Three new moth species belonging to the Momphidae family were recently discovered in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. Each one is cecidogenous, meaning it produces galls on plants.
The scientists in this case, whose research is published in the journal ZooKeys, were looking for insects that cause galls on flowering plants in the genus Tibouchina. To do this, they removed galls from the plants and reared the larvae or pupae that were inside them.
The researchers found three new species belonging to the genus Palaeomystella, which contained only four species prior to their discovery. The new species are P. fernandesi, P. rosaemariae, and P. tavaresi.
P. fernandesi is “named in honor of Prof. Dr. Geraldo Wilson Fernandes, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, for his great contributions to the development of cecidology in the Neotropics.”
P. rosaemariae is “named in honor of Prof. Dr. Rosy Mary dos Santos Isaias, an anatomist of the Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, for her great contributions to the development of cecidology in the Neotropics.”
P. tavaresi is “named in memory of the Jesuit priest Joaquim da Silva Tavares, a Portuguese naturalist and a pioneer in the study and description of Brazilian cecidology.”
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