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Title: Plant hosts and parasitoid associations of leaf mining flies (Diptera: Agromyzidae) in the Canberra region of Australia

item Scheffer, Sonja

Submitted to: Australian Journal of Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2007
Publication Date: 5/15/2008
Citation: Scheffer, S.J., Fayed, S., Manchester, C., Lambkin, C., La Salle, J., Yeates, D.K. 2008. Plant hosts and parasitoid associations of leaf mining flies (Diptera: Agromyzidae) in the Canberra region of Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology. 47:13-19.

Interpretive Summary: Leafmining flies are important pests of many crop species and often cause millions of dollars in losses. Leafminers often spread from one location to another with the human aided movement of plants and plant parts and may become invasive. Although leafminers are sometimes controlled with pesticides, they can often be controlled by naturally occurring parasitic wasps. This project is part on an ongoing survey of the leafminers and their parasites in Australia in order to determine which species are present and which species might be invasive pests. The region of Canberra, Australia, was surveyed for both leafminers and their parasites. Eight species of leafminer and 14 species of parasitic wasps were found. This information is of interest to scientists, quarantine officials, and pest managers.

Technical Abstract: Many leaf mining flies (Diptera: Agromyzidae) are important economic pests of agricultural crops and ornamental plants, and species rich hymenopteran parasitoid complexes are important in their control. Australian agromyzids are poorly studied, and little is known about their host plants, ecology, or natural enemies. We surveyed native and naturalized species of leaf mining flies in Tallaganda National Park, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory. Malaise and emergence trapping in Tallaganda yielded 70 agromyzid specimens from six species in four genera: Cerodontha Rondani, Liriomyza Mik, Phytoliriomyza Hendel, and Phytomyza Fallen. Of the six species collected, three are Australasian species, two are naturalized species introduced from Europe, and one could not be determined to species. The Australian Cerodontha (Cerodontha) milleri Spencer represented most of the individuals caught in both Malaise and emergence traps. A total of 163 agromyzids and 98 parasitic wasps were reared from the Canberra region from plant samples with agromyzid mines, larva and pupae. The majority of agromyzids and parasitoids were reared from the weed Sonchus oleraceus L (Asteraceae). All the agromyzids reared belonged to two introduced species of the genera Phytomyza and Chromatomyia Hardy. The biodiversity of parasitic wasps reared was high with 14 species from seven genera and three families. Hemiptarsenus varicornis (Girault) (Eulophidae), a widespread Old World agromyzid parasitoid, was the most numerous parasitoid reared in our survey of the Canberra region. The native parasitoid complex found in this survey appears to have the potential to counter the threat of agromyzid invasions and outbreaks.