A New Gall Midge Species of Asphondylia (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Inducing Flower Galls on Clinopodium nepeta (Lamiaceae) from Europe, Its Phenology, and Associated Fungi

Umberto Bernardo, Francesco Nugnes, Liberata Gualtieri, Rosario Nicoletti, Paola Varricchio, Raffaele Sasso, Gennaro Viggiani

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A new gall midge, Asphondylia nepetae sp. n. Viggiani (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), causing flower gall on Clinopodium nepeta (L.) Kuntze (Lamiaceae), is described from Europe. The morphological characteristics of adult, larvae, and pupa are described and illustrated. Molecular approach (by sequencing 28S-D2, ITS2, and COI) confirmed that A. nepetae is a distinct species. The development of the gall is always associated with the presence of the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea (Moug.: Fr.) Ces. and De Not. (Botryosphaeriales: Botryosphaeriaceae). The new species can complete several generations per year, on the flowers of the same host plant and its adults emerge from late spring to autumn. Pupae overwinter inside peculiar flower galls in a state of quiescence. The impact of the pest is highly variable with a percentage of flowers infested that ranged between 3 and 57.5% in the sampled years. Insect mortality was, at least in part, due to parasitoids that attack the young stages of the midge. Among them, the dominant species was Sigmophora brevicornis (Panzer) (Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609 - 622
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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