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Jatrophobia brasiliensis

Cassava midge



  • Tropical insect present in South America and the Caribbean attacking cassava.
  • Belongs to the order Diptera and the family Cecidomyia.
  • The adult is a small fly.
  • The beige colored larva measures about 2.5 mm.
  • Observed in the field, cassava is never grown under cover.


  • Sensitive botanical family (s)


  • Affected production areas :


  • Organs attacked


Symptoms, damage

  • Symptoms :
    • Leaf galls on the upper side of the foliage.
    • The galls are yellowish-green to red in color, rounded and prominent on the leaves.
    • The presence of galls can weaken the plant at the start of cultivation and cause a slight decrease in photosynthesis.
    • Damage is usually minimal.
  • Signs : Presence of a single larva inside each gall.
  • Possible confusion :


  • Development cycle :
Adult females lay the eggs individually. Upon hatching, the larva enters the cassava leaf and causes the formation of a gall. 3 larval stages follow one another inside the gall for 15 to 21 days. Pupation also takes place in the gall for 10 to 15 days. The larva then the pupa make a tunnel-shaped hole in the gall which allows the adult insect to emerge on the underside of the cassava leaf.
  • Dispersal : The winged adults allow the dispersal of the pest.


  • The damage is generally minimal and does not require special protection.
  • Sanitary picking of contaminated leaves followed by destruction may be advised in the event of heavy infestation.
  • As this insect is dependent on cassava, it is likely that crop rotations can limit the incidence of this insect from one year to another.
  • Care should also be taken not to plant cassava near a heavily contaminated area.
Last change : 04/28/22
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