Bulletin of Entomological Research

Research Article

Description of a new species of Orseolia (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) from Paspalum in West Africa, with notes on its parasitoids, ecology and relevance to natural biological control of the African rice gall midge, O. oryzivora

K.M. Harrisa1 c1, C.T. Williamsa1, O. Okhidievbiea1, J. LaSallea2 and A. Polaszeka2

a1 West Africa Rice Development Association/CAB International African Rice Gall Midge Project, c/o CABI Bioscience, Silwood Park, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7TA, UK

a2 Unit of Parasitoid Systematics, CABI Bioscience UK Centre (Ascot), Department of Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, UK


Field sampling of grasses growing in and near rice fields at 12 sites in Nigeria during April/May 1994 recorded the presence of galls on Paspalum scrobiculatumat densities of up to 10.9 galls per m2. These galls were induced by Orseolia bonzii Harris, sp. n., which is described. This species is morphologically close to, but distinct from, the African rice gall midge, Orseolia oryzivora Harris & Gagné, with which it has been confused in earlier studies of that pest species. In host-transfer experiments O. bonzii did not transfer to rice, Oryza sativa. Six hymenopterous parasitoids were reared from galls of O. bonzii and the most abundant of these were Platygaster diplosisae Risbec, Aprostocetus nr. procerae (Risbec) and Neanastatusnr. cinctiventris Girault. Host-transfer experiments with the Platygasterand Aprostocetus species from O. bonzii on Paspalum indicated that the Platygaster may not transfer onto O. oryzivora on rice whereas the Aprostocetus does. The overlap between the parasitoid faunas of the two species of Orseolia is potentially useful as it may be possible to enhance the natural biological control of O. oryzivora by manipulating parasitoid populations on Paspalum.

(Accepted July 11 1999)


c1 * E-mail: kmharris@lineone.net