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Contarinia tritici (Kirby)
Insecta, Diptera, Cecidomyiidae .

Lemon wheat blossom midge, Yellow wheat blossom midge, Grain gall midge, Wheat midge

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: 2 to 3 mm long. Lemon yellow female with black eyes.
- Eggs: 0.40 mm x 0.09 mm, white.
- Larva: 3 mm. Flattened, lemon yellow (*) .

- Host plant: wheat, possibly weed grasses.
- The female lives 24 hours.
- Eggs: they are laid in clusters of about 10 in ears which are not yet in flower, having only just emerged. Embryonic development lasts 5 to 6 days.
- Larva: its development lasts on average 3 weeks and it feeds on the young ovary (*) .

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 generation per year. Sometimes a partial second generation occurs in September on weed grasses.
- The larvae which have overwintered in a cocoon in the ground pupate by the end of May-beginning of June. The adults emerge a few days later. The individuals which have emerged in the morning oviposit in the evening. The female introduces its long ovipositor between the glumes inside the flowers before anthesis (*) .
Larval growth ends towards mid-July. In favourable rainy periods, the larvae drop to the ground where they bury themselves and form cocoons in which they can remain in diapause for 2 to 3 years.

The growth of larvae causes non-formation of many seeds; however, since the unattacked grains become bigger, the effect on yield is often nil.
The extent of damage depends, in particular, on the coincidence between the appearance of the largest number of insects and the presence of ears emerging from their sheath.

[R]Common Names
DE: Gelbe Weizengallmücke ES: Cecidómido amarillo del trigo FR: Cécidomyie jaune du blé IT: Cecidomia del Grano PT: Cecidomídeo amarelo do trigo GB: Yellow wheat blossom midge, Grain gall midge, Wheat midge, Lemon wheat blossom midge

[R] Images

  1. Contarinia tritici (Kirby) (COUTIN R. / OPIE)
    Female at rest
  2. Contarinia tritici (Kirby) (COUTIN R. / OPIE)
    Larva The external glume of the wheat flower has been removed to show the larvae.
  3. Contarinia tritici (Kirby) (ACTA)
    Female depositing eggs The ear of wheat is at the receptive stage.

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