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Photo#1416544
Cecidomyiidae, prairie grass - Calamomyia

Cecidomyiidae, prairie grass - Calamomyia
Battle Bluff Prairie SNA, Vernon County, Wisconsin, USA
July 21, 2017
05/02/17 Winter stem of an unidentified prairie grass -- a native grass, I believe, and one rather short in stature -- seems to have been chewed into carefully by an unknown critter:



Carefully splitting open the stem adjacent to this damage, I find a tiny bright orange fly larva inside. Short stem piece collected for rearing

Mid-July, checking up on old rearings, oh gosh. Several flies had emerged from the stem piece but I didn't know, and the adults had died and gotten moldy. Drat.

Here's an adult, though with the moldiness this strains BG's posting guidelines:



The stem showed no obvious swelling or distortion; I would never have noticed it were it not for the mystery critter that had chewed into it. I assume that critter was some sort of predator that was able to detect that there were fly larvae inside the stem.

Ruler units for all images in this series are 32nds of an inch

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Moved

Moved

Info from Dr. Gagne
Dr. Gagne says via email: "As to the grass stem, I feel very certain that you reared a species of Calamomyia. Eggs are laid on the growing tips of young grasses in spring. Larvae find their way into the culm and crawl along the center of the stem. They do not cause any gall or swelling as such. They overwinter as larvae and pupate and emerge the following year. The photo you have of pupal exuviae sticking out of the stem is typical for Calamomyia. Most American grasses will have a species of this genus in the culms."

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