Impacts of weather, shade cover and elevation on coffee leafminer Leucoptera coffeella (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae) population dynamics and natural enemies Academic Article uri icon


  • We assessed the influences of ambient temperature, rainfall, shade cover and elevation on seasonal abundance of coffee leafminer Leucoptera coffeella (Gurin-Mnville) and its natural enemies in coffee farms in the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico. Mined coffee leaves were most abundant during the rainy season (i.e. historical average rainfall >200. mm/mo, April-November) compared to the dry season (<100. mm/mo, December-March), and at low (<600. m asl) relative to high (>900. m asl) elevations. The abundance of mined leaves increased with rainfall, and decreased with maximum daily temperatures. Coffee leafminer survivorship was highest during the dry season (>40%), when predation was lowest (<10%). Predation was the main source of coffee leafminer mortality, and was greatest during the rainy season (>25%) when coffee leafminer incidence was highest (>30% mined leaves per plant). None of the weather variables that were evaluated (viz. maximum and minimum temperatures, and rainfall) significantly impacted parasitism ratios. Shade cover moderated on-farm temperatures, by reducing maximum daily temperatures and any potential, direct impacts of rainfall on coffee leafminer, by providing partial shelter from rainfall, but did not significantly affect coffee leafminer incidence. In 48. h laboratory trials, coffee leafminer oviposition was highest at 28C (15 eggs/female), minimal at 25C (3 eggs) and nil at 20C, and higher during night-time hours (>8 eggs/female/day) compared to day-time hours (<1 egg). Historical average temperatures were higher at low elevation (yearly average ca. 25C; range=18.0-32.0C) than at high elevation (ca. 21C; 13.5-28.5C), and we predicted that physical environmental conditions (i.e. night-time hours with temperatures >20C) were permissive of coffee leafminer oviposition during twice as many hours each year at low elevation (4060. h) compared to high elevation (2081. h). Overall, our results suggested that evident differences in the abundance of coffee leafminer between elevations may be due in considerable part to differences in ambient temperatures, particularly night-time temperatures, rather than rainfall, shade cover, or elevation per se. 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Refugio Lomeli-Flores, J., Barrera, J. F., & Bernal, J. S.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • LomelĂ­-Flores, J Refugio||Barrera, Juan F||Bernal, Julio S

publication date

  • September 2010