Overview

Brief Summary

Delia platura, the corn seed maggot, is a native of Europe but was introduced to North America in 1865, where it has spread rapidly and is now commonly found infecting fields in throughout the United States, including Hawaii, and southern Canada. In its larval (maggot) phase, this insect burrows in the soil in fields feeding on recently germinated seeds. It is a serious pest of corn and bean seeds, and also attacks other species such as soybean, cabbage, cucumber, greenbeans, turnips, lettuce, onion, seed potatoes and cruciferous plants. Seedlings grazed on by the corn seed maggot grow up stunted and unhealthy with deformed or dead leaves. Affected beans often do not grow their primary leaves and produce less fruit; a heavy infestation may require a crop to be replanted. Larvae also cause openings in seedlings that are susceptible to secondary infection. Delia platura can have up to five generations in a year. The maggot phase lasts up to 16 days; larvae are usually found, found around seeds in clusters of about 100. Delia platura overwinters as a pupae, and hatches into a grey fly, similar to a housefly, the spring. Adult flies lay about 270 eggs in the soil near plant stems, and can be seen flying and hovering around fields as they feed on flower nectar. The most effective control method is to chemically treat seeds before planting. Removing flowers from areas around where crops are planted can also inhibit corn seed maggots, however this has the disadvantage of simultaneously reducing food sources for beneficial insects. Another effective non-chemical control method is to strategically manage plant timing to maximize germination rate, and ensure that soils that are not overly wet or contain much decaying organic matter, which are strong cues for adult oviposition. The maggot, because it is underground, is not susceptible to much predation and has few natural enemies.

(Martin Kessing and Mau 1991; Hadi et al. 2011)

  • Brooks, A. R. 1951. Identification of the Root Maggots (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) Attacking Cruciferous Garden Crops in Canada, with Notes on Biology and Control. Can. Entomol. 83(5): 109-120.
  • Flint, M. L. 1985. Seedcorn Maggot, Hylema platura. pp. 36. In Integrated Management for Cole Crops and Lettuce. University of California Publication 3307. 112 pages.
  • Hadi, B., J. Bradshaw, J. Knodel and K. Ostlie 2011. Delia platura (soybean).
    Northern Plains Integrated Pest Management Guide. Retrieved October 7, 2011 from http://wiki.bugwood.org/NPIPM:Delia_platura_(soybean)">http://wiki.bugwood.org/NPIPM:Delia_platura_(soybean)">http://wiki.bugwood.org/NPIPM:Delia_platura_(soybean)
  • Hardy, D. E. 1981. Hylema (Delia) platura (Meig.) pp. 36-38. In Insects of Hawaii. A Manual of the Insects of the Hawaiian Islands, Including Enumeration of the species and Notes on Their Origin, Distribution, Hosts, Parasites, etc. Volume 14, Diptera: Cyclorrhapha IV, series schizophora, section calyptratae. The University Press of Hawaii. Honolulu. 491 pages.
  • Higley, L. G. and L. P. Pedigo. 1984. Seedcorn Maggot (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) Population Biology and Aestivation in Central Iowa. Environmental Entomology. 13(5):1436-1442.
  • Hill, D. S. 1983. Delia platura (Meig.). pp. 402. In Agricultural Insect Pests of the Tropics and Their Control. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, London, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sydney. 746 pages.
  • Martin Kessing, J. L. and R. F. L. Mau, 1991. Delia platura. Crop Master Knowledge. Department of Entomology, Honolulu, Hawaii. Retrieved October 6, 2011 from ">http://www.extento.hawaii.edu/kbase/crop/type/delia_p.htm"> http://www.extento.hawaii.edu/kbase/crop/type/delia_p.htm
  • Reid, W. J. 1940. Technical Bulletin No. 723. Biology of the Seed-Corn Maggot in the Coastal Plain of the South Atlantic States. United States Department of Agriculture Washington, DC.
  • Retan, A. E. 1983. Extension Bulletin 1225. Seedcorn Maggot. College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Washington State University, Pullman.
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Physical Description

Type Information

Syntype for Anthomyia zeas Riley, 1869
Catalog Number: USNM
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology
Sex/Stage: Female;
Preparation: Pinned
Locality: Unknown, Missouri, United States
  • Syntype: 1869. Missouri State Board Agriculture Annual Report. 4: 154.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Associations

Flowering Plants Visited by Delia platura in Illinois

Delia platura Meigen: Anthomyiidae, Diptera
(observations are from Robertson, Graenicher, Motten, Krannitz & Maun, and Campbell)

