Primofavilla aegyptiaca Elsayed

Elsayed, Ayman Khamis, Skuhravá, Marcela, Karam, Hedaya Hamza, Elminshawy, Abdelaziz & Al-Eryan, Mohamed Awad, 2015, New records and new species of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) developing on Chenopodiaceae in Egypt, Zootaxa 3904 (1), pp. 105-115 : 111-112

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Primofavilla aegyptiaca Elsayed

new species

Primofavilla aegyptiaca Elsayed , new species

Adult description. Color of freshly emerged females: head black, antennae brown, thorax dark brown, wings transparent, legs light brown, upper and lower parts of abdomen black, lateral parts red and covered with scales. Body length. 1.8 mm (n= 2) in female.

Head ( Fig. 19 View FIGURES 19 – 23 ). Compound eyes with circular facets. Gap between eyes on vertex about 0-2 times as wide as facet. Palpi 2 -segmented, the second segment slender, elongated, slightly longer than the first. Antenna 2 + 10 - segmented; scape conical; pedicel rounded; flagellomeres barrel-shaped, each with two connected rings of circumfila, except the terminal flagellomere, with two sets of two connected rings of circumfila ( Fig. 20 View FIGURES 19 – 23 ).

Thorax. Wing ( Fig. 21 View FIGURES 19 – 23 ) length about 1.5 mm (n= 2) in female; vein R 5 joining C at its mid-length; C broken beyond the junction point with R 5; M present; CuA simple. Tarsal claws ( Fig. 22 View FIGURES 19 – 23 ) curved and toothed. Empodia much shorter than claws, about as long as the small basal tooth.

Female Abdomen. ( Fig. 23 View FIGURES 19 – 23 ): Tergites 1–7 rectangular, setulose, and with 1–2 posterior rows of strong setae; tergite 8 about 0.3 width of the tergite 7. Sternites 2–7 rectangular, setulose, with posterior row of hyaline setae. Ovipositor: segment 8 with lateral group of strong curved setae, the membranous part rugose with papillae surrounded with tiny spines. Lateral plate with ~ 26 strong, straight and thick setae. Aculeus curved and bare. Apical lamella oval, setose; the basal third of the dorsal margin covered with filiform short setae and the apical two thirds covered with short lanceolate setae.

Holotype. Female, Egypt, Alexandria, El-Amria district (30 ° 59 '54.00"N, 29 ° 49 '7.00"E), 26.V. 2013, A. K. Elsayed, reared from leaf galls on leaves of Atriplex halimus .

Paratypes. 1 female, 26.V. 2013, El-Amria district, Alexandria, reared by A. K. Elsayed from galls on leaves of Atriplex halimus .

Distribution. Egypt, Alexandria, El-Amria district.

Etymology. The name of that species is derived from Egypt.

Biology. Larvae of P. aegyptiaca induce globular galls, 2-3 mm in diameter, on both surfaces of leaves ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 5 – 10 ) of the salt marsh plant A. halimus . Each infested leaf has 2-6 galls, usually beyond the mid-rib. The galls were found in May and June 2013. The galls were collected and preserved in test tubes to rear the adult stage, but that method was not very successful, as only 2 females emerged and the pupation site was not determined. Another method was tested to rear the adults, the galls were collected and put in a plastic jar with soil at the bottom, but no adults emerged.

Remarks. The three known species of Primofavilla , P. initialis Mamaev 1972 , P. kaplini Fedotova 1991 , and P. cystiphorae Fedotova 1991 , are associated with Atriplex salina Siev. , A. nana Parr-Sm., and A. tatarica L., respectively ( Fedotova 1991 b, Gagné & Jaschhof 2014). The identification of Primofavilla species could be determined by the diagnostic morphological characters of the female ovipositor ( Mamaev 1972, Fedotova 1991 b). The dorsal margin of the ovoid apical lobe of P. kaplini has only filiform setae, in contrast to P. aegyptiaca , P. cystiphorae and P. initialis , which have the filiform setae only on the basal third of the dorsal margin with the remaining setae either lanceolate ( P. aegyptiaca and P. cystiphorae ) or squamiform ( P. initialis ).

Primofavilla aegyptiaca is closest to P. cystiphorae , but the former has dorsal and ventral sclerotized plates at the base of segment 9 of the female abdomen, while the latter does not. Primofavilla aegyptiaca also differs from P. cystiphorae in the distribution and number of strong setae on the lateral plate, which do not extend to the ventral side in P. aegyptiaca , unlike in P. cystiphorae . In addition to these differences, P. aegyptiaca has a bare saddle-like projection at the base of the aculeus. Therefore, P. aegyptiaca is considered to be a new species.

Very similar galls were shown by De Stefani (1942) on the same host plant in Sicily, Italy, but the gall inducer was not identified, strongly suggesting the presence of P. aegyptiaca in Italy.