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Gall-maker Paradiplosis tumifex (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and its inquiline Dasineura balsamicola (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): an update on epidemic episodes and seasonal ecology in Québec, Canada

  • Jean-Frédéric Guay (a1), Diane Bulot (a1), Jean-Michel Béland (a1) and Conrad Cloutier (a1)


The balsam gall midge Paradiplosis tumifex Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a major pest for the Christmas tree industry. This galler is frequently associated with the inquiline Dasineura balsamicola (Lintner) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), which is involved in the dynamics of the galler. Despite their importance, seasonal ecology of both midges under the climatic conditions prevailing in eastern Canada is still poorly understood. More importantly, nothing has yet been done to fully assess the impact of temperature on these insects, at key events such as adult emergence and larval overwintering. Here we followed P. tumifex and D. balsamicola spring phenology in the field, as well as their survival during winter diapause under simulated climatic scenarios in the laboratory. We observed spring asynchrony between fir host trees and P. tumifex in the first year of study, but under prevailing epidemic conditions, we observed no impact on summer abundance. We clarified available knowledge on their ecology, showing that overwintering habitats and strategies differ between the galler and its inquiline, which should alter pest control strategies. Experimental overwintering data suggest that diapausing conditions affect these species differentially and could potentially impact the spring sex ratio of their midges, which tends to be strongly female biased.

La cécidomyie du sapin Paradiplosis tumifex Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) est un ravageur galligène important en plantations d’arbres de Noël. Elle est fréquemment associée à l’inquiline des galles Dasineura balsamicola (Lintner) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), liée au déclin des populations de la galligène. Malgré leur importance, leur écologie saisonnière sous les conditions climatiques prévalant dans l’est du Canada demeure peu étudiée. De plus, rien n’a encore été fait pour évaluer l’impact de la température sur ces insectes, lors d’évènements clés du cycle vital comme l’émergence des adultes, ou durant l’hivernement des larves. Nous avons étudié ici la phénologie printanière de P. tumifex et de D. balsamicola sur le terrain pendant deux saisons, ainsi que leur survie hivernale en conditions simulées en laboratoire. L’asynchronie printanière entre le débourrement de l’arbre hôte et l’émergence de P. tumifex en première année n’a pas eu d’effet négatif apparent sur les populations estivales. Nous avons montré que l’emplacement et les conditions d’hivernement de ces deux espèces diffèrent, ce qui devrait affecter les stratégies de lutte phytosanitaire. Nos résultats expérimentaux suggèrent que les conditions de diapause affectent différemment les deux espèces, et peuvent affecter le sex-ratio des moucherons au printemps, qui est fortement biaisé vers les femelles.


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Subject editor: Deepa Pureswaran



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Gall-maker Paradiplosis tumifex (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and its inquiline Dasineura balsamicola (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): an update on epidemic episodes and seasonal ecology in Québec, Canada

  • Jean-Frédéric Guay (a1), Diane Bulot (a1), Jean-Michel Béland (a1) and Conrad Cloutier (a1)


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