Anacardiaceae: Rhus glabra [pist sn] (Rb); Annonaceae: Asimina triloba sn (Rb); Apiaceae: Cryptotaenia canadensis sn (Rb), Erigenia bulbosa sn (Rb), Heracleum maximum sn fq (Rb), Osmorhiza longistylis sn (Rb), Oxypolis rigidior sn (Rb), Perideridia americana sn (Rb), Polytaenia nuttalli sn (Rb), Zizia aurea sn (Rb); Asteraceae: Achillea millefolium sn/fp (Rb, Gr), Ageratina altissima sn/fp (Gr), Antennaria neglecta [unsp sn/fp] (Gr), Antennaria plantaginifolia [stam sn] [pist sn] (Rb), Anthemis cotula sn/fp (Gr), Arnoglossum muhlenbergii sn/fp (Gr), Aster drummondii sn/fp (Gr), Aster macrophyllus sn/fp (Gr), Aster pilosus sn fq (Rb), Bidens aristosa sn (Rb), Cirsium arvense sn/fp (Gr), Conyza canadensis sn/fp (Gr), Erigeron annuus sn/fp (Gr), Erigeron philadelphicus sn (Rb), Erigeron strigosus sn (Rb), Eupatorium perfoliatum sn/fp (Gr), Euthamia graminifolia sn/fp (Gr), Helenium autumnale sn/fp (Gr), Heliopsis helianthoides sn/fp (Gr), Leucanthemum vulgare sn/fp (Gr), Senecio aureus sn/fp (Gr), Solidago canadensis sn/fp (Gr), Solidago juncea sn/fp (Gr), Tanacetum vulgare sn/fp (Gr); Brassicaceae: Capsella bursa-pastoris sn (Rb), Lepidium virginicum sn fq (Rb), Rorippa teres sn (Rb); Caesalpiniaceae: Gleditsia triacanthos sn (Rb); Caprifoliaceae: Sambucus canadensis fp (Rb), Viburnum opulus fq (KM); Caryophyllaceae: Stellaria media sn (Rb), Stellaria pubera (Cmp); Celastraceae: Euonymus atropurpureus sn/fp (Rb, Gr); Cornaceae: Cornus obliqua sn fq (Rb); Hamamelidaceae: Hamamelis virginiana sn/fp (Gr); Lauraceae: Sassafras albidum sn fq (Rb); Liliaceae: Allium canadense sn/fp (Gr), Camassia scilloides sn (Rb); Parnassiaceae: Parnassia glauca sn/fp (Gr); Philadelphaceae: Philadelphus grandiflorus sn (Rb); Polygonaceae: Persicaria lapathifolia sn (Rb); Portulacaceae: Claytonia virginica sn fq (Rb, Cmp, Mtt); Ranunculaceae: Clematis virginiana [stam sn] (Rb), Hepatica acutiloba exp/fp (Rb), Hepatica americana fp fq (Mtt), Ranunclus septentrionalis sn (Rb); Rhamanceae: Rhamnus lanceolata sn fq (Rb); Rosaceae: Crataegus mollis sn (Rb), Fragaria virginiana sn (Rb), Potentilla simplex sn (Rb), Prunus americana sn fq (Rb), Prunus serotina [flwr sn] (Rb); Rutaceae: Ptelea trifoliata sn fq (Rb); Salicaceae: Salix amygdaloides [pist sn fq] (Rb), Salix discolor [unsp sn/fp] (Gr), Salix humilis [stam sn] [pist sn] (Rb), Salix interior [stam sn fq] (Rb), Salix nigra [stam sn fq] (Rb), Salix rigida [stam sn fq] [pist sn fq] (Rb); Santalaceae: Comandra umbellata sn fq (Rb); Saxifragaceae: Saxifraga pensylvanica sn/fp (Gr); Scrophulariaceae: Verbascum thapsus fp np (Rb); Smilacaceae: Smilax ecirrhata sn/fp (Gr), Smilax herbacea sn/fp (Gr), Smilax tamnoides hispida sn/fp (Gr)

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Foodplant / miner
larva of Delia platura mines leaf (lower parts) of Allium
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Delia platura feeds within live stem of Allium cepa
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Delia platura feeds on live seedling of Pisum sativum

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Delia platura feeds on live seedling of Phaseolus

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Trybliographa diaphana is endoparasitoid of larva of Delia platura

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Delia platura

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 459
Specimens with Barcodes: 479
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data: Delia platura

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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