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Title: Tripius gyraloura n. sp. (Aphelenchoidea: Sphaerulariidae) parasitic in the gall midge Lasioptera donacis Coutin (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

item POINAR, GEORGE - Oregon State University
item Thomas, Donald

Submitted to: Systematic Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2014
Publication Date: 10/14/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Poinar, G., Thomas, D.B. 2014. Tripius gyraloura sp. n. (Aphelenchoidea: Sphaerulariidae) parasitic in the gall midge Lasioptera donacis Coutin (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Systematic Parasitology. 89:247-252.

Interpretive Summary: Giant arundo cane is an invasive weed from Europe that chokes the banks of rivers, streams and irrigation ditches in the southwest USA. Because of the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems and human water supplies, applying herbicides to control this weed is negated. Instead, scientists are investigating the use of natural controls, specifically a fly that breeds in and stunts the growth of the plant. However, the fly itself has natural enemies. One such enemy is a parasitic worm, previously unknown to science. In this study the worm, classified as a nematode, is described and given a latin name, Tripius gyraloura Poinar & Thomas. This parasitic worm lives inside of the female fly and feeds on the ovaries. Then the fly, instead of laying eggs, lays worms, which seek out and parasitizes more flies.

Technical Abstract: A new nematode, Tripius gyraloura sp. n., is described from the arundo gall midge, Lasioptera donacis Coutin (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). This gall midge is being considered as a biological control agent for use in North America against the introduced giant reed, Arundo donax (L.) (Poaceae: Cyperales). Thus, the present study was initiated to investigate a nematode parasite that was unknown at the time studies with L. donacis were initiated. The new species has a rapid development in the fly host and the mature parasitic female nematodes evert their uterine cells in the hosts' hemolymph. Because large numbers of nematodes sterilize the host, eradication of the parasite may be necessary before populations of the fly are released.