Dasineura leguminicola Lintner Clover seed midge

This widely distributed and generally common, reddish to orange-coloured midge is associated with red clover. The larvae are capable of causing significant damage to seed crops; affected plants flower irregularly, buds fail to open properly and the heads turn brown prematurely. Affected seeds are often distorted and may be invaded by secondary fungal pathogens. Eggs are deposited singly, or in small batches, in the furled heads of clover plants, usually in June. They hatch a few days later. The neonate larvae immediately migrate into the floral parts, and down the corolla tube, to feed adjacent to the ovary. The pinkish larvae, each with a distinct, sharply cleft sternal spatula are fully fed in 4-6 weeks. They then vacate the flowers and drop to the ground to spin silken pupal cocoons within the soil. A second generation of adults emerges 2-3 weeks later. There are usually up to three generations annually; larvae of the final generation pupate in the following spring, shortly before the appearance of the adults.

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