Predatory Midges – Cecidomyiidae
Aphid Predatory Midges
Latin Name: Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Genus: Cecidomyiidae)
Common Name: Aphid Predatory midges
Appearance: Aphid predatory midges are reddish-brown to yellowish-brown insects with long slender mosquito-like legs. The is up to 2-3 mm long. They have long slender antennae curled backward and hairy wings held at an angle over the body.
Host Plants or Food: Aphids, especially
Territory: North America, Western America, Europe, Africa, Asia.
Mode of Damage: Beneficial Garden Insect
Habits and Life History:
Aphid midges are mostly seen in the gardens, near coastal areas, etc.
Female lays 100- 250 eggs near the aphid colonies. Eggs are laid singly and orange in color.
After a few days, eggs hatch into slug-like orange larvae having a tail. Larvae search for aphids when found, paralyze them by inserting poison in their leg joint and then make a hole in their body and suck the content.
Larvae of aphid midges feed on 70 species of aphids acting as beneficial garden insects.
After almost one week, larvae migrate to the soil to undergo pupation. They come out as adults after almost 10-14 days and feed on nectar and pollens.
The average egg to adult development time is 3 weeks, and they produce 6 generations per year.