Mycophila barnesi Edwards A mushroom midge

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Larvae of this widely distributed midge are orange and occur commonly in cultivated mushroom beds, often in their thousands. Each 'mother' larva reaches about 2 mm in length and produces up to 20 'daughter' larvae in just over a week. Unlike larvae of the mushroom cecid, Heteropeza pygmaea (p. 176), the gut contents are voided at intervals throughout larval development, and breakdown of mushrooms through bacterial action does not occur; also, there is no clumping behaviour and no resting stage in the life-cycle, individuals dying if starved of food. Attacks by this species, which has a slower rate of development than either H. pygmaea or Mycophila speyeri (below), tend to be limited to the third and later flushes of mushrooms.

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