Meromyza saltarix L Grass fly

Infestations of this minor pest occur on various grasses, especially fodder grasses. The larvae cause the central shoots of young plants to turn yellow and die. Infestations also occur on wheat, typically in crops following a grass ley. On older plants, the larvae cause damage to the developing inflorescences. As a result, the flower heads may not emerge properly from the enclosing leaf sheath; the larvae have also been implicated in the development of 'white' ears. Larvae are pale green to pale bluish-green and up to 10 mm long, with a minute pair of posterior spiracles. They are, therefore, readily distinguished from other ley pests such as gout fly, Chloropspumilionis (p. 194), yellow cereal fly, Opomyza florum (below) and frit fly, Oscinella frit (p. 195). Larvae that develop from eggs laid in summer feed within the shoots of host plants and eventually pupate in the spring. Although in the British Isles there is probably just one generation annually, in continental Europe this species (unlike other members of the genus) is bivoltine.

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