Hessian fly


noun

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

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Origin of Hessian fly

An Americanism dating back to 1780–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for Hessian fly

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

    American Pomology|J. A. Warder
  • The Wheat-midge (Cecidomyia tritici), also called the Hessian-fly, is sometimes very destructive to the wheat crop.

British Dictionary definitions for Hessian fly

Hessian fly

noun

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

Word Origin for Hessian fly

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