Suffolk: Pest saddle gall midge larvae seen at site in county

Saddle gall midge larvae

Saddle gall midge larvae - Credit: Archant

High numbers of newly hatched saddle gall midge larvae have been spotted at a site in Suffolk.

Cereal levy payers’ body HGCA says the sighting shows how pest pressure from saddle gall midge is often localised and sporadic.

Growers who find the pest are urged to consult HGCA Information Sheet 15 for further information.

HGCA survey data of trapped adults in late May/early June at monitoring sites in Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire were shown to be relatively low.

Typically, blood-red eggs hatch around one to two weeks after being laid and the larvae travel down the leaves to feed on the stem underneath the leaf sheath and characteristic saddle-shaped galls form.

When larvae are young, as spotted in Suffolk, they are small and white and not easy to see but will grow to 4-5mm and gradually turn red.

Over the last few years, saddle gall midge has been mainly reported in central England.