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View Thread :: Identification queries :: Diptera (adults)
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Fly causing severe agricultural damage in Namibia (Africa)
#1 Print Post
Posted on 18-05-2021 17:02

Posts: 2
Joined: 17.05.21

Dear All,

We are developing an agricultural Project in Southern Africa for asparagus (asparagus officinalis), and there is a type of fly that is causing a severe damage on the crop. The fly lays its eggs on the shoot of the plant, the larves follow the shoot and end up eating the crown (plant brain) and the "eyes", where the new asparagus shoot will come.

Is there someone that could please help to identify this species?

Also, if someone may indicate any type of control method (chemical or biological) on the larves and puppae that are in the soil, it would help a lot.

It is first time that we see something like that... But well, new places, new enemies and adventures....

I attach hereby some pictures of the adult + larves + puppae. Let´s see if someone is able to identify it. I thank you very much for your invaluable help!
CarlosNA attached the following image:

Edited by CarlosNA on 18-05-2021 17:21
Tony Irwin
#2 Print Post
Posted on 18-05-2021 17:50
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 6506
Joined: 19.11.04

Platystomatidae - Elassogaster species, I think. In Australia, E. linearis has been recorded in rotting asparagus crowns.
Tony Irwin
#3 Print Post
Posted on 18-05-2021 19:13

Posts: 2
Joined: 17.05.21

Thank you very much Tony, highly appreciated. I will do some research about E. linearis accordingly.

If someone can help with current control methods for the adult/larva, IPM, whatever, I would be very thankful!

Andrew Whittington
#4 Print Post
Posted on 14-06-2021 10:15
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Location: Devon
Posts: 101
Joined: 30.01.07

Certainly Elassogaster probably E. vanderwulpi Hendel 1914. There is so little known of the biology for Afrotropical Platystomatidae, that control and IPM is going to be a learning curve and may have to start with first principles and whatever words for associated taxa (Tephritidae) for example.
The link with asparagus in the Afrotropical context is new and I was unaware of the E. linearis association - Tony, do you have a reference for that please?

Andrew E. Whittington
Tony Irwin
#5 Print Post
Posted on 14-06-2021 11:39
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 6506
Joined: 19.11.04

McAlpine, D.K. (2001) Review of the Australasian Genera of Signal Flies
(Diptera: Platystomatidae). Records of the Australian Museum Vol. 53: 113–199 - (See page 153, bottom of left column)
Tony Irwin
#6 Print Post
Posted on 14-06-2021 13:53
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Posts: 3154
Joined: 29.12.07

There are many other pests of Asparagus, and platystomatids are predominanly secondary inviders, infesting plants mainly damaged by caterpillars or weevil grubs, eating mostly rotting tissues of the plants. So, it has not been proven if really this fly caused damage to asparagus, which can be eaten by a moth caterpillar or fruit fly maggots.

Andrew Whittington
#7 Print Post
Posted on 15-06-2021 13:57
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Location: Devon
Posts: 101
Joined: 30.01.07

Thank you Tony!

Yes, Val, I totally agree. Most Platystomatidae are saprophagous (even Rivellia feeding on root nodules may be attacking diseased tissue).
Andrew E. Whittington
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03.06.21 11:11
@Tony Irwin Thank you Tony! I've emailed you there Pfft

02.06.21 22:26
Rob - can you PM me with an e-mail address, and I'll send it over.

02.06.21 13:16
Hello chaps! Does anyone have a copy of: Revision of the willow catkin flies, genus Egle Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), in Europe and neighbouring areas ?? I'd be ever so grateful! Rob

31.05.21 14:31
The part that got deleted is "longer, dark median stripe on thorax"

31.05.21 08:37
You are correct, the copula also is phragmitidis. Corrected in the Gallery.

30.05.21 23:08
... look identical to me, the pictures of L. nigropunctata don't have the black spot on the scutellum and lack the other features you described.

30.05.21 23:07
Thank you for the answer Maks! Unfortunately the second part of your message seems to be deleted? I looked at the pictures of the 2 species in the gallery, are they correctly identified? Because they

30.05.21 20:06
@FliegenFranz Apart from differences of the hypopygium and ovipositor L. nigropunctata has darkened wing tips, mostly dark front femora, a black spot/stripe on the scutellum and a more pronounced, lon

29.05.21 18:48
What's the difference between Limonia nigropunctata and L. phragmitidis? Can someone help me? Thanks

26.05.21 11:34
Looking for material? See here: https://diptera.i.

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