Seasonal population fluctuation of the coffee leafminer, Leucoptera coffeella (Guérin-Méneville & Perrottet) (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae), led to an investigation of its natural mortality factors during the rainy season when the population level is low and during the dry season when population peaks occur. Life-table data were colleted from insecticide-free plots within a 3 ha coffee plantation on the upper, medium and lower canopy. Leafminer mortality was similar among the canopy parts but varied in the two seasons studied. During the rainy season, the generational mortality averaged 94.3%, with 50.2, 33.7 and 10.4% occurring during egg, larval and pupal stages, respectively. During the dry season, total mortality was 89%, with 13.2, 61.0 and 14.8% occurring during egg, larval and pupal stages, respectively. Marginal mortality rates during the rainy season were highest for physiological disturbances, rainfall and egg inviability; but, in the dry season, they were highest for predaceous wasps, physiological disturbances and parasitoids. Egg and larval stages accounted for most of the mortality variation in the rainy season, while the combination of larval and pupal mortality better described the generational mortality in the dry season. Variation in mortality during the rainy season was primarily associated with egg inviability, rainfall and parasitoids. In contrast, predatory wasps and physiological disturbances were the main factors associated with mortality variation during the dry season. These results suggest that weather conditions, natural enemies and plant quality attributes are the main determinants of the population dynamics of L. coffeella.