One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gall midge whose larvae are a pest of cereal crops, occurring in wheat-growing areas.
Mayetiola destructor, family Cecidomyiidae
- ‘Resistance in wheat to the Hessian fly, a major insect pest of wheat, is based on a gene-for-gene interaction.’
- ‘The Hessian fly spread from Long Island in 1777, and a more widespread impact began to be felt in 1778.’
- ‘It is resistant to stem rust, leaf rust and soilborne wheat mosaic virus, moderately resistant to wheat streak mosaic virus and susceptible to Hessian fly.’
- ‘Plant breeders are constantly engaged in a vicious cycle, developing wheats that resist the Hessian fly… for a time.’
- ‘Earlier seedings are more subject to root and crown rot and many other diseases and insects, for example wheat streak mosaic and Hessian fly.’
Late 18th century: so named because it was supposed (erroneously) to have been carried to America by Hessian troops during the War of Independence.
Hessian fly/ˈheSHən flī/
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