Location: Systematic Entomology
Title: A new species of Neolasioptera (Diptera: Cecidomyiiidae) from Parkinsonia aculeata (Leguninosae) in Argentina for possible use in biological control in Australia Authors
Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2011
Publication Date: May 4, 2011
Citation: Gagne, R., Mckay, F., Heard, T. 2011. A new species of Neolasioptera (Diptera: Cecidomyiiidae) from Parkinsonia aculeata (Leguninosae) in Argentina for possible use in biological control in Australia. Zootaxa. 2866:61-68. Interpretive Summary: Retaima, a native plant of dry regions in the Americas, is an invasive weed and serious range pest in Australia. A search for native pests of this plant in Argentina uncovered a possibly effective control agent, a gall midge, that was evidently new to science. A search among the 64 species of its genus in South America showed that the species was indeed new, so a description was prepared to formally name it. With the use of the illustrations and the key to species provided in the paper, scientists can now readily identify the insect and testing as to its specificity can now proceed.
Technical Abstract: Neolasioptera parkinsoniae Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is described as a new species from stem swellings on Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Leguminosae) in NW Argentina. The new species appears to be a good candidate for the biological control of its host in Australia, where the plant was accidentally introduced and is currently a serious range pest. The species is shown to be distinct from its 64 Neotropical congeners. A first key to these species is provided.