Comparison in the flight ability between the soybean pod gall midge, Asphondylia yushimai and the aucuba fruit gall midge, A. aucubae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

  • Junichi YukawaEmail author
  • Toshifumi Moriya
  • Kenkichi Kanmiya
Original Research Paper


The flight ability was compared between a host-alternating and multivoltine gall midge, Asphondylia yushimai Yukawa and Uechi (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and a monophagous and univoltine congener, A. aucubae Yukawa and Ohsaki (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) using devices with a CCD camera and an apparatus for analyzing tethered flight sounds. The total flying time of their females was more than 2 h on average. The maximum continuous flying time was nearly 10 h in A. yushimai and 5 h in A. aucubae. The speed of wing-beat stroke was higher in males than in females in the two species, being adapted to mobile flight for swarming of the males, while the lower speed of stroke enables the females to fly long distance. In particular, the larger wing size of A. yushimai females was considered to support their gentle flight for long-distance. The flying speed of A. yushimai was 22.9 m/min. The flying speed and the maximum continuous flying times indicate that the A. yushimai females carry the potential strong flight ability, i.e. continuously 13.7 km within 10 h. Besides phototaxis, A. yushimai females flew to an upward direction, indicating that they fly up to the sky after mating, which was confirmed by finding a pupa in a soybean pod gall on the 19 m high rooftop of a building. The current results were reflected well in the different life history traits between A. yushimai and A. aucubae. The long-distance flight ability of A. yushimai supports the possibility of its annual northward dispersal in northern Honshu, Japan.


Acoustic parameter Flying time Host alternation Long-distance flight Taxis Wing-beat stroke 



We express our thanks to Dr. K. Kiritani (Emeritus Researcher, NARO Institute for Agro-environmental Sciences, Japan) and Dr. N. Uechi (Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO Institute for Agro-environmental Sciences, Japan) for their comments on an early draft. We are indebted to Dr. T. Kidokoro (Former Researcher, Miyagi Prefectural Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture, Japan) who collected soybean pod galls from Miyagi Prefecture, from which we reared adults of A. yushimai for the flying test. Our thanks are extended also to Mr. S. Hosoyamada (Terayama Station for Education and Research on Nature, Faculty of Education, Kagoshima University, Japan, retired) for his arrangements in the field surveys and to Mr. H. Kikuchi (Akita Prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station, Akita, Japan) for providing us with the photograph of an adult of A. yushimai.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Entomological LaboratoryKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Bird Research AssociationTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Comparative Studies of International Cultures and SocietiesKurume UniversityKurumeJapan

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