Senior Member
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:59 pm
Location: Southern Ca

yellow lines on tomatoes

ok I just picked these from the garden and after washing I saw that alot of them had these yellow squigly lines all over, what are they from?? They sort of look like lines of tiny bugs burrowing just under the skin but it could just be the color of the skin or from the heat, not sure. it was really hard to photograph it so I have one picture of the tomato, regular and the other is the same exact picture with the color saturation decreased so you can sort of see the lines, it still does not look like it does in person, it is sort of a turn off to see these all over my tomatoes.

User avatar
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

They look as if the skin has been loosened in spots, possibly from being squeezed to see if the fruit was ripe yet. Or, perhaps a bird pecked at the fruit, but didn't break the skin? (Just guesses on my part.)

I can see that one might think the lines were caused by a worm or insect larvae, but I don't know of any critter that lives under tomato skins. Leaf miners make little tunnels that might be considered vaguely similar to the ones in your pics, but they live only in the leaves, not in the fruit.

You could peel the tomato to see if you could find anything. Slip the skin off easily by dipping the fruit into boiling water for a minute, then into ice water. If there's any kind of critter there, you should be able to find it. Still, I've never heard of anything that crawls around under a tomato skin. :?

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I don't think it is anything to worry about. I've seen them looking like that. Not entirely sure what causes it, but I'm thinking it is just like sun bleaching or water marking...

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”