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Gall midge larva head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph

Gall midge larva head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph

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Gall midge larva head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph

Gall midge larva head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of the gall midge (Feltiella acarisuga) larva, which is also known as the gall gnat or gallfly. The mouthparts (centre left) are used to pierce its preys outer surface, and then feed on its internal fluids (haemolymph). The larvae are ferocious carnivores that feed on spider mites (Tetranychus sp.), a common pest of vegetable crops, notably bean plants. As such the gall midge is used for biological pest control by organic farmers. Magnification: x125 at 6x7cm size

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Media ID 6460581

Biological Control Carnivore Carnivorous Gnat Immature Insecta Larva

This print showcases the intricate head of a gall midge larva, captured in stunning detail through a colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Also known as the gall gnat or gallfly, this ferocious carnivore plays a vital role in biological pest control for organic farmers. The image reveals the mouthparts of the gall midge larva positioned at the center left, which it employs to pierce its prey's outer surface. Once breached, it feeds on the internal fluids or haemolymph of spider mites (Tetranychus sp. ), a common nuisance for vegetable crops such as bean plants. With a magnification level of x125 at 6x7cm size, this photograph allows us to appreciate the minute details and complexity present within nature's smallest creatures. The gall midge larva belongs to the family Cecidomyiidae and represents an immature stage before adulthood. Through their predatory behavior targeting harmful pests like spider mites, these tiny insects contribute significantly to maintaining ecological balance in agricultural settings without relying on synthetic pesticides. This remarkable example of nature's ingenuity reminds us of how interconnected species are and highlights our ongoing quest for sustainable farming practices. Captured by Science Photo Library, this mesmerizing image serves as both an educational tool for zoology enthusiasts and an inspiration for those working towards environmentally friendly solutions in agriculture.

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