Ceroptres cornigera Melika & Buss, 2002

Lobato-Vila, Irene & Pujade-Villar, Juli, 2019, Revision of world Ceroptresini (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) with the description of a new genus and five new species, Zootaxa 4685 (1), pp. 1-67 : 26

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Ceroptres cornigera Melika & Buss, 2002


Ceroptres cornigera Melika & Buss, 2002  

( Figures 3 View FIGURE 3 e–g; 6a, b)

Ceroptres cornigera Melika & Buss, 2002   . Fla. Entomol. 85(4): 626. Type material: USNM (holotype), paratypes in USNM, AMNH, PHMBL and UK.

Type material (examined). HOLOTYPE (♀) with the following labels: ‘ USA, KY., Fayette Co. Lexington, Q. palustris   , 21.04.998, leg. Eliason E. A.’ (white label) / ‘ex green gall em. 04.05.998’ (white label) / ‘ex gall of Callirhytis cornigera   (O. S.)’ (white label) / ‘ HOLOTYPE Ceroptres cornigera Melika and Eliason   , desig. G. Melika 999’ (red label) / ‘USNMENT 00892417’ (white label, QR code). PARATYPES (5♂ & 2♀) deposited in USNM with the same data as the holotype, USNMENT 00892417 (♂); USNMENT 00892426 (♀); em. 18.05.998, USNMENT 00892805 (♂); em. 18.05.998, USNMENT 00892412 (♀); 28.04.998, em. 18.05.998, USNMENT 00892811 (♂); 28.04.998, em. 18.05.998, USNMENT 00892911 (♂); 07.07.998, em. 18.05.998, USNMENT 00892729 (♂).

Diagnosis. Ceroptres cornigera   is morphologically almost identical to C. frondosae Ashmead, 1896   , from which differs only by having POL about 2.0 times as long as OOL ( Fig. 3g View FIGURE 3 ) (POL 3.0 times as long as OOL in C. frondosae   , Fig. 3k View FIGURE 3 ) and OOL 1.5 or more times as long as diameter of lateral ocelli ( Fig. 3g View FIGURE 3 ) (subequal in C. frondosae   , Fig. 3k View FIGURE 3 ). It also has a medial ridge in the depressed area delimited by the two vertical carinae on the lower face ( Fig. 3f View FIGURE 3 ), being almost the only species of Ceroptres   with this trait, except for C. ensiger   and C. frondosae   ; however, C. ensiger   has the mesopleuron anteriorly alutaceous ( Fig. 6d View FIGURE 6 ) and C. frondosae   has different POL/OOL and OOL/diameter of lateral ocelli ratios as stated above.

Brief redescription. Apart from the morphological traits mentioned in the diagnosis section, C. cornigera   is also characterized by having female antenna 12-segmented and filiform, male antenna 15-segmented and filiform ( Fig. 6a View FIGURE 6 ); vertical carinae on the lower face incomplete, running from inner ventral margin of the toruli almost 2/3 of the lower face length and delimiting a depressed area that is bulged medially, forming a medial ridge ( Fig. 3e, f View FIGURE 3 ); mesoscutum strongly coriaceous with weak discontinuous transversal elements ( Fig. 6b View FIGURE 6 ); notauli almost complete, faint in the anterior 1/3 or before reaching the pronotal margin; median groove visible at most in the posterior 1/3 of the mesoscutum; mesoscutellum ( Fig. 6b View FIGURE 6 ) densely but weakly wrinkled, more strongly wrinkled laterally and posteriorly, interspaces strongly coriaceous; third metasomal tergum with an inconspicuous posterodorsal patch of micropunctures and subsequent terga very finely punctate; radial cell 2.7 times as long as wide; body mainly black. For more details on the morphology of this species, consult Melika & Buss (2002) and the remarks section of this species (see below).

Distribution. USA. Lexington, state of Kentucky ( Melika & Buss 2002).

Biology. Reared from stem and leaf galls of the asexual and sexual generations of Callirhytis quercuscornigera (Osten-Sacken, 1862) ( Melika & Buss 2002)   respectively, which associates with Quercus palustris Muenchh.   (Lobatae section) and other red oaks ( Burks 1979; Melika & Buss 2002).

Remarks. Ceroptres cornigera   was originally described from 18♂ and 18♀ ( Melika & Buss 2002: 629). We examined 3♀ and 5♂ deposited in USNM, including the holotype. According to G. Melika (pers. comm.), no mor- phological differences have been observed between specimens obtained from sexual and asexual galls.

Ceroptres cornigera   was characterized by Melika & Buss (2002: 626); however, after studying its type material, we found some inconsistencies in the original description, and especially in the illustrations provided to characterize the species: (i) vertical carinae on the lower face are narrow and curved outwards in their distal half according to the illustrations, but in the type material examined these carinae are somewhat broad and straight, not reaching the oral fovea; (ii) the specimens examined have a median ridge between the two vertical carinae ( Fig. 3f View FIGURE 3 ), which is not represented in the original illustrations nor commented on in the description; (iii) genae are expanded behind compound eyes in the original illustrations, but this trait has been exaggerated since genae are from very slightly to not expanded in the specimens examined ( Fig. 3e View FIGURE 3 ); (iv) lastly, the mesoscutellum has a medial ridge between the scutellar foveae that reaches the mid of the mesoscutellum according to the original illustrations, but this ridge is absent in the specimens examined ( Fig. 6b View FIGURE 6 ). Furthermore, POL:OOL:LOL and OOL/diameter lateral ocelli relations are not commented on in the original description.

Ceroptres cornigera   is morphologically almost identical to C. frondosae Ashmead, 1896   , the few differences have already been commented on above (see the diagnosis of C. cornigera   ). Ceroptres cornigera   was obtained both from leaf (sexual) and stem (asexual) galls, while C. frondosae   emerged from galls on axillary leaf-buds (see the biology section of C. frondosae   ), which could correspond to the sexual form of the gall maker; also, these species were described from adjacent states (Kentucky and Missouri, respectively). However, both specimens of C. cornigera   obtained from sexual galls and those obtained from asexual galls of Callirhytis quercuscornigera   have the same ocellar ratios as the type material examined (all obtained from asexual galls) and also according to G. Melika (who measured specimens obtained from sexual galls, pers. comm.), thus suggesting this species is distinct from C. frondosae   . Therefore, we here consider that C. frondosae   and C. cornigera   are different species, even though we do not rule out the possibility that they may be the same species and that the differences observed are indicative of intraspecific variation.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Ceroptres cornigera Melika & Buss, 2002

Lobato-Vila, Irene & Pujade-Villar, Juli 2019

Ceroptres cornigera

Melika & Buss 2002