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Species Rhopalomyia grossulariae - Gooseberry gall midge

Rhopalomyia grossulariae gall - Rhopalomyia grossulariae Rhopalomyia grossulariae adult - Rhopalomyia grossulariae - male Bud gall on Ribes sp. - Rhopalomyia grossulariae Rhopalomyia grossulariae Rhopalomyia grossulariae
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Bibionomorpha (Gnats, Gall Midges, and March Flies)
Superfamily Sciaroidea (Fungus Gnats and Gall Midges)
Family Cecidomyiidae (Gall Midges and Wood Midges)
Subfamily Cecidomyiinae (Gall Midges)
Supertribe Lasiopteridi
Tribe Oligotrophini
Genus Rhopalomyia
Species grossulariae (Gooseberry gall midge)
Other Common Names
The title of Houser's (1912)(1) paper is "The gooseberry gall midge or bud deformer"
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gagné (2010, p. 413)(2) placed this species in the "Unplaced species of Cecidomyiidae" section of the catalog.
Explanation of Names
This insect is named after the species name of its larval host plant, Ribes grossularia (now a junior synonym of Ribes uva-crispa).
See Identification.
Length of head + body of adult, 1.8-2.0mm. Head and thorax brown, abdomen with marked reddish tinge (apparently a common color pattern within this genus). Structural characters as for the genus (Rübsaamen 1892)(3). Felt (1911)(4), in the original description of this species, wrote, "This form, in antennal characters, approaches the North American Rhopalomyia tridentatae Rubs. (sic) reared from Artemisia, though it is easily distinguished therefrom by the uniarticulate palpi." As with probably many species of this genus, rearing is the best way to acquire reliably-determined individuals of R. grossulariae.
The species was described from a single locality in Ohio, and Gagné (1989, 2004, 2010)(5)(6)(2) gave Ohio as the known range. The Illinois record submitted here is apparently the first for the state.
Matches the habitat of gooseberry, which is an understory plant of deciduous forest in the eastern USA.
See Life Cycle.
Larvae are specific on buds of gooseberry, Ribes spp.. Adult feeding habits are not known; it is possible that adults do not feed, as evinced by their very short lifespan.
Life Cycle
One generation per year. Galls should be sought when gooseberry is beginning to leaf out in spring (late March or early April in central Illinois); adults emerge shortly after the appearance of mature galls.
Works Cited
1.The gooseberry gall midge or bud deformer
Houser, J. S. 1912. Journal of Economic Entomology 5: 180-184.
2.Update for a catalog of the Cecidomyiidae (Diptera) of the world. Digital version 1.
Gagné, R. J. 2010. USDA ARS SEL.
3.Die Gallmücken des Königl. Museums für Naturkunde zu Berlin
Rübsaamen, E. H. 1892. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 37: 319-411.
4.Rhopalomyia grossulariae n. sp.
Felt, E. P. 1911. Journal of Economic Entomology 4: 347.
5.The Plant-Feeding Gall Midges of North America
Raymond J. Gagné. 1989. Cornell University Press.
6.A catalog of the Cecidomyiidae (Diptera) of the world
Gagné, R. J. 2004. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington No. 25, 408 pp.