Porophyllum Gall Midge


Gall Midge, Asphondylia, with host Porophyllum gracile,  photo © by Mike Plagens

Inside these swollen stem segments are orange larvae (maggots) of the midge. Near Lake Pleasant, Maricopoa Co., Arizona. 26 Oct., 2014.

Cecidomyiidae -- Gall Midge Family

Just as new stems and growth on this plant were emerging an adult gall midge, a small fly, deposited eggs within the plant tissue. Chemicals released by the insect induces the plant to produce a gall - a swelling of plant tissue. Within the fresh galls small larvae will be found that are feeding on the plant tissue.

The adult midges resemble a small, very delicate gnat - a Diptera. Although the adult flies appear to be identical species, recent research shows that each midge - plant relationship represents usually a different species. This species appears to be specific to galls on Slender Pore Leaf, Porophyllum gracile.

Slender Pore-Leaf

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 28 February 2015.