Delia radicum

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Delia radicum larvae attacking the base of a cabbage plant (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Delia radicum maggots and pupa (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Delia radicum (Linnaeus, 1758) - (cabbage root fly)

The fly is wide-spread in temperate regions and an important, oligophagous pest of various types of cabbage and radish. It mainly attacks the lower stem or tuber of young plants. Yield losses may reach 90% during outbreaks. Currently it is mainly controlled by pesticides.

The adults feed on flowers only and lay their eggs in the soil, close to the base of the cabbage or host plant. The hatching larvae dig into the soil and feed on the roots and underground parts of the stem. Development until the pupal stage lasts around 3 weeks, but can be interrupted if the temperature in the soil exceeds 20°C. The pupal stage can be completed in another 3 weeks. There are 3-4 generations per year and the pupae of the last generation overwinter in the soil.

Chortophila brassicae
Delia brassicae
Erioischia brassicae
Hylemya brassicae
Hylemyia brassicae
Phorbia brassicae

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Kleine Kohlfliege
• English: cabbage root fly
cabbage maggot fly
cabbage root maggot
• Español: mosca de la col
• Français: mouche du chou