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Pests in the Northeastern United States

Editors: W.T. Wilsey, C.R. Weeden, and A.M. Shelton

Cabbage Maggot (Delia radicum) - Life Cycle
Click for larger image Adults:
Cabbage maggot flies resemble houseflies but are only about half as long, 1/4 inch (6 mm). They are dark gray with black stripes along the body. Adults emerge between late March and early May. There are 3-4 generations per year.
The cabbage maggot fly deposits its eggs on or in the soil at the base of the plants. The eggs are white and elongated. Eggs hatch into maggot larvae in 3 to 7 days.
The legless maggots are tapered and white in color, and are usually less than 1/3 inch (6 mm) in length. The head is the pointed end and at the rear or blunt end they have 12 short, pointed fleshy processes arranged in a circle around two button-like spiracles. Newly hatched larvae feed and burrow into the roots. The crucifer-damaging life stage, maggots feed for about 3 to 5 weeks before pupating in the root tunnel or in the soil.
The pupa is brown in color, egg shaped and 1/4 inch (6 mm) long. Pupae remain in the soil for 2 or 3 weeks before adult emergence.

Damage inflicted by cabbage maggot on cabbage and crucifers

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Maintained by Jason D. Plate. Last updated Mar. 8th, 2007.