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Infestation of Phalaenopsis aphrodite Rchb.f. (Asparagales: Orchidaceae) flower buds by Japanagromyza tokunagai (Sasakawa) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) in a greenhouse on Shikoku Island, Japan

Suetsugu, Kenji, Nakahama, Naoyuki
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2019 v.22 no.3 pp. 816-819
Agromyzidae, DNA barcoding, Phalaenopsis, flower buds, greenhouses, habitats, hosts, insect larvae, pests, plant ovary, stems, Japan
To protect endangered and commercially important orchid species, it is important to monitor and accurately identify orchid pests. Japanagromyza tokunagai (Sasakawa) larvae are known to infest the flower buds, stems, and ovaries of various Japanese orchid species. Given that J. tokunagai can infest diverse orchid hosts, J. tokunagai has the potential to be an economically important orchid pest in greenhouses. However, damage by J. tokunagai has previously only been reported in outdoor habitats. Here we revealed that the dipteran larvae infesting the flower buds of Phalaenopsis aphrodite Rchb.f. (Orchidaceae) cultivated in a greenhouse are J. tokunagai based on DNA barcoding, using COI sequences. Infested flower buds remained closed and eventually dropped to the ground, making the P. aphrodite plants commercially worthless. Phalaenopsis aphrodite is one of the most economically important ornamental orchids. Therefore, J. tokunagai is a potential threat to orchid production and we recommend taking precautions to prevent its spread.