The species Dasineura mali is commonly known as the apple curling leaf midge (ALCM), which causes damage to the leaves of apple trees. Additionally, damage sustained to the fruit by the larvae can lead to subsequent infection by plant pathogens, thus enhancing the importance of early control of this pest.
During the larval stage the ALCM is red early, moving through white and then finally red again; and legless, measuring up to 3 mm long. When maturity has come, the species D. mali is similar in appearance to a mosquito, but with a dark brown body and measures 3 mm long.
The damage caused by the insect results in the tightly curled leaves and thickened tissue, often resulting in leaves turning a purplish color. The damage can often be mistaken for aphid infestation. However, the non-presence of aphids can be easily verified on the underside of the leaves.