Syringopais temperatella

Syringopais temperatella Lederer

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Lepidoptera, Scythridae.

Common name: Cereal leaf miner.

Geographical distribution: The Near East and Greece.

Morphology: The forewings are greenish-yellow and the hindwings ash-grey, body length 12-15 mm. The larvae are yellow-pink, with many tubercles, and a dark brown head. Final length about 10 mm..

Host plants: Many Poaceae (Gramineae), especially wheat and barley.

Economic importance: This miner is a pest of wheat and barley. The larvae gnaw tunnels between the two epidermal leaf layers, causing the leaves to shrivel. Damage is heavier during drought years. In Turkey damage was estimated to be around 40-60%, even higher in Jordan. The ETL for this pest was determined to be when infestations were 20% or more.

Life cycle: This leaf miner raises a single annual generation. Females appear in the spring and deposit their eggs (50-120/female) on the ground. The young larvae initially feed on grasses and then enter the soil, construct a cocoon (a “cyst”) and enter summer diapause, pupating there. The emerging larvae climb on the host plants and feed.


Plant resistance: No wheat cultivar or accession is presently known to be immune, but some cultivars were tolerant and provided higher yields. Several barley accessions are resistant, and breeding for resistance continues in several countries.

Horticultural control: Deep plowing (down to about 40 cm) reduces larval survival in the soil. Other methods include crop rotation (for example: alternating legumes with cereals), burning any cereal stubble remaining in the field and leaving the soil fallow for at least 2 years.

Chemical control: Sprays with organophosphates provided 90-100% pest kill, as well as season-long control in Jordan, provided the sprays were applied early in the spring. Insecticides can also be applied on the soil or mixed with the seeds before sowing. In some countries the pest has begun to develop resistance to some pesticides.

Biological control: Several parasitoids of the families Braconidae, Eulophidae and Ichneumonidae attack the pest in the Middle east, causing up to 50% mortality. Formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) killed up to 80% of the wheat-infesting pests.


Abu Yaman, I.K. and Jarjas, S.J. 1971. Bionomics of the wheat leaf miner, Syringopais temperatella Led., in Iraq. Journal of Applied Entomology 67: 266-272.

Al-Zyoud, F.A. 2013. Towards integrated pest management of the cereal leafminer Syringopais temperatella Led. (Lepidoptera: Scythrididae): status, current and future control options. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural. & Environmental Sciences 13: 1582-1594.

Al-Zyoud, F.A., Al-Ameiri, N.S. and Alomary, A.M. 2011. Efficacy of the insecticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) against the cereal leaf miner Syringopais temperatella Led. (Lep., Scythrididae) under laboratory conditions. Jordan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 7: 83-92.

Gözüaçik, C., Erdoĝan, O.C. and Beyarslan, A. 2008. Note: Syringopais temperatella Lederer, 1855 and its parasitoids in wheat and barley fields in the southeast Anatolian region of Turkey. Phytoparasitica 36: 489-490.

Madanat, H., Al-Zyoud, F.A., Abdel-Ghani, A.H. and Al-Majali, N.F. 2012. Sources of tolerance in wheat and barley against the cereal leafminer Syringopais temperatella Led. (Lep., Scythridaidae) under semi-arid climate of South Jordan. Jordan Journal of Agricultural Sciences8: 367-379.

Serghiou, C.S., 1975. Control of Syringopais temperatella in Cyprus. Journal of Economic Entomology 68: 491-494.

Yefremova, Z., Kravchenko, V. and Meltzer, N. 2017. The East-Mediterranean cereal leaf miner Syringopais temperatella Lederer and its larval parasitoids in Israel. Phytoparasitica 45: 707–713.