True flies encompass a number of plant pests.
True fly (flies, gnats, diptera) [Diptera]
True fly (flies, gnats, diptera) - image 1
There ar over 100,000 species of Diptera, some of which are herbivorous and cause plant damage. There are also Diptera that are beneficial, feeding on other plant parasites, such as the hover fly that lays its eggs in the bodies of aphids. Diptera can also help pollenation. Adult true flies are characterised by having just one set of wings. The life cycle is composed of four distinct phases, eggs, larva, pupa and adult fly. The duration of life span depends on species and climate. In most instances it is the larva that causes damage to plants.
Diptera can be found in a wide range of crops: cruciferous vegetables, young plants, potatoes, beets, etc. Diptera are also present through most of the frowing period and also cause damage post harvest. Diptera plant pests include the fungus gnat, march crane fly, and the vinegar fly.
Pattern of damage
The order of Diptera is further divided into flies and gnats. Depending on the species, the larvae feed on roots, stems, leaves and fruit. The feeding sites also become potential sites for fungal infections.