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Cherry leafminer

Stigmella slingerlandella (Kearfott)
Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae

The adult is a small, bronzy tan-colored moth, with a wavy darkish brown to black band at the outer third of the forewings (A). The larva is an annulated caterpillar that is transparent in the early instars and turns a more opaque greenish white when full grown (B).

Distribution

Reported from MI, OH, and NY.

Damage

Attacks cherry, plum, and prune. Larvae bore into the undersurface of the leaf and mine the tissue under the upper epidermis (C), which becomes nearly transparent. Mines are initially light colored and filled with frass, later becoming more extensive and blotchy.

Management

An insecticide applied 1–2 times after petal fall directed at adults can provide effective control.

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