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Garden Pest Control

Q.Leaf miner caterpillars eating our Kumera leaves

Zone Stoke,Nelson, New Zealand 7011 | j.i.l. added on April 4, 2016 | Answered

What species is the adult (fly or moth) of the tiny (2-9mm long and usually less than 1mm wide) dark brown or black caterpillars that ate windows into the leaves of my indoor Kumera (Sweet potato) plant I have growing in water in our kitchen? They consumed all the green material between both layers of the outer epidermis of the leaf leaving large clear patches in the leaf rather than the tracks shown in many examples of leaf miners. Some did leave webbing like spiders, but not the rolled up edges of the leaf like we have seen in our garden where other leaf rollers have pupated. Unfortunately, our samples died before developing. We suspect they are the larvae of a moth as we have seen some moths around; however, some descriptions suggest a fly. Sorry, do not have any photos.

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Answered on April 5, 2016

It is most likely the Sweet Potato Looper.
Bt is effective against this common caterpillar.


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