The complex of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) affecting hot pepper crops in Jamaica has recently become a serious concern due to their quarantine importance to the United States, Jamaica’s major trading partner. Persistent interception of these pests in shipments of hot peppers to the United States led to mandated fumigation of all peppers bound for export. The gall midges had been initially identified as Prodiplosis longifilia and Contarinia lycopersici, but further work has suggested that these identifications may be false. We present here morphological descriptions of adult and immature stages, which suggest both species may be undescribed. The taxonomic placement of the gall midges found on the hot peppers is augmented by molecular evidence, and we also show how unidentified samples may be reliably distinguished using molecular probes based on sequence data.
Species 1: Diptera Cecidomyiidae Prodiplosis
Species 2: Diptera Cecidomyiidae Contarinia
Keywords: gall midges, taxonomy
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