Comparative Biology and Life Cycle of The Barley Stem Gall Midge and Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in Morocco
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The barley stem gall midge, Mayetiola hordei (Keiffer) is the most serious pest of barley in Morocco. The biology and life cycle of this insect were studied in a laboratory and under natural weather conditions. The results showed that similarly to Hessian fly, barley stem gall midge has two feeding instars and a third non-feeding instar. The generation time was longer for barley stem gall midge than for Hessian fly (45 vs 32 days at 18 ± 1°C, and a 12:12 (L: D) h photoperiod). The eggs of barley stem gall midge hatched in 7 days compared to 4 days for Hessian fly. The largest discrepancy in developmental time was for second instar and pupa. Second instars and pupae of barley stem gall midge required twice as long as those of Hessian fly to develop and molt into next stage (12 vs. 6 days). The first and third instars of barley stem gall midge also required a little bit longer to complete development (9 and 10 days vs. 7 and 8 days for Hessian fly). Like for Hessian fly, barley stem gall midge reproduces mostly by unisexual progenies. Four progeny classes were observed; unisexual female progenies, unisexual male progenies, predominantly female progenies, and predominantly male progenies. The proportion of unisexual female and male progenies and the proportion of predominantly female and predominantly male progenies were similar. Overall, the sex ratio of both species was about 1:1. Under field weather conditions that prevail in the Chaouia region of Morocco, barley stem gall midge has two complete generations and a third partial one. The first generation starts late October, and ends late December. The second generation develops from January until early March. A high proportion of third instars of this generation fail to pupate (35%). The third generation is only partial; adults of the second generation emerge during March, oviposit and larvae develop to third instars but all go into summer diapause.