Definition of Hessian fly in English:

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Hessian fly

Pronunciation: /ˈheSHən flī/


A gall midge whose larvae are a pest of cereal crops, occurring in wheat-growing areas.
  • Mayetiola destructor, family Cecidomyiidae.
Example sentences
  • Resistance in wheat to the Hessian fly, a major insect pest of wheat, is based on a gene-for-gene interaction.
  • Plant breeders are constantly engaged in a vicious cycle, developing wheats that resist the Hessian fly… for a time.
  • The Hessian fly spread from Long Island in 1777, and a more widespread impact began to be felt in 1778.


Late 18th century: so named because it was supposed (erroneously) to have been carried to America by Hessian troops during the American Revolution.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Hes·sian fly

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