Newly discovered gall-inducing scale insects (Coccomorpha: Apiomorpha) on York gum (Eucalyptus loxophleba) in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region.
Karla M. GarciaRoom 3: Drama Theatre
Karla M. Garcia (The University of Queensland); Lyn G. Cook (The University of Queensland).
The lack of information on invertebrate fauna, to the point that about 80% have yet to be named and described, prevents them from being listed in conservation schedules. Many of these “dark taxa” are probably at risk of extinction due to the loss of their host plants for agriculture expansion and urbanization. The York gum woodlands of the South West Australia Floristic Region, a global biodiversity hotspot, have undergone drastic loss since European colonization yet harbour unique biodiversity. Here, we report newly discovered species of the gall-inducing scale insect Apiomorpha that appear to be specific to York gum (Eucalyptus loxophleba). We use morphometrics and DNA of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear genes small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S) and Dynamin to test species boundaries. Along with newly discovered species that are morphologically distinct, we also uncover cryptic species within previously described taxa.