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Dasineura poae Mühle
Insecta, Diptera, Cecidomyiidae .

Red meadow grass midge

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

- Adult: length 2.0 to 2.5 mm; body slender with long legs. Distinct separation of abdomen and thorax.
- Larva: length 2 to 3 mm. The larva is legless, with no sclerotized head capsule; mouthparts very reduced. Presence of a sternal spatula sunk into the first thorax segment.

- Host plants: Poa pratensis, foxtails (Alopecurus pratensis) and several fodder crop Gramineae.
- Egg: laid singly above the upper lodicule in the flower using an ovipositor (one egg per flower). Embryonic development lasts 4 to 6 days.
- Larva: feeds by puncturing the flower parts. At the end of 4 to 5 weeks, the larvae leave the flower and penetrate the upper layers of the ground. They surround themselves with a cocoon in which they hibernate for one or more years. Pupation occurs during the following spring.
- Adult: on emergence, it stays near the ground, where mating takes place. At dusk, in favourable weather conditions, the females fly towards inflorescences and lay their eggs inside flowers by means of their ovipositor.
- The flight of imagines commences with the start of the meadow grass panicles (from the end of May to the beginning of June). The greatest density of population is reached just before the flowering period and is maintained for 6 to 8 days. As soon as the plants are in full flower, the density of the adult population decreases. There may be a mass emergence under weather conditions of a daily temperature of 25°C sustained for 15 hours a day and at night, a temperature which does not fall below 5°C.
The flight and the egg-laying which follows on immediately, proceed in accordance with the development cycle of the respective host plants.
After pupation in the ground, only part of the population flies off the following summer, the remainder resting an additional year or more.

- Infested ears and panicles appear normal. Since the larvae inside the flowers feed on the flowering parts they prevent seed formation. The result is wrinkled seed or sterile ears, in particular, in the case of grass seed which is relatively old.

Lower Bavaria, North Germany, England, Wales.
DE: Rote Fuchsschwanzgallmücke ES: Cecidómido rojo del forraje FR: Cécidomyie rouge du pâturin IT: Cecidomia rossa della fienarola PT: Cecidomídeo da poa GB: Red meadow grass midge