Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: Two new species of sympatric Fergusonina flies (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) from bud galls on high elevation snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. complex) in the Australian Alps Author
Submitted to: Australian Journal of Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2011
Publication Date: 11/28/2011
Publication URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-6055.2011.00826.x/full
Citation: Nelson, L.A., Scheffer, S.J., Yeates, D.K. 2011. Two new species of sympatric Fergusonina flies (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) from bud galls on high elevation snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. complex) in the Australian Alps. Australian Journal of Entomology. 50:356-364. Interpretive Summary: Invasive species of weedy plants cause the U.S. and others hundreds of million dollars in direct losses and management costs associated with their control. The introduction of host-specific plant-feeding insects as biocontrol agents has proven to be a successful and environmentally benign approach to weed management. This study formally describes two new species of host-specific plant-feeding flies that attack paperbarks and other eucalypt tree species. Adult and larval morphologies are described and illustrated, and corroborating DNA evidence is presented. Host-use patterns and geographic distributions are clarified. This information will be used by biocontrol scientists, taxonomists, and evolutionary biologists.
Technical Abstract: Two species of Fergusonina Malloch fly, F. daviesae Nelson sp.n. and F. taylori Nelson sp.n. (Diptera: Fergusoninidae), are described from terminal leaf bud galls on high elevation snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora complex) in the Australian Alps. These species occur in sympatry at the six locations where collections were made. After extensive field studies, these are the only two Fergusonina species that have been found on high elevation snow gums. The two can be distinguished by differences in adult size and markings on the mesonotum. We also describe the mature larvae, which are superficially similar, but differ in shape and details of the dorsal shield ornamentation. Additionally, a cytochrome oxidase I (COI) sequence divergence of 12.55 % between the two putative species supports these morphological findings. They can be distinguished from other described Fergusonina species by host specificity, adult colouration, setation and larval dorsal shield morphology.