A new species of gall midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) feeding on ornamental Cordyline fruticosa (Asparagaceae) in Australia.
Larvae of an undescribed gall midge were found feeding on leaves and stems within leaf sheaths and between leaf blades of potted plants of Cordyline fruticosa (Asparagaceae) in a production nursery in Queensland. The following varieties of the host plant were infested: 'Apple Blossom', 'Glauca', 'Kilauea', 'Negra', 'Pink Diamond', 'Purple Prince' and 'Willy's Gold'. The new species, Dasineura cordylineae Kolesik sp. nov., is described and its cytochrome oxidase unit I mitochondrial gene segment is sequenced. The new species is the first known gall midge feeding on a plant species of the genus Cordyline. Orange larvae induce oval shallow swellings on the leaf and stem tissue, which becomes necrotised during the later stage of larval feeding. Necrotic areas remain visible to the end of leaves' lives and decrease the market value of the plants. In the production nursery investigated, the lesions caused by the gall midge provided an entry for a fungal infection by Fusarium sp. inflicting further injury to plants. Larvae of the new species were preyed on by larvae of Gaurax sp. (Diptera: Chloropidae). This is the first worldwide record of Chloropidae preying on Cecidomyiidae.