|a small dipterous fly, Mayetiola destructor, whose larvae damage wheat, barley, and rye: family Cecidomyidae (gall midges)|
|[C18: so called because it was thought to have been introduced into America by Hessian soldiers]|
small fly in the gall midge family, Cecidomyiidae (order Diptera), that is very destructive to wheat crops. Though a native of Asia it was transported into Europe and later into North America, supposedly in the straw bedding of Hessian troops during the American Revolution (1775-83).
Learn more about Hessian fly with a free trial on Britannica.com.