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Biosystematics of Insects Living in Female Birch Catkins

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The host plant relations of three species of Semudobia Kieffer, viz., S. betulae (Winnertz), S. tarda Roskam and S. skuhravae Roskam are studied. These gall midge species are sympatric and induce galls in fruit catkins of birches, viz., Betula pendula Roth, B. pubescens Ehrhart and intermediate forms (putative hybrids). No intermediate forms of the gall midge species are known. They may be found in the same birch specimen and often occur in the same fruit catkin. S. skuhravae induces galls in the fruit scales of birches; the other two species infect the fruits. Statistical analysis of gall midge provenance data showed S. betulae to predominate in B. pendula-like birches and S. tarda to be more common in B. pubescens-like specimens. Although both species occupy similar niches, there is a different occurrence on a 'hybrid index' scale of the host plant species.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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