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Hessian fly

a small fly, Phytophaga destructor, the larvae of which feed on the stems of wheat and other grasses.
1780-90, Americanism
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Hessian fly

Hessian fly

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
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Encyclopedia Article for Hessian fly

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).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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