Complex interactions envolving a gall midge Myrciamyia maricaensis Maia (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae), phytophagous modifiers and parasitoids


Revista Brasileira de Zoologia




Myrciamyia maricaensis Maia, 1995 (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) induces a gall in lateral and apical shoots in the plant Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk (Myrtaceae) which is used and modified by two eulophid wasps species. In both cases the gall former species suffer high rate of attack exceeding the importance of parasitoid species as mortality factors. In this study these interactions are described and their effects as mortality of gall former. The intensity of occurrence of the two eulophid species as modifiers and of microhymenopteran parasitoids, and the relative importance of these species as mortality agents of the M. maricaensis larvae is compared. This comparison reveals that two modifiers species found in the gall tissue modification causing the death of the M. maricaensis larva and it is a more important factor of mortality than the cecidomyiid larva parasitism. The fluctuation of the number of each type of gall along the year was monitored in the research field and confirmed in numerical and in synchronic terms of occurrence of the galls; the importance of the species of the gall modifier eulophids, particularly one of these species, as factors of mortality of the M. maricaensis larvae and justified our comparing the relationship between these species and M. maricaensis as similar to the parasitoid-host relationship. The gall shape modification by one of the eulophids allows the occurrence of other inquiline insect species, what means that this gall modification becomes it more heterogeneous and allows the increase of the species richness to the system.

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