Not many noticed the decrease in mango harvests from Central Luzon last summer. Mango growers from Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, however, felt the difference with last season’s harvests falling behind expected yield due to a pest called cecid fly or gall midge.
This fly, known as ‘saksak walis’ or `kurikong’ in Luzon, `buti,’ or `armalite,’ ‘Gloria-gloria,’ or ‘Nora-nora’ in the Visayas and Mindanao, infests mango farms across the country.
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 the adults emerge from these galls, the leaves develop circular spots or holes which are sometimes mistaken as fungal infection. Under heavy infestations, the leaves wrinkle and turn yellow.