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First-instar morphology and sexual dimorphism in the gall-inducing scale insect Apiomorpha Rubsaamen (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Eriococcidae)

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Sexual dimorphism among crawlers of the scale insect family Eriococcidae is reported for the first time. The general morphology of crawlers of the gall-inducing genus Apiomorpha (Eriococcidae) is presented and sexual dimorphism described. Sexual dimorphism appears to be associated with differential dispersal and settling-site preference of the sexes during the crawler stage. First-instar males of the A. pharetrata and A. munita species-groups settle only on the galls induced by their mothers or, in the case of A. munita, also galls of nearby females, whereas female crawlers disperse. Female crawlers of all species of Apiomorpha, and male crawlers of most species, are well suited for air-borne dispersal. It is suggested that sexual dimorphism among crawlers of Apiomorpha, and some other scale insects, is the result of loss or reduction of those morphological features associated with dispersal. In addition, male crawlers of some species of Apiomorpha have sensory structures which may assist in the detection of sex-specific settling sites.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Botany and Zoology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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