Polymorphism of axillary bud galls induced by Rhopalomyia longitubifex (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Artemisia princeps and A. montana (Asteraceae) in Japan and Korea, with designation of new synonyms


Junichi Yukawa, Kyushu University, Hakozaki 6-10-1, Higashi–ku, Fukuoka, 812-8581 Japan. Email: JZS02305@nifty.ne.jp


In the past, Rhopalomyia longitubifex, Rhopalomyia shinjii, and Rhopalomyia sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) have been regarded as independent species based on differences in the sizes and shapes of axillary bud galls induced on Artemisia montana (Asteraceae) in Japan and A. princeps in Japan and Korea. However, comparison of morphological features and molecular sequencing data indicate that these Rhopalomyia gall midges are identical and that the differences in gall shape are polymorphisms, although the measurements of gall height and diameter overlap slightly. This finding suggests that although galls have frequently been regarded as extensions of the phenotype of a species, differences in gall shape may not always be reliable for identifying gall-inducing cecidomyiids. The older name, R. longitubifex, is applied to these gall midges, and the names that were applied to this species on later occasions are revised or synonymized. The mature and immature stages of R. longitubifex are redescribed and information on the distribution, host range, and gall size of this species is provided. We also discuss the role of gall polymorphism in the early stages of speciation.