Plant Protection Research 49: 158-161.

Mekhlif, A.F. 1984. Aspect of the biology of the pea leafminer, Phytomyza horticola Goureau (Diptera: Agromyzidae) infecting the leaves of wall-flower Cheiranthus cheiri L. in Iraq. MSc. Thesis, College of Science, Mosul University (in Arabic with an English Summary).

Mekhlif, A.F. and Abdul-Rassoul, M.S. 2002. Efficiency of parasitoids of pea leafminer Phytomyza horticola Goureau and their appearance time in the field. Bulletin of the Iraq Natural History Museum 9: 27-32.

Mizukoshi, T., Tsuji, M. and Deguchi, H. 2010. Seasonal prevalence of occurrence of the garden pea leafminer Chromatomyia horticola Goureau (Diptera; Agromyzidae)caught in yellow sticky traps in Southwestern Hokkaido. Annual Report of the Society of Plant Protection of North Japan 2010, p. 161.

Saito, T. 2004. Insecticide susceptibility of the leafminer, Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau) (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology 39: 203-208.

Winkler, I.S., Scheffer, S.J. and Mitter, C. 2009. Molecular phylogeny and systematics of leaf-mining flies (Diptera: Agromyzidae): delimitation of Phytomyza Fallén sensu lato and included species groups, with new insights on morphological and host-use evolution. Systematic Entomology 32: 260–292.

Yefremova, Z., Strakhova, I.,Kravchenko, V., Tschirnhaus, M. von and Yegorenkova, E. 2015. Parasitoid complex (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) of the leaf-mining fly Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) in Russia. Phytoparasitica 43: 125–134.