Gall Midge Larvae Found In Soybeans

Gall Midge Larvae Found In Soybeans

August 17, 2011

Gall midge larvae on a soybean stem
Figure 1. Gall midge larvae under epidermis of soybean stem. (Photo courtesy of Silvana Paula-Moraes)

Reports have been coming in about small, white to bright orange or red maggots infesting some soybean fields in eastern Nebraska (Figure 1). They have been identified as gall midge larvae, Family Cecidomyiidae.

We believe the larvae are feeding on decaying organic matter or fungi associated with disease and/or injury near the base of the soybean stem (e.g. phytophthora root and stem rot, hail). The adult midges would be attracted to these areas for laying eggs. Eggs hatch and the larvae feed under the epidermis near the injured tissue.

We do not believe they cause direct damage to the soybean plant and do not recommend treating for them. Any plant death or yield loss would most likely be attributed to the disease or injury that attracted them to the plant, not the larvae.

Tom Hunt, Extension Entomologist
Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator
Bob Wright, Extension Entomologist