World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Delia antiqua

Article Id: WHEBN0029882873
Reproduction Date:

Title: Delia antiqua  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Onion, Anthomyiidae, Agriculture in the United Kingdom
Collection: Agricultural Pest Insects, Anthomyiidae, Insects Described in 1826
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Delia antiqua

Delia antiqua
D. antiqua larvae feeding on Allium porrum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Anthomyiidae
Genus: Delia
Species: D. antiqua
Binomial name
Delia antiqua
(Meigen, 1826)

Hylemya antiqua Meigen, 1826

Delia antiqua, commonly known as the onion fly, is a pest of crops. The larvae or maggots feed on onions, garlic and other bulbous plants.


  • Morphology and biology 1
  • Distribution 2
  • Economic significance 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5

Morphology and biology

Onion damaged by D. antiqua larvae

The onion fly has an ash-grey body and resembles a housefly. The male has a longitudinal stripe on the abdomen which is lacking in the female. The legs are black, the wings transparent, and the compound eyes brown. The eggs are white and elongated and are laid in groups on the shoots, leaves and bulbs of host plants and on the ground nearby. The larvae are white and cylindrical and hatch in three to eight days. Each batch of larvae tends to keep together and collectively create large cavities in bulbs. More than fifty maggots may feed on one bulb, sometimes originating from eggs laid by several females. The larvae moult three times, feed for about twenty days, and grow to about one centimetre long. The pupa is brown, ringed and ovoid and measures 7 millimetres (0.28 in) long. Pupation occurs in the ground with the pupal phase from the spring generation lasting two or three weeks. Late generation pupae overwinter in the soil.[1][2]


The onion fly is found in North America, Western Europe, Russia, Central Asia, China, Japan and Korea but is absent from deserts. In the far north of its range it has one generation per year, but further south there may be two, three or four generations in one year.[1]

Economic significance

The larvae damage bulb onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks and the bulbs of flowering plants. The first generation of larvae is the most harmful because it extends over a long period owing to the females' longevity and occurs when the host plants are small. Seedlings of onion and leek can be severely affected as can thinned-out onions and shallots.[2] Less damage occurs in wet and cold springs as this delays the development of the larvae. When plants are attacked, the leaves start to turn yellow and the bulbs rot quickly, especially in damp conditions. Control measures include crop rotation, the use of seed dressings, early sowing or planting, survey and removal of infested plants, and autumn digging of the ground to destroy the pupae.[1]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b

Further reading

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.