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Family Cynipidae - Gall Wasps

Oak Leaf Gall ID Request - Zopheroteras guttatum Unknown - Antron quercusnubila Cynipidae? Red oak gall from bud - Amphibolips cookii wasp - Amphibolips quercusjuglans Belonocnema treatae gall wasps on Texas Live Oak, Quercus fusiformis - Belonocnema kinseyi Cynipidae Disholcaspis quercusmamma
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" - Parasitoid Wasps)
Superfamily Cynipoidea
Family Cynipidae (Gall Wasps)
Other Common Names
Gall wasps
Explanation of Names
Cynipidae Latreille 1802
>750 species in ~50 genera in our area(1); >1400 described spp. in 74 genera total(2)
2-8 mm
First segment of hind tarsi about as long as following two or three combined; most species humpbacked; abdomen with two segments visible dorsally, the remainder telescoped beneath.
Larvae always in closed cavities; larvae are never hairy (unlike in chalcids). Larvae of guest cynipids are not to be distinguished from those of the maker.(3)
Life Cycle
Succulent spring galls on oak buds, flowers, and leaves produce fully winged, short-lived males and females. The larvae in the more solid, autumnal galls metamorphose in the fall and depending on species the adults, which are all agamic females, may emerge in late fall (as in Disholcaspis spp.) or stay in the galls over the winter. Often two or more winters pass before the adults finally emerge.(3)
It may be the normal reaction of the host to the stimulus of a cynipid or it may be quite abnormal if it has been modified in size and structure by the attack of guests or parasites in its early stages. Only if found in numbers and on several trees is it probably the characteristic work of a cynipid and worth collecting and rearing.(3)
Print References
Internet References
Gallformers: An very useful resource for gall study...species pages include excerpts and reference images from the literature, and bibliographic info.
"Confessions of a Gall Hunter" by Ron Russo, a 2009 article in the magazine "Natural History".
"Call of the Galls" by Ron Russo, a 2009 article in the magazine "Bay Nature".
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Order Hymenoptera. In: Zhang Z-Q (ed) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classif. and survey of taxonomic richness
Aguiar AP, Deans AR, Engel MS, Forshage M, Huber JT, Jennings JT, Johnson NF, Lelej AS, Longino JT, Lohrmann V, Mikó I, Ohl M. 2013. Zootaxa 3703: 51–62.
3.Cynipid Galls of the Eastern United States
Lewis H. Weld. 1959. Privately printed in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
4.Plant Galls of the Western United States
Ronald A. Russo. 2021. Princeton University Press.
5.Cynipid Galls of the Pacific Slope
Lewis H. Weld. 1957. Privately printed in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
6.Cynipid Galls of the Southwest
Lewis H. Weld. 1960. Privately printed in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
7.A synopsis of oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) of the southwestern United States ...
James R. Zimmerman. 2018. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, Vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 58-70.