A gall midge that induces thick lenticular galls on leaflets of Pueraria species (Fabaceae) in Japan, mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea is described as Pitydiplosis puerariae sp. nov. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Tanaostigmodes puerariae (Hymenoptera: Tanaostigmatidae), described earlier from mainland China as an inducer of the lenticular gall, is regarded to be an inquiline. Pitydiplosis puerariae is distinguishable from the only known congener, the Nearctic Pitydiplosis packardi, by the male genitalia with entire aedeagus and with hypoproct that is as long as cerci and bilobed with a U-shaped emargination. DNA sequencing data indicate the existence of three genetically different intraspecific groups: (i) "YNT-montana group" induces galls on Pueraria montana on the Yaeyama Islands, Japan and in northern Taiwan; (ii) "CT-montana group" on P. montana in central Taiwan; (iii) and "JCK-lobata group" on Pueraria lobata in mainland China, South Korea and Japan north of Okinoerabu Island. A possible diversification scenario of the three groups is hypothesized based on DNA sequencing data and geohistorical information. A distribution gap of the gall midge on five islands between Tokunoshima and Ishigaki Islands, Japan was confirmed by intensive field surveys. Ecological traits and adult behavior of Pity puerariae are also described. Its possibility as a potential biological control agent against P. lobata seems counter-indicated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science