(Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz ...

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During floriswc explorawons in Katraj hills, Pune district, an intereswng colourful leaf gall was observed on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Willd. Katraj hills are the ...

New report of midge gall (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Willd. (Rhamnaceae) from Northern Western Ghats 1Mandar N. Datar and 2R.M. Sharma 1Botany group, Plant sciences Division, Agharkar Research Ins]tute, G. G. Agarkar Road, Pune 411 004 M. S. 2 Scien]st (Re]red), Zoological Survey of India, Vidyanagar, Sector-29, P.C.N.T. Post, Rawet Road, Akurdi, Pune 411 044, M. S.

E-mail: 1d[email protected] (corresponding author) [email protected]

Plant galls or plant tumours are structural abnormali]es, which arise mostly by overgrowth and excessive cell division of ]ssues in response to the feeding ac]vity of a parasite on the host plant. Among gall makers, Cecidomyiids or gall midges as they are popularly called are well known on a variety of plants. During floris]c explora]ons in Katraj hills, Pune district, an interes]ng colourful leaf gall was observed on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Willd. Katraj hills are the eastern spur of magnificent Western Ghats and treated as one of the 34 biodiversity hot spots. (Roach, 2005). It supports dry deciduous vegeta]on with many endemic species. The area is type locality of two species of flowering plants viz. Pimpinella katrajensis and Euphorbia katrajensis (Datar & Ghate, 2006). Material examined: Leaf gall on Ziziphus xylopyrus collected on 11.06.2014; GPS loca]on: 18.408592, 73.854702. Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Willd. (Plate 1 a) is a straggling shrub or occasionally tree, growing between 3–6 m tall. The species is armed or some]mes spines are not present. Leaves are 3.5–7.5 cm long, occasionally ellip]c–oblong or suborbicular, obliquely cordate at base. Flowers appear in pubesecent, paniculate cymes. Fruits are 2.5 cm across, globose, hard and woody. 2–3 seeded (Singh & Karthikeyan, 2000). The species is not preferred as edible unlike other species of this genus. It is locally known as Hadkibor, Ghatbor or Gu, and flowers between April and July. The plant species was iden]fied using flora (Singh & Karthikeyan, 2000) and was confirmed by comparing with authen]c specimen deposited at herbarium of Agharkar Research Ins]tute, Pune (AHMA). Leaf- gall. (Plate 1) Epi-hyophyllous (visible on both sides of blade), deep reddish brown to rusty brown, globose smooth, indehiscent, persistent covering gall. Solitary, free jointed or agglomerate, non localized and unilocular. Size of each gall 1- 2 mm in diameter. Profuse galling was seen on many leaves, each leaf having 2-32 galls. The galls were cut open in the laboratory to confirm the iden]ty of the causa]ve agent. Each gall having one chamber was found to contain one orange coloured larva. The presence of sclero]zed organ on ventral side of prothorax (Plate 1, d) confirmed the iden]ty of the gall maker as Cecidomyiid. In the absence of the adults the specific iden]ty is kept pending. This communica]on forms the first report of

Bugs R All, No. 22 - May 2016


Plate 1. Midge gall on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Wild. a. Host plant (inset fruit); b. Galls on the leaves; c. Galls close up; d. Larva showing sclerotized sternal spatula; e. Larva

Cecidomyiid galls on Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.) Willd. Mani (1973) men]ons iden]cal galls (Gall No 300) on Ziziphus sp. from South India without exact locality, iden]fica]on of the causa]ve agent and the plant species. Thus the present report of gall and the gall maker stands as the first from Northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Acknowledgements MND is thankful to Director, Agharkar Research Ins]tute, Pune for facili]es and encouragements. Reference Datar M. N. and V. S. Ghate (2006). Changing Floris]c Diversity of Katraj Hill, Pune. Geobios 33(2-3)133-136. Mani, M. S. (1973). Plant galls of India. Macmillan, India, 354pp. Singh, N.P. and Karthikeyan, S. (2000). Flora of Maharashtra State. Dicotyledonous. Vol. I. Botanical Survey of India, CalcuMa. Roach, J. (2005). Conserva]onists name nine new “Biodiversity Hotspots”. Na,onal Geographic News, February 2.