Contarinia quinquenotata

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Contarina quinquenotata
Contarinia quinquenotata damage.jpeg
Damage to the bud of a Hemerocallis flower from larvae of C. quinquenotata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Cecidomyiidae
Genus: Contarinia
Species: C. quinquenotata
Binomial name
Contarinia quinquenotata
Loew 1888[1]

Contarinia quinquenotata is a small midge which infests the flower buds of Hemerocallis species causing the flower to remain closed and rot.[2] It is a pest within the horticultural trade in several parts of the world.[3] It is known by the common names of daylily gall midge and hemerocallis gall midge.[4]


A tiny greyish-grown flying midge about 2mm long that lays its eggs by means of a long penetrating ovipositor in the developing buds of hemerocallis plants during May, June and early July. It is very difficult to see on the wing[5]

Life cycle[edit]

There is a single annual cycle. The midge mates shortly after emerging from its winter state as a puparium. The eggs are then laid inside developing buds and hatch into 2mm cylindrical legless white larvae. Their presence and feeding on the plant causes distortion of the plant tissues and failure of the bud to open. The infected bud characteristically becomes more globular that the usual cylindrical shape of a hemerocallis bud, the petals are thickened and a watery liquid is present between the petals in which the larvae live. There can be from a few to hundreds of larvae within a single bud. After further development during the summer the larvae emerge from the aborted flower and drop into the soil where they pupate during the winter and emerge in the following spring.[5]

Buds of a hemerocallis cultivar showing short round bud (lower left) distorted by infestation of Hemerocallis gall midge, compared with normal tubular bud at centre


Cotarinia quinquenotata originated in southern and eastern Europe where wild hemerocallis occur.[5] As a horticultural infestation it occurs only in gardens or plant nurseries which contain hemerocallis plants.[5] The midge has been slowly spreading across the world in infested plants aided by the popularity of hemerocallis cultivars as garden plants. It was first noted in the United Kingdom in 1989 and has now spread to many parts of the United Kingdom.[5] It was first reported in Canada in 2001 and has spread into the USA.[6]

The spread is assumed to be within the buds of the imported plants or the soil of the containers.[5]

Commercial impact[edit]

Devaluation of infested plants by their failure to produce the attractive flowers favoured by gardeners for their colourful displays. Plants can only safely be shipped without the flower scape and with bare roots.[5] The need to control the midge by whatever means will cause a financial load on the horticultural trade.


  1. ^ Contarina quinquenotata, Encyclopedia of Life, retrieved 13 June 2014
  2. ^ "Hemerocallis Gall Midge". American Hemerocallis Society. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "Continaria quinquenotata". Phytosanitary Alert System. North American Plant Protection Organization. 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  4. ^ Hemerocallis gall midge, Royal Horticultural Society, 2014 |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g McLean, Ian (20 Aug 2011). "Contarinia quinquenotata". GB Non-natives Fact Sheet Editor. GB Non-natives species secretariat. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Continaria quinquenotata". Invasive species - Invertebrates. Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.

Further links[edit]

American Hemerocallis Society for further images