mass flowering

Little geographic or host plant genetic variation in a Chionochloa (Poaceae) seed predator (Cecidomyiidae: undescribed species)

The grass genus Chionochloa in New Zealand exhibits a high degree of mast seeding synchronised across species and habitats. Masting appears to be maintained by a predator satiation mechanism involving three pre-dispersal seed- and flower-feeding insects. It is not clear how important each of the three insects is in favouring the masting strategy. An undescribed cecidomyiid fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) may be particularly important, since its conspicuous larvae are found throughout the South Island of New Zealand on many Chinochloa species.