name = Gall midges
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
subphylum = Hexapoda
classis = Insecta
subclassis = Pterygota
infraclassis = Neoptera
superordo = Endopterygota|
ordo = Diptera
subordo = Nematocera
infraordo = Bibionomorpha
superfamilia = Sciaroidea
familia = Cecidomyiidae
synonyms = Cecidomyidae
subdivision_ranks = Subfamilies
subdivision =

Cecidomyiidae (sometimes misspelled Cecidomyidae) is a family of flies (Order Diptera) known as gall midges or gall gnats. As the name implies, the larvae of most gall midges feed within plant tissue, creating abnormal plant growths called galls.

These are very fragile small insects usually only 2-3 mm. in length and many are less than 1 mm long. They are characterised by hairy wings, unusual in the Order Diptera, and have long antennae.Worldwide there are 3000+ species but since 1,100 are from well-studied North America this may be an underestimate. Many are economically significant especially the important insect pest of wheat, the Hessian fly, the galls causing severe damage to the crop. Other important pests include the lentil flower midge ("Contarinia lentis"), the lucerne flower midge ("C. medicaginis") and the alfalfa sprout midge ("Dasineura ignorata") on the Leguminosae ; the Swede midge ("Contarinia nasturtii") and the brassica pod midge ("Dasineura brassicae") on the Cruciferae; the pear midge ("Contarinia pyrivora") and the raspberry cane midge ("Resseliella theobaldi") on fruit crops.

A large number of species are natural enemies of other crop pests. The larvae of these species are predaceous, and some are even reported as parasitoids. The most common prey are aphids and spider mites, followed by scale insects , then other small prey such as whiteflies and thrips and many eat the eggs of other insects or mites. Because the tiny larva are incapable of moving considerable distances, there usually has to be a substantial population of prey present before the adults will lay eggs and Cecidiomyiidae are most frequently be seen during pest outbreaks. One species "Aphidoletes aphidomyza" is an important component of biological control programs for greenhouse crops and is widely sold in the United States of America.

Cecidomyiidae are also known for the strange phenomenon of paedogenesis in which the larval stage reproduces without maturing first. Even stranger in some species the daughter larvae produced within a mother larva consume the mother and in others the reproduction occurs in the egg or pupa.


Jahn, GC and B. Khiev. 2004. Gall midge in Cambodian lowland rice. pp. 71-76. In J. Benett, JS Bentur, IC Pasula, K. Krishnaiah, [eds] . New approaches to gall midge resistance in rice. Proceedings of the International Workshop, 22-24 November 1998, Hyderabad, India. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute and Indian Council of Agricultural Research. 195 p. ISBN 9712201988

Heong, KL, YH Chen, DE Johnson, GC Jahn, M Hossain, RS Hamilton. 2005. Debate Over a GM Rice Trial in China. Letters. Science, Vol 310, Issue 5746, 231-233 , 14 October 2005.

Huang, J., Ruifa Hu, Scott Rozelle, Carl Pray. 2005. Insect-Resistant GM Rice in Farmers' Fields: Assessing Productivity and Health Effects in China. Science (29 April 2005) Vol. 308. no. 5722, pp. 688 – 690. DOI: 10.1126/science.1108972

External links

# [http://delta-intkey.com/britin/dip/www/cecidomy.htm Family description and images]
# [http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/aphidoletes.html Aphidoletes aphidimyza and biological control]
# [http://cedarcreek.umn.edu/insects/album/029011000ap.html images]
# [http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/regionalSites/laopdr/docs/FS_Eng_GallMidgeResistantLowlandRice.pdf Gall Midge Resistant Lowland Rice Varieties: Glutinous Varieties for the Lao PDR]
# [http://www.sciaroidea.info/node Fungus Gnats Online]

on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site

# [http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/fruit/blueberry_gall_midge.htm "Dasineura oxycoccana", blueberry gall midge]
# [http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/beneficial/f_acarisuga.htm "Feltiella acarisuga", a predatory gall midge]
# [http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/fruit/citrus_gall_midge.htm "Prodiplosis longifila", citrus gall midge]
# [http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/orn/trees/cypress_twig_gall_midge.htm "Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa", cypress twig gall midge]

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