Sorghum midge (336)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
- Worldwide distribution. Sorghum (grain and forage), and wild grasses (especially Johnson grass). A major fly pest.
- Larvae eat the young seed heads.
- Midge, mosquito-like, orange, up to 2 mm long, clear wings, long antennae, and, for females, a long thin ovipositor. Eggs laid into flowers.
- Eggs hatch, larvae are white then orange, 2.5 mm long, spindle shaped. Pupae on the flower head. Some larvae go into resting phase, up to 5 years.
- Spread occurs when grain is moved with larvae in resting phase.
- Natural enemies: several parasitoid wasps, but only partially effective.
- Cultural control: plant early; weed grasses; increase seeding rate; rotate with sugar cane or peanuts; legume intercrops; burn stubble; resistant varieties.
- Chemical control: if >1-2 midges/head at flowering apply synthetic pyrethroids.
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