Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: Species diversity of Fergusonina Malloch gall flies (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) forming leaf bud galls on snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. complex), with a description of a new species from Tasmania) Author
Submitted to: Insect Systematics & Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2012
Publication Date: 7/22/2012
Publication URL: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/10.1163/1876312x04302001
Citation: Nelson, L.A., Scheffer, S.J., Yeates, D.K. 2012. Species diversity of Fergusonina Malloch gall flies (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) forming leaf bud galls on snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. complex), with a description of a new species from Tasmania. Insect Systematics & Evolution. 43:147-160. 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 a new species of host-specific plant-feeding flies that attack eucalypt species related to invasive paperbark trees. Adult and larval morphology is described and illustrated. Host-use patterns and geographic distributions are clarified for this and related species. This information will be used by biocontrol scientists, taxonomists, and evolutionary biologists.
Technical Abstract: A new species of Fergusonina (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) fly is described from terminal leaf bud galls (TLBGs) from the Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. (snow gum) species complex. Fergusonina tasmaniensis Nelson sp.n. is the first species from the genus Fergusonina to be described from Tasmania and the fourth to be described from this host complex. Fergusonina tasmaniensis sp.n. can be distinguished from the other snow gum Fergusonina species by differences in adult size, markings on the mesonotum and the male genitalia. This new species can be distinguished from all other described Fergusonina by host specificity and differences in adult colouration, setation, genitalia and the morphology of the larval dorsal shield. The Tasmanian Fergusonina specimens were resolved as a monophyletic group in the molecular phylogeny of the Fergusonina species described from TLBGs on snow gum that we present. Specimens of F. tasmaniensis sp.n. were resolved as sister (mean distance = 3.82%) to a clade comprising Fergusonina daviease Nelson and Yeates and Fergusonina omlandi Nelson and Yeates, and this clade possessed the lowest interspecific distance (mean = 2.48%) between the snow gum Fergusonina species.