The Swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii Kieffer (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a common insect pest in Europe, is a newly invasive pest in North America that constitutes a major threat to cruciferous vegetable and field crops. Since its first identification in Ontario, Canada, in 2000, it has rapidly spread to 65 counties in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and has recently been found in canola (one of two cultivars of rapeseed, Brassica napus L. and Brassica campestris L.) in the central Prairie region where the majority of Canada's 6.5 million ha (16 million acres) of canola is grown. The first detection of Swede midge in the United States was in 2004 in New York cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), but it has now been found in four additional states. Here, we review the biology of Swede midge, its host plant range, distribution, economic impact, pest status, and management strategies. We provide insight into this insect's future potential to become an endemic pest of brassica crops in North America. We also proposed research needed to develop tactics for handling this invasive pest in brassica crops.
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