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).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science
Bernardo, U., Nugnes, F., Gualtieri, L., Nicoletti, R., Varricchio, P., Sasso, R., & Viggiani, G. (2018). A New Gall Midge Species of Asphondylia (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Inducing Flower Galls on Clinopodium nepeta (Lamiaceae) from Europe, Its Phenology, and Associated Fungi. Environmental Entomology, 47(3), 609 - 622. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy028