Two new species of gall midges, Dasineura strobila Dorchin n.sp. and D. tomentosa Dorchin n.sp., are described from galls in vegetative and reproductive buds of coastal tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum from Australia and South Africa. Galls cause abortion of buds and, when induced in reproductive tissues, prevent fruit set and seed formation. Despite their assumed relatedness, the two species exhibit clear morphological differences in larvae, pupae and adults of both sexes as well as in the morphology of their galls. These are the first Dasineura species to be described from plants of the Myrtaceae outside the Neotropical and Nearctic regions and the first ones recorded from the chiefly Australian subfamily Leptospermoideae. Given the effect of galls on growth and reproduction of the plant, the gall midges are considered as possible biological control agents of coastal tea tree in areas of Australia and South Africa where the plant is an invasive weed.
- Biological control
- Gall midge
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science