Influence of synchronization between adult emergence and host plant phenology on the population density of Pseudasphondylia neolitseae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) inducing leaf galls on Neolitsea sericea (Lauraceae)
Synchronization between the appearance of herbivorous insects and their host-plant phenology is a critical event, especially for short-lived insects such as gall midges. We studied a natural population of Pseudasphondylia neolitseae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) that induces leaf galls on Neolitsea sericea (Lauraceae) to evaluate the effect of synchronization on gall density in the subsequent generation. To do so, we combined quantitative data on host resources with time lag between emergence and host-available seasons. The gamma distribution model was applied to the emergence curve of P. neolitseae and the normal distribution model to the daily changes in the number of host buds suitable for oviposition; the latter model was transformed into an available-resource curve based on the mean number of host buds required for a single female to realize her eggs. By superimposing the emergence curve on the available-resource curve and calculating overlapped area, the degree of synchronization was evaluated more accurately than previous studies, which had treated only the time lag. The number of females that synchronized with host buds affected gall density in the next generation.