Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Mayetiola destructor

Mayetiola destructor (Say, 1817)

hessian fly

on cereals

Mayetiola destructor: gall on Phleum pratense

Phleum pratense, Belgium, prov. Namur, Couvin, Aublain, 8.viii.2020 © Sébastien Carbonelle

Mayetiola destructor: gall on Phleum pratense


Mayetiola destructor: puparia


Mayetiola destructor: puparium

a single puparium


The weakly swollen culm has, just above a node, one or more shallow oval depressions. They are not covered by the epidermis, but generally lie within a leaf sheath. In each a single, 3 mm long, larva is found, that is almost hyaline. Pupation within the gall: the larva forms a dark reddish brown puparium. Usually bivoltine. Heavily infested plants die off.

Only in the first and second instar the larva does feed. The third instar larva remains immobile within the dried larval skin of the second instar, a puparium, that functions as a cocoon. Before the definite pupation the larvae has to reverse its position to head upwards within the puparium; in this way the emerging imago will be able to leave the gall.

host plants

Poaceae, oligophagous

Cynodon dactylon; Elytrigia repens; Holcus lanatus; Hordeum murinum, vulgare & subsp. distichon; Phleum pratense; Poa nemoralis; Secale cereale; Triticum aestivum.

mainly in cereal crop species, wheat in the first place.


The larva is described by Ertel (1975a).
Mayetiola destructor: spatula

prosternum with spatula (from Möhn, 1955a)


Phytophaga destructor.

parasitoids, predators

Arthrolytus maculipennis; Callitula bicolor; Eridontomerus isosomatis; Eupelmus messene; Homoporus destructor, febriculosus, nypsius; Spaniopus dissimilis; Trichomalopsis hemiptera.


The Hessian Fly was introduced in Europe from North America in the 19th century. In Europe, but much more in America, an import pest of cereal crops.


Askew, Blasco-Zumeta & Pujade-Villar (2001a), Buhr (1964b, 1965a), Cheraghian (2013a), Dauphin & Aniotsbehere (1997a), Docters van Leeuwen (1936a), Ertel (1975a), Fusu (2017a), Gagné (2010a), Gagné & Doane (1999a), Houard (1908a), Janšta & Bouček (2006a), Lambinon, Schneider & Feitz (2001b), Mirumian (2011a), Möhn (1955a), Nijveldt (1954a), Redfern & Shirley (2011a), Roskam (2009a), Roskam & Carbonnelle (2015a), Rübsaamen (1895a), Sánchez, Skuhravá & Skuhravý (2012a), Simova-Tošić, Skuhravá & Skuhravý (2000a), Skuhravá, Bayram, Çam ao (2005a) Turkey, Skuhravá, Blasco-Zumeta & Skuhravý (1993a), Skuhravá & Skuhravý (1994a, 1997a,b, 1999a, 2004b, 2012a, 2021a: 29, 134), Skuhravá, Skuhravý, Blasco-Zumeta & Pujade-Villar (2006a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Buhr (2013a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Carbonnelle (2017a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý, Dauphin & Coutin (2005a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý, Dončev & Dimitrova (1991a, 1992a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Jørgensen (2006a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Massa (2007a), Skuhravý & Skuhravá (1999a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Kettani (2017a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Meyer (2014a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý & Neacsu (1972a), Skuhravá, Skuhravý, Skrzypczyńska & Szadziewski (2008a), Tomasi (2012a,2014a), Wetzel, Skuhravý, Camprag, ao (1984a), Wiśniowski & Jirak-Leszczyńska (2021a).

Last modified 3.vii.2022