, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 641–653 | Cite as

Parasitism rates and parasitoid complexes of the wheat midges, Sitodiplosis mosellana, Contarinia tritici and Haplodiplosis marginata

  • Sandrine ChavalleEmail author
  • Peter Neerup Buhl
  • Gilles San Martin y Gomez
  • Michel De Proft


Three species of cecidomyiid midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), whose larvae overwinter in the soil, can cause significant yield losses on wheat in Europe: the orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin), the yellow wheat blossom midge, Contarinia tritici (Kirby), and the saddle gall midge, Haplodiplosis marginata (von Roser). The biological control of wheat midges by their parasitoids can contribute to reduce the midge populations. Soil samples were collected in several fields in Belgium in 2012–2014 in order to characterize the parasitism rates and parasitoid complexes in overwintering larvae. The parasitism rates varied greatly between the sampled fields: 3–100, 0–100 and 2% for S. mosellana, H. marginata and C. tritici, respectively. The parasitism rate was not related to the larval density of wheat midge. The three wheat midges have totally distinct parasitoid complexes in Belgium. Eight species (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae and Platygastridae) were found as parasitoid of S. mosellana: Macroglenes penetrans (Kirby), Amblypasis tritici (Walker), Euxestonotus error (Fitch), Euxestonutus sp. Fouts, Leptacis sp. Foerster, Platygaster gracilipes (Huggert), Platygaster nisus Walker, and Platygaster tuberosula (Kieffer). According to their abundance, M. penetrans, E. error and P. tuberosula appeared as the main parasitoids of S. mosellana in Belgium. For the two other wheat midges, only one species of the family Platygastridae was found for each midge: Platygaster equestris (Spittler) for H. marginata and Synopeas myles (Walker) for C. tritici.


Cecidomyiidae Wheat midge Hymenopterous parasitoid Pteromalidae Platygastridae 



We thank the staff at the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W), especially J. Denayer and A. Mahieu, for their technical assistance. We gratefully acknowledged the financial support from the Walloon Region (DGARNE).


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandrine Chavalle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Neerup Buhl
    • 2
  • Gilles San Martin y Gomez
    • 1
  • Michel De Proft
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Protection and Ecotoxicology Unit, Life Sciences DepartmentWalloon Agricultural Research CentreGemblouxBelgium
  2. 2.ØlstedDenmark

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