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Hessian fly

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noun
  1. a small fly, Phytophaga destructor, the larvae of which feed on the stems of wheat and other grasses.

Origin of Hessian fly

An Americanism dating back to 1780–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hessian fly

Historical Examples

  • The Wheat-midge (Cecidomyia tritici), also called the Hessian-fly, is sometimes very destructive to the wheat crop.

    Science and Practice in Farm Cultivation

    James Buckman

  • The larvæ are transparent; the flies resemble the Hessian-fly, that destroys the wheat plant.

    American Pomology

    J. A. Warder


British Dictionary definitions for hessian fly

Hessian fly

noun
  1. a small dipterous fly, Mayetiola destructor, whose larvae damage wheat, barley, and rye: family Cecidomyidae (gall midges)

Word Origin

C18: so called because it was thought to have been introduced into America by Hessian soldiers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012