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Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank
Insecta, Diptera, Tephritidae .

Asparagus fly, Asparagus maggot

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


[R]Description
- Adult: 6 to 7 mm. Head yellow; thorax pale grey with 3 longitudinal black lines, legs greyish, wings bear a broad brown zigzag marking. Abdomen black and slightly hairy, edges parallel in the male, broadening out towards the middle in the female (*) .
- Larva: 7 to 9 mm long, cylindrical, white. At posterior end of body with a brown plate surrounding the spiracles and terminated by two teeth.
- Puparium 7 to 8 mm long. Light brown, immobile.

[R]Biology
- Host plant: asparagus.
- Adult: longevity, 4 to 24 days according to temperature. Optimum temperature: 20 to 25°C. Little active at temperatures below 15°C.
- Fecundity: 25 to 30 eggs.
- Eggs: time until hatching, 2 to 10 days.
- Larva: 20 to 30 days.

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 generation per year.
- The adult appears towards mid-April, late May. Flight period of 3 to 5 weeks. Does not visit flowers, but imbibes drops of dew or rain. Mating and egg laying occur just after emergence from the puparium. The female lays fertilised eggs in the young shoot using her ovipositor (*) .
- The maggot feeds as it tunnels its gallery inside the asparagus spear (*) . When fully grown, the body length of the larva shortens by one third, its integument thickens and hardens, and it pupates.
- The pupa undergoes diapause until spring inside the stems or the stalks remaining underground (*) .

[R]Damage
A great deal of harm is done during larval development (i.e. up to 1 cm in length). The galleries prevent the sap from circulating, resulting in deficient nutrition and a gradual weakening of the crown. By the end of 3 years, new buds can no longer be produced and the crown dries up (*) .


[R]Common Names
DE: Große Spargelfliege ES: Mosca del espárrago FR: Mouche de l'asperge IT: Mosca dell'asparago PT: Mosca do espargo GB: Asparagus fly, Asparagus maggot

[R] Images

  1. Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Female About to lay eggs on the tip of a turion.
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  2. Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Wound caused by the oviscapt Between the scales of the turion.
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  3. Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Larva in stem of asparagus The turion was sectioned longitudinally to show the larva digging a downward gallery at the periphery of the turion. Note the black anal plate.
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  4. Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Attack on asparagus Only two later-appearing stems remained unattacked.
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  5. Platyparea poeciloptera Schrank (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Overwintering puparium At the base of a stem of asparagus.
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