Andricus cecconii Kieffer, 1901

Shachar, Einat, Melika, George, Inbar, Moshe & Dorchin, Netta, 2018, The oak gall wasps of Israel (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini) - diversity, distribution and life history, Zootaxa 4521 (4), pp. 451-498: 460

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Andricus cecconii Kieffer, 1901


Andricus cecconii Kieffer, 1901 

Andricus megalucidus Melika, Stone, Sadeghi & Pujade-Villar  , new synonym.

Host plants. Israel: Q. ithaburensis  (sexual generation) and Q. boissieri  (asexual generation). Galls of the asexual generation can also be found on the introduced Q. pedunculiflora  , which is widely planted in Israel as an ornamental. Elsewhere: Q. coccifera  , Q. brantii  , and Q. libani  (sexual generation) ( Maisuradze 1968; Katilmiş & Kiyak 2008), Q. infectoria  in Turkey and Iran, and possibly Q. pubescens  in Greece (asexual generation) (Pujade- Villar et al. 2002).

Life history. The association of the sexual and asexual generations of this species was established for the first time in the present study. The sexual generation develops on oaks from section Cerris, on which it induces spherical multi-chambered catkin galls, composed of 10–18 delicate, conical, thin-walled units that are joined at their bases, 25–30 mm in diameter when mature ( Fig. 47View FIGURES 47–52). The units are round, with undulating rims, and contain 1–2 chambers each. They are smooth-surfaced and green when young, becoming reddish where exposed to the sun, and turning brown when mature ( Fig. 48View FIGURES 47–52). Some of the galls are green to light purple and covered by velvety hair. Old galls remain on the tree until the next year. The asexual generation develops on oaks from section Quercus  , inducing large, conspicuous, globular, multi-chambered bud galls of up to 50 mm in diameter ( Fig. 6View FIGURES 5–10). These galls are densely covered by slightly curved, long and thin spines, up to 10 mm long, which are blunt-tipped and easily broken. The gall is light green when young, turning grayish when old.

Phenology. Galls of the sexual generation usually begin to develop in late February and adults emerge from them in April, but at higher elevations (e.g., in En Zivan) they develop later and adults emerged in July. Galls of the asexual generation mature in fall, and while most adults emerge from them in January, some emerge in early spring and some remain in diapause for at least 2 years.

Distribution. Israel: Galls of the sexual generation are common throughout the distribution range of Q. ithaburensis  , whereas galls of the asexual generation are common in the northern part of Israel but rare in Zur Hadassa (the Judean Mountains). Elsewhere: known from Greece, Transcaucasia, Turkey, Jordan, and Iran.

Comments. Galls of the sexual generation are very distinct and do not resemble any other oak catkin galls in Israel. They resemble galls of the sexual generation of A. lucidus  (= A. aestivalis  ) in Europe. When young, A. lucidus  galls have a shiny, waxy surface, whereas the galls of A. cecconii  are covered by fine pubescence. In Israel galls of the asexual generation resemble those of A. caputmedusae  ( Figs 7–8View FIGURES 5–10) but differ from them in having straight and more delicate spines compared to the irregularly branched and pointier spines of A. caputmedusae  and in being multi-chambered as opposed to single-chambered. Andricus megalucidus  is synonymized here under A. cecconii  based on molecular evidence (Shachar, unpublished).