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Melanagromyza obtusa(Malloch)

New detection in South Florida

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Name: Melanagromyza obtusa (Malloch)
Taxonomic Position:
Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Agromyzidae
Common Names: pigeonpea pod fly; pod fly

This is the first report of this leaf miner in the Continental United States. The pod fly presents a potential risk to pigeonpea, chick pea, and bean in North America.

Issues of Concern: When first discovered in the Western Hemisphere, the pod fly was intercepted on pigeonpea, Cajanus cajan, >300 times from Puerto Rico (PR), and >15 times from the Dominican Republic (DR) (March and April 2000). All of these interceptions were in personal baggage (PR to US or DR to PR). Melanagromyza obtusa was also detected in Haiti. Recently, in Miami, FL, the pod fly larvae and pupae were detected in a homeowner’s pigeonpea planting (December 2003) ( The pod fly is a serious pest of pigeonpea in its natural range and could be of economic concern if it becomes established in North America outside the Caribbean basin.

Hosts: The primary host is pigeonpea, Cajanus cajun, on which the interceptions are occurring. Only 4 additional genera, all within Papilionaceae, are confirmed hosts in the pod fly's natural range, and are of little economic significance. Unconfirmed alternate hosts include Phaseolus spp. (bean) and Vigna spp. (e.g. cow pea), which could be of significance to North America.

The pod fly is widely distributed in Asia and Australasia, and has been detected in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and now the Continental United States.

Detection Strategies
Immature pod fly stages are found within the pod, and are therefore difficult to detect in unshelled peas. Detection in prepackaged shell peas is also problematic as indications of surface mining on seed containing larvae may or may not be present.

Another species, M. chalcosoma, is present in Africa and is difficult to distinguish from M. obtusa. Both species are considered serious pests of pigeonpea, and are similar in both morphology and ecology.

Source: APHIS-PPQ Puerto Rico

Useful Links:
Pigeonpea Crop Information
Pigeonpea Crop Information (FAO)
Potential as a New Crop

Warning: The information in this archived item was not confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely for informational purposes. Please use this information with caution.

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