ocellate gall midge

(Acericecis ocellaris)

Conservation Status
ocellate gall midge
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Ocellate gall midge is a very small fly. It occurs in the United States and southern Canada east of the Great Plains. In Minnesota it occurs in the forested eastern half of the state but is absent from the west.

The larva produces a flat, 5 16 to in diameter gall on the upper surface of a red maple leaf. The gall is a yellow or greenish-yellow “eyespot” bordered by a ring with a red inner edge and a purple outer edge. The center of the spot is slightly raised and may be green, yellow, red, or purple. The larva is unprotected in the depressed center of the spot on the underside of the leaf.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 5 16 to

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Septoria Leaf Spot (Septoria aceris) is a fungus that produces dark brown or tan spots with light brown centers. Black fungal bodies are visible on the upperside of the leaf under magnification.  
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation: May

Spots: Spring to fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female deposits eggs singly on the underside of red maple leaves. After the larva hatches it feeds on the leaf and injects a hormone which causes the leaf to produce a gall. It spends 8 to 10 days on the leaf, growing to a size of about 1 16 in length. It then drops off and burrows into the ground. It overwinters in the ground as a pupa and emerges as an adult early May the following year.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

The larva feeds on the leaf at the center of the spot on the underside of the leaf.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  2/21/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

Nematocera (long-horned flies)  
 

Infraorder

Bibionomorpha  
 

Superfamily

Sciaroidea (fungus gnats and gall midges)  
 

Family

Cecidomyiidae (gall gnats, gall midges, cécidomyidés)  
 

Subfamily

Cecidomyiinae (gall midges)  
 

Supertribe

Lasiopteridi  
  Tribe Oligotrophini  
  Subtribe Polystephina  
 

Genus

Acericecis  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Cecidomyia ocellaris

Mayetiola virginiana

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

maple eyespot gall midge

maple leaf spot gall midge

ocellate gall midge

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Midge

A small fly, somewhat resembling a mosquito, in one of several families in the suborder Nematocera.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Larva

 
    ocellate gall midge      
           
 

Gall

 
    ocellate gall midge      
           
 

Leaf

 
    ocellate gall midge   ocellate gall midge  
           

 

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