ZO16037Larval dorsal shield morphology is highly correlated with gall type in the enigmatic gall-forming fly, Fergusonina Malloch (Diptera : Fergusoninidae)
Fergusoninidae is a family of mainly Australasian gall-forming flies that has a unique mutualism with a nematode. The larvae of these flies bear an unusual, sclerotised structure known as a ‘dorsal shield’. We constructed a phylogenetic tree and examined larval and gall morphology to investigate the shield‘s function.
Photo by Michaela Purcell.