Oxycephalomyia, gen. nov., and life history strategy of O. styraci comb. nov. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Styrax japonicus (Styracaceae)


Dr Makoto Tokuda, Laboratory of Pest Management Systems, National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region, Nishigoshi, Kumamoto, 861-1192 Japan. Email: tokudam@affrc.go.jp


A new genus Oxycephalomyia is described to contain the gall midge that was previously known as Asteralobia styraci (Shinji). Oxycephalomyia styraci, comb. nov., produces leaf vein galls on Styrax japonicus (Styracaceae). The adult of O. styraci is redescribed, and its full-grown larva and pupa are described for the first time. The annual life cycle of the gall midge in northern Kyushu was clarified; the first instars overwinter in the galls on the host plant. However, the galls of O. styraci mature much later in the season than those of other gall midges with a similar life history pattern, and the durations of second and third larval instars are remarkably short. Such a life history pattern is considered to have an adaptive significance in avoiding larval parasitism, particularly by early attackers. The number of host axillary buds as oviposition sites decreased in bearing years and increased in off years, but there was no sign of oviposition site shortage even in bearing years, probably due to the low population density of the gall midge. An unidentified lepidopteran that feeds on galled and ungalled host buds and a Torymus sp. that attacks pupae of O. styraci were recognized as mortality factors of the gall midge.