Grain Midges

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grain Midges


insects of the family Cecidomyiidae that are pests mainly of wheat and rye. The insects include the wheat blossom midge (Contarinia tritici), the wheat midge (Sitodiplosis mosellana), and Hybolasioptera cerealis. They are widespread in Europe and North America. In the USSR the insects occur in Byelorussia, the Ukraine, and in the nonchernozem and chernozem zones of the European RSFSR. The biology of the wheat blossom midge and the wheat midge is similar. The insects appear on the fields during the flowering of winter wheat and rye. The females deposit eggs in the flowers. The larvae feed on the juice of the pistils and ovaries, and, as a result, the grain does not develop. The larvae winter in cocoons in the upper layer of the soil. The females of Hybolasioptera cerealis deposit as many as 40 eggs behind the sheaths of the basal leaves. The larvae chew deep furrows in the stems, causing the stems to break. The resulting grain is shrunken.

Control measures include disking of the stubble, deep autumn plowing to destroy wintering larvae in the soil, and low mowing during harvesting.


Grivanov, K. P., and L. Z. Zakharov. Vrediteli polevykh kul’tur no Iugo-Vostoke. Saratov, 1958.
Vrediteli sel’skokhoziaistvennykh kul’tur i lesnykh nasazhdenii, vol. 2. Kiev, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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