Submitted to: Israel Journal of Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tamarix or saltcedars (Tamarix spp.: Tamaricaceae) are deep rooted, shrubby trees first introduced in the early 1800s into western USA from Europe and China as ornamentals. They have now escaped to invade many river systems and have come to be considered one of the 10 worst weeds of streams by outcompeting and replacing native vegetation, forming dense stands that clog waterways, and reducing water deliveries of streams and rivers. Tamarix is rapidly spreading and difficult to control by mechanical or chemical means so is a good candidate for biological control. Three species of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) new to science that feed only on tamarix and damage growing shoots and catkins have been found in southern France. They are named and their genus is revised to establish a stable, natural classification. This revision will allow scientists to identify these species quickly, retrieve information effectively on other species of the genus, and begin the process of introducing these species into the USA for the control of tamarix.
Technical Abstract: Three new species of Psectrosema from southern France are described and are candidates for biological control of tamarix or saltcedar in North America. Psectrosema is reviewed, redefined, and placed within the tribe Oligotrophini (sensu stricto). The genus is a monophyletic group of 26 known species restricted to Tamarix (Tamaricaceae) from the Mediterranean region through Central Asia to China. Amblardiella Kieffer, Debskiana Mamaev and Beknazarova, Marikovskiana Fedotova, Mamaeviana Fedotova, and Harrisiana Fedotova are reduced to synonyms of Psectrosema. The six poorly or incompletely known Mediterranean species of Psectrosema are reviewed