Six new species of Asphondylia (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) damaging flower buds and fruit of Australian Acacia (Mimosaceae)


  • Unpublished for the purposes of zoological nomenclature (Art. 8.2, ICZN)


Six species of gall midge are described from Australian acacias. Asphondylia bursicola Kolesik sp.n. and A. occidentalis Kolesik sp.n. form galls on fruit; A. germinis Kolesik sp.n., A. pilogerminis Kolesik sp.n. and A. glabrigerminis Kolesik sp.n. induce severe deformation of flower buds; and A. acaciae Kolesik sp.n. causes galls on both fruit and flower buds. Galled flower buds do not produce flowers, and galled fruit produce no or undeveloped seeds. Host ranges of the new species comprise between two and eight acacia hosts. Larval, pupal and male morphology, together with phylogenetic analyses of a 410-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, were used to characterize the new species. For A. bursicola, A. germinis, A. pilogerminis, A. glabrigerminis and A. acaciae, the intraspecific divergence values were between 0.2 and 3.4%, and the interspecific divergence values ranged between 5.1 and 10.5%. For A. occidentalis, the only species with geographical distribution confined solely to Western Australia, the intraspecific divergence was between 6.6 and 10.3%, and the interspecific difference from the other five new species was between 9.3 and 13.9%. In contrast to Dasineura spp. from Acacia, for which the morphology was more informative in species recognition than the cytochrome b sequence, in Asphondylia spp. treated here the partial cytochrome b sequence data provided better species recognition than did the morphology. Several of the new Asphondylia have potential as biological control agents in ecosystems in which Australian acacias are invasive and their sexual reproduction needs to be restricted. A list of Australian acacias whose reproductive organs are destroyed by known gall midges, all belonging to Dasineura and Asphondylia, is provided.