Ophiomyia shibatsujii

Ophiomyia shibatsujii (Kato, 1961)

According to the original description the species is very similar to phaseoli, some differences are pointed out by the author (Kato, 1961). Kato's original drawings of the male genitalia are not suitable for unambiguous identification. Unfortunately after its description Ophiomyia shibatsujii never has been subject of a taxonomic revision. Even K. Spencer apparently has never seen this species. Therefore, the species status is currently not fully understood and it cannot be identified unambiguously.
O. shibatsujii is interesting because unlike phaseoli, shibatsujii was never observed ovipositing into leaves but only directly into the stems.

Cephalopharyngeal skeleton rather strong, only one long mouth hook on each mandible; left mandible larger than right one. Head segment with conspicuous frontal process above the facial mask. Facial mask just behind the sensual organs distinctly darkened.

Apart from Kato, 1961 some papers in Chinese language deal with this species. Eggs are laid directly into the stems, never into the leaves. The larvae feed in the stem and often downwards into the root. Pupariation often takes place below the ground level. According to Kato, 1961, the species has only a single generation during the season and the puparia hibernate within the soybean stubble on the fields (Liu, 1982).

Glycine max (soybean) and Glycine soja.

Only recorded from Japan and China.

Since this species regularly infests the root, considerable damage on individual plants should be expected. That was confirmed by Zhang et al., 1981, which observed a yield loss between 20 and 80% on infested fields. Hence Ophiomyia shibatsujii should be considered as a pest of high economic importance. However, taxonomy and distribution is still poorly known and requires much further data before a well founded estimation of the pest status of this species can be achieved.