Date of this Version
Insecta Mundi 0510: 1–9
A new species of paedogenetic gall midge, Neostenoptera appalachiensis sp. nov., (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae: Winnertziinae: Heteropezini) from the eastern United States is described and illustrated, and pertinent collection and biological data are also provided. It is compared to its congeners, N. kiefferi (Meunier), a subfossil described from African copal, and N. congoensis Gagné, from the Congo. This rare, exciting discovery is the first record of the genus Neostenoptera in the New World.
While conducting research in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) (North Carolina and Tennessee, USA) (Ferro et al. 2012), MLF collected numerous unidentifi able fl ies as bycatch from an emergence chamber used to collect beetles (Coleoptera) from dead wood. A specimen was photographed and placed on Bugguide.net under the title “Mystery Fly” (Fig. 1) (bugguide.net/node/view/786101/). Several years later, JDP noticed the image and thought it bore a resemblance to the paedogenetic Neostenoptera Meunier (1902) in the subfamily Winnertziinae (Gagné and Jaschhof 2014). Neostenoptera (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae: Winnertziinae: Heteropezini) is otherwise known from two African species, N. kiefferi (Meunier, 1901) described from African copal, a subfossil resin (Grimaldi 1996), and N. congoensis Gagné (1979) described from specimens collected in a Malaise trap in the People’s Republic of the Congo. This new species represents the fi rst record of this unusual genus in North America. Upon contacting Raymond J. Gagné, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA, Washington, DC about our discovery, he notifi ed us that the USNM collection had some additional specimens of Neostenoptera from the southeastern United States that we might like to study. We found these to be the same species as the specimens from GSMNP. The specimens loaned to us from the USNM were invaluable as they enabled us to see certain characters obscured in our original slide preparations.