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item Norrbom, Allen

Submitted to: Instrumentas Biodiversitatis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2005
Publication Date: 7/10/2006
Citation: Norrbom, A.L. 2006. New species and host records for Gymnocarena (Diptera, Tephritidae). Instrumentas Biodiversitatis. 7:217-226.

Interpretive Summary: True fruit flies are a large family of agriculturally important insects. More than 100 species are serious pests of fruits and vegetables and cause billions of dollars in losses each year to agriculture in the U.S. and other countries. This paper concerns a genus that includes a pest of sunflowers; the larvae of the fly eat the seeds. Three new species from Mexico and Costa Rica are here described and illustrated, to prevent their confusion with the sunflower pest, which was previously adequately described. New host information for other species is also presented. This information will be useful for the regulation and control of pest species of fruit flies and possibly to biological control programs.

Technical Abstract: The genus Gymnocarena Hering currently includes 13 North American species, including G. diffusa (Snow), a pest of sunflowers (Asteraceae, Helianthus spp.). Three new species are described that considerably extend the known range of the genus: G. macalpinei from northern Mexico (Durango and Nuevo Leon); G. brunnea from southern Mexico (Oaxaca); and G. talamancensis from Costa Rica. The former species is the first species of Gymnocarena known from northeastern Mexico, and the latter two are the first known to occur south of the transverse volcanic belt in central Mexico. Dahlia merkii Lehm. is confirmed as a host plant for Gymnocarena mexicana (Aczél), and the first host plant record for G. apicata (Thomas) is reported. It breeds in flowerheads of Heliomeris multiflora Nutt. (Asteraceae, Heliantheae), which is consistent with known host data for other Gymnocarena species, which also breed in plants of that subtribe. As in other Gymnocarena species, the larvae of G. apicata also emerge from the flowerhead to pupariate in the soil.