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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9665
FERNANDES, G. Wilson; SANTOS, Jean Carlos; CASTRO, Fabiana Marize C. and CASTILHO, Alexandre. Impact of a gall midge Parkiamyia paraensis (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) on the Amazonian plant Parkia pendula (Fabaceae). Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2007, vol.51, n.4, pp.471-475. ISSN 1806-9665. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0085-56262007000400011.
We observed the occurrence of large numbers of galls induced by Parkiamyia paraensis (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) on the leaflets of Parkia pendula (Fabaceae) in northern Para, Brazil. We addressed two questions in this study: i) what is the proportion of attacked plants in the field, and nursery conditions?; and ii) what is the impact of galls on the host plant? An average of 86% of the plants were galled in the field. Galled P. pendula were distinct from healthy individuals due to their prostrated architecture and death of terminal shoots. Approximately 50% of the total available leaves and 35% leaflets were attacked by P. paraensis on saplings under nursery conditions. Each one-year old plant supported an average of 1,300 galls, and an average of 60g allocated to galled tissue. Otherwise, attacked individuals were taller and heavier than healthy plants. Attacked plants weighed five times more than healthy plants. When the weight of the galls was removed, the total weight (aerial part without galls) of attacked plants was drastically reduced, indicating that most of the biomass of attacked plants was due to the attack by P. paraensis galls. Although the data indicate a paradox, as young plants attacked by the galling herbivore appear to develop more vigorously than unattacked plants, we suggest that P. paraensis negatively affect P. pendula development.
Keywords : Amazon; herbivore impact; insect galls; Porto Trombetas.