Juniper Midge – Contarinia juniperina

Juniper Midge (Contarinia juniperina)

Latin Name: Contarinia juniperina

Common Name: Juniper Midge



Adult midges have bright orange abdominal muscles and a blue, bright yellow thorax.


Larvae are little (3 mm) legless maggots with a striking orange colour. They feature a unique spatula-like structure on the ventral side of the prothorax that may be observed. Recurred protuberances on the terminal segment distinguish them from Oligotropus.


White eggs are cylindrical and taper slightly towards the tip. They have a length of 0.133 mm and a width of 0.025 mm.

Host plants:

Juniperus spp.


Throughout in United States

Damage caused by Juniper Midge:

Larvae feed by tunnelling into the bark, killing the tips. Near the conclusion of the growing season, the damage is most apparent.

Life history and Habits:

Adult flies mate and deposit eggs in the late spring and early summer. Female flies lay their eggs near the base of the needles on fresh foliage. Larvae emerge from the egg and burrow through the bark. Before developing, larvae can tunnel for up to 25 mm. In a single mine, many larvae might be found together. Larvae abandon their mines in the fall and fall to the ground to overwinter on leaf litter or dirt. In the early spring, they pupate. There is each generation per year.