Not many have noticed that there was a decrease in mango harvests from Central Luzon this summer. Mango growers from Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, however, felt the difference with this season’s harvests ailing behind the expected yield. The culprit is the pest called cecid fly or gall midge. These flies caused infestation in mango arms across the country and are also known by many names such as “saksak walis” or “kurikong” in Luzon, and “buti,” armalite,” “Gloria-gloria,” or “Nora-nora” a the Visayas and Mindanao.
The adult mango cecid fly resembles a mosquito and commonly lays its eggs on young mango leaves. The larvae, which develop from eggs, mine the leaves producing dark green circular galls or swelling of tissues along the leaf blade. When he adults emerged from these galls, the paves produced circular spots of holes, which are sometimes mistaken as fungal infection. Under heavy infestations, the leaves wrinkle and become yellow.
The infestation, however, affects the fruits more. When hit early, young mango fruits fall off from the tree. Fruits that remain produce circular brown scablike spots, which are randomly distributed on the fruit’s surface. Infested fruits retain these scabby lesions till they are up for harvest, thus affecting their quality and commanding a lower market price.