Population ecology of the gall-forming aphid,Aploneura lentisci (Pass.) in Israel
Aploneura lentisci (Passerini) (Homoptera, Aphididae) forms kidney-shaped galls on the leaflets of its primary host,Pistacia lentiscus (Anacardiaceae). Observations on its population dynamics and ecology werecarried out in 1980–1985.
The galls are formed annually on newly-growing shoots of the same year. Each gall is founded by a single nymph and contains its parthenogenetic offspring. The infestation period (late March-early April) is short relative to the period of appearance of new shoots. The distribution of galls on the shoots is non-random (“clumped”). Early shoots emerging near pruning cuts, when the rest of the buds are still dormant, are often very heavily infested.
Clone size within galls increases from 1 in April to several hundred in September (at least 2 parthenogenetic generations). Alates of the last generation leave the galls gradually as they form. By the following March, previous-year galls contain no live aphids.
Population density of galls varied greatly among years. Possible causes of this variation are discussed.
KeywordsGall Botanical Garden Pemphigus Primary Host Aphid Infestation
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