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Dasineura alopecuri (Reuter)
Dasineura agropyroni (Barnes)

Insecta, Diptera, Cecidomyiidae .

Red foxtail midge

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

- Adult: midge, length 2.0 to 2.5 mm, slender body and long legs. There is a distinct separation of the thorax and abdomen. At the tip of the legs there are toothed claws. The third longitudinal wing vein ends before reaching the wing tip.
- Egg: eggs are laid singly on the inside surface of the bract.
- Larva: length 2 to 3 mm. The larva resembles a very small maggot, without legs or a head capsule, with a much-reduced buccal organ. On the underside of the first thoracic segment there is a notched, spoon-shaped sternal spatula.

- Midge dependent on foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis and Alopecurus myosuroides).
- Egg: laid just after the host plant flowers and hatch after 7 to 8 days (in unfavourable conditions, after up to 18 days).
- Larva: lives alone in the flower between the bracts and is relatively sensitive to drought. For 6 to 8 weeks, from May to July the larva feeds on the ovary and eventually penetrates the seed. It then enters diapause and hibernates in the host flower head, then pupates in situ. The imago appears 8 days later (from April to July of the following year). In some cases, there may be a double hibernation.

[R]Life Cycle
- One generation per annum.
- The main flight period coincides with the flowering of graminaceous plants. Since the larva has already completed its growth, it remains in diapause in the flower head and is easily transported with the seed.

- With infestation increasing from year to year, on account of the puncturing of the ovary and caryopsis by the larva, 80 to 90% of the seed can be destroyed. Sterility of ears is a symptom. However, there is no gall formation.

- Spreading of infestation can be combated by preventing flowering of the host through grazing (sheep) until the imago flight is completed.
- The use of seed more than one year old should be avoided.
- This species of midge is known only in Northern Europe and, in recent times, in Canada and New Zealand.

[R]Common Names
DE: Rote Fuchsschwanzgallmücke ES: Cecidómido rojo del vulpino FR: Cécidomyie rouge du vulpin IT: Cecidomia rossa della coda di topo PT: Cecidomídeo do Alopecurus GB: Red foxtail midge