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Taxonomy of two new species of gall midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) infesting

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Abstract

Two new species of gall midge associated with two leaf galls on the branched, perennial shrub Tecticornia arbuscula are described from saltmarshes in south‐eastern Australia. The infestations caused by the new species hinder the growth of T. arbuscula which can impact on the critically endangered Orange Bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster): T. arbuscula provides perching and roosting sites and the seeds are the major food source for this bird. Asphondylia tecticorniae sp. n. Veenstra & Kolesik transforms leaf segments into single‐chambered, spherical galls, whereas Asphondylia peelei sp. n. Veenstra & Kolesik produces a multi‐chambered, asymmetrical gall on leaves of the same plant. Both galls have fungal mycelium lining the inner surface of the larval chamber where it is presumably grazed on by the larva. Descriptions of the larvae, pupae, males, females and geographical distribution of the two gall midges in south‐eastern Australia are given. Differences in the level of parasitoid infestation of four Asphondylia species feeding on Australian Chenopodiaceae in relation to putative oviposition sites on the host plants are explored.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Cell & Molecular Biology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University – Melbourne Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic. 3125, Australia. 2: Bionomics Limited, 31 Dalgleish Street, Thebarton, SA 5031, Australia.

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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