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Oviposition site of and gall formation by the fruit gall midge Asphondylia aucubae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in relation to internal fruit structure


Kensuke Imai, Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwakecho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8502 Japan.


Most gall insects use young developing plant organs for gall formation; however, little information is available on the histological identification of such tissues or the changes in their availability with plant growth. We investigated the oviposition site of and the tissue used for gall formation by the midge Asphondylia aucubae Yukawa and Ohsaki, which is responsible for galls on the fruit of Aucuba japonica Thunb., by comparing the internal structures of young developing fruit, mature intact (uninfested) fruit, and galled fruit. The midge deposited eggs between the integument and the carpel of young fruit. Larval chambers were made of callus-like tissue and were formed between the embryo sac and the carpel, where the integument was initially situated. The integument and part of the carpel were thus identified as critical plant tissues used by A. aucubae in forming galls. The integument degenerates in mature intact fruit; therefore, the season of emergence and oviposition by the midge may be determined by the timing of integument degeneration.