Creosote gall midge
|Creosote gall midge|
|Gall created by Asphondylia auripila|
Asphondylia auripila group
Creosote gall midges are a species of gall-inducing flies in the Asphondylia auripila group (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). This group consists of 15 closely related species of flies which inhabit creosote bush (Zygophyllaceae: Larrea tridentata). They have partitioned the plant ecologically with different gall midge species inhabiting the leaves, stems, buds, and flowers of creosote bush. Each species induces a uniquely shaped gall but the insects are otherwise morphologically very similar and very difficult to tell apart. Their life cycle begins when the female oviposits into the part of the plant which her species prefers, she inserts her egg along with a fungal spore from a mycangia (a small pocket to store fungal spores). A gall forms and the fungal mycelium grows to line the inside of the gall, when the egg hatches the developing larva feeds upon the fungus. Adult emergence is timed with periods of plant growth associated with winter, spring, or summer rain fall. In contrast to many other groups of plant-feeding insects (which form new species through changes to new host plants) the evolution of new species in the A. auripila group seems to be a result of colonizing new parts of the same plant and/or colonization of new seasons of plant growth.
List of species
Creosote gall midge species by host-plant part include:
- Asphondylia clavata – leaf gall
- Asphondylia pilosa – leaf gall
- Asphondylia villosa – leaf gall
- Asphondylia barbata – leaf gall
- Asphondylia digitata – leaf gall
- Asphondylia discalis – leaf gall
- Asphondylia silicula – leaf gall
- Asphondylia fabalis – leaf gall
- Asphondylia bullata – stem gall
- Asphondylia resinosa – stem gall
- Asphondylia foliosa – stem gall
- Asphondylia auripila – stem gall
- Asphondylia rosetta – stem gall
- Asphondylia florea – flower gall
- Asphondylia apicata – bud gall
- Gagne, R.J, and Waring, G. 1990. The Asphondylia (Cecidomyiidae: Diptera) of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in North America. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 92:649–671.
- Joy, J. B.; Crespi, B. J. (2007). "Adaptive radiation of gall-inducing insects within a single host-plant species". Evolution. 64 (4): 784–795.