UQ students name and describe insect species

Nov 15, 2011
Phd candidate, Penelope Mills, in the habitat where Apiomorpha nookara was found

(PhysOrg.com) -- Third-year Biological Sciences students at The University of Queensland have applied their knowledge from the classroom to name and describe a species of gall insect; Apiomorpha nookara.

Students Penelope Mills (now a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences), Melanie Macdonald and Lisa Rigby were working together on the project.

They said the newly discovered gall-inducing insect has a tight association with a single of eucalypt in Australia.

"We named the insect Apiomorpha nookara, as the species epithet is an of the region in northern NSW where it was first found," Ms. Mills said.

"Our paper is different from many other species descriptions," Ms. Mills said.

"Unlike taxonomy papers that describe only the visible features of the animal, we have also included other information such as the chromosome number and showing how it is related to other gall insects."

The students said that it is the shape of the gall which makes Apiomorpha nookara quite distinct from those made by other gall insects.

Unlike its close relatives that have a single chamber in the gall in which the adult female lives, feeds and gives birth - Apiomorpha nookara has a second, outer chamber.

"We don't know why this species has the second chamber and what purpose it serves," Ms. Mills said.

"It might help prevent other insects from attacking and killing the female inside the gall."

Without the work of these students, yet another of Australia's endemic but would still be waiting for a name.

The students' names will now be associated with the species forever.

The paper, titled "A recently discovered species of Apiomorpha Rubsaamen (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Eriococcidae) with unusual gall morphology", was published on November 8 in the international taxonomic .

Explore further: Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees

Sep 28, 2010

A black, two-millimeter-long wasp from East Africa is helping wage war on one of its own kind—the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that's decimated Hawaii's endemic wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) and in ...

What should goldenrod do to avoid an insect attack? Duck

Mar 08, 2010

A field of golden-flowered stems swaying in an autumn breeze may evoke a peaceful scene. But this tranquility belies serious battles between natural enemies that took place in the spring. In particular, young ...

Recommended for you

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

Nov 21, 2014

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

Mysterious glowworm found in Peruvian rainforest

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian ...

The unknown crocodiles

Nov 21, 2014

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.