Andricus chodjaii Melika, 2008

Tavakoli, M., Melika, G., Sadeghi, S. E., Pénzes, Z., Assareh, M. A., Atkinson, R., Bechtold, M., Mikó, I., Zargaran, M. R., Aligolizade, D., Barimani, H., Bihari, P., Pirozi, F., Fülöp, D., Somogyi, K., Challis, R., Preuss, S., Nicholls, J. & Stone, G. N., 2008, New species of oak gallwaps from Iran (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini), Zootaxa 1699 (1), pp. 1-64 : 12-14

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1699.1.1

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scientific name

Andricus chodjaii Melika

new species

Andricus chodjaii Melika , new species

Figs 68–86 View FIGURES 68–79 View FIGURES 80–86

Type material. HOLOTYPE female: IRAN, Kordestan, Bane, XI-XII.2005. Q. infectoria . leg. M. Tavakoli. Lor 154 . PARATYPES: 29 females with the same labels as the holotype. The holotype and 5 female paratypes in HNHM ; 5 female paratypes in RIFR ; 14 female paratypes in SPL; 5 female paratypes in NHML .

Etymology. In recognition of Dr. M. Chodjai (Faculty of Agriculture, Tehran University, Karadj-Tehran) contribution to research on oak gallwasp fauna of Iran.

Diagnosis. Most closely resembles Andricus seckendorffi (Wachtl) in which the head only 2.0 times as broad as long from above; POL equal OOL; the lower face with striae radiating from the clypeus and extending into the area between the eye and torulus; the mesoscutum dull coriaceous; the mesoscutellum is rounded, only very slightly longer than broad, coriaceous; scutellar foveae are distinctly separated by a broad median carina; the mesopleuron delicately transversely striate, especially in the medio-central part; speculum is smooth, shiny; Rs+M of the forewing extending to 1/2 of the distance between the areolet and basalis, projecting into its lower half; metasomal tergite 2 with a small patch of sparse white setae antero-laterally; all tergites (except last visible tergite), and hypopygium without micropunctures; the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium 5.5–6.0 times as long as broad, while in A. chodjaii , new species, the head 2.6 times as broad as long from above; POL 1.6 times as long as OOL; the lower face without striae radiating from the clypeus; the mesoscutum is very delicately coriaceous; the mesoscutellum is broader than long, uniformly dull rugose; scutellar foveae are not separated in the most anterior part; the mesopleuron, including speculum, uniformly delicately transversely striate; Rs+M of the forewing extending to 2/3 of the distance between the areolet and basalis, projecting into its upper half; metasomal tergite 2 with a large patch of dense white setae antero-laterally; all subsequent tergites and hypopygium with micropunctures; the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium only 4.8 times as long as broad.

Description. ASEXUAL FEMALE (holotype). Body predominantly reddish brown. Head posteriorly, propleuron along sides, scutellar foveae, preaxilla, lateral axillar area, axillar carina, subaxillular bar, metanotal trough, metascutellum, central propodeal area and nucha dark brown to black. Legs uniformly reddish brown. Wings with distinct brown veins. Body with relatively sparse white setae.

Head uniformly delicately coriaceous, transverse in front view, with sparse white setae; 2.6 times as broad as long from above; 1.4 times as broad as high in front view and as broad as mesosoma. Gena coriaceous, broadened behind eye, well-visible in front view behind eye, as broad as cross diameter of eye, measuring behind eye. Malar space coriaceous, 0.5 times as long as height of eye, with striae radiating from clypeus and nearly reaching eye margin. POL 1.6 times as long as OOL; OOL nearly 2.0 times as long as the length of lateral ocellus and LOL. Transfacial distance 1.2 times as long as height of eye and 1.8 times as long as height of lower face (distance between antennal rim and ventral margin of clypeus); diameter of antennal torulus nearly 2.0 times as large as distance between them, distance between torulus and eye margin slightly less than diameter of torulus. Inner margins of eyes very slightly divirging ventrally. Lower face delicately coriaceous, with strongly elevated delicately coriaceous median area and with dense white setae, without striae radiating from clypeus. Clypeus quadrangular, with sparse white setae, coriaceous, impressed, broader than high, with distinct anterior tentorial pits, deeply impressed along distinct epistomal sulcus, clypeo-pleurostomal line distinct, ventrally widely emarginated and incised medially. Frons, vertex and occiput uniformly coriaceous. Antenna with 12 flagellomeres, slightly longer than head+mesosoma; pedicel 1.8 times as long as broad; F1 1.6 times as long as pedicel and 1.2 times as long as F2, F2 slightly longer than F3; F12 1.4 times as long as F11; placodeal sensilla on F3–F12. Mesosoma convex, slightly longer than high in lateral view, with relatively sparse white setae. Pronotum uniformly very delicately coriaceous, with delicate, longitudinal striae-like sculpture in the postero-dorsal part, on the level of mesopleural triangle and spiracle; antero-lateral edge with dense white setae and distinct parallel wrinkles. Mesoscutum very delicately dull coriaceous. Notauli complete, well-impressed in all length, uniformly thin, smooth, shiny; median mesoscutal line distinct in the most posterior part; anterior parallel and parapsidal lines extending to 1/2 of mesoscutum length. Mesoscutellum 1.7 times shorter than scutum, uniformly dull rugose; scutellar foveae transversely ovate, broader than high, well-delimited around, smooth, shiny, without setae; not separated in the most anterior part. Mesopleuron, including speculum, uniformly delicately transversely striate; mesopleural triangle uniformly delicately coriaceous, with dense setae. Metapleural sulcus reaching mesopleuron above the half of its height; axillula ovate, shiny, smooth, with dense white setae; subaxillular bar smooth, shiny, in the most posterior end 1.5 times as high as height of metanotal trough. Metascutellum delicately coriaceous, at least 2.0 times as broad as height of smooth, shiny ventral impressed area; metanotal trough smooth, shiny, with dense white setae. Lateral propodeal carinae subparallel, nearly straight, uniformly broad; without setae; central propodeal area with numerous distinct delicate wrinkles, without setae; lateral propodeal area coriaceous, with some wrinkles and dense white setae. Tarsal claws with strong basal lobe. Forewing longer than body, with distinct brown veins, margin with short cilia; radial cell 3.8 times as long as broad; areolet distinct, Rs+M extending to 2/3 of distance between areolet and basalis, projecting into its upper half.

Metasoma nearly as long as head+mesosoma, as high as long in lateral view; metasomal tergite 2 with large patch of dense white setae antero-laterally; all subsequent tergites and hypopygium with micropunctures; prominent part of ventral spine of hypopygium 4.8 times as long as broad, with short white setae, apical setae not extending beyond apex of spine. Body length 4.0– 4.7 mm.

Gall ( Figs 80–86 View FIGURES 80–86 ). A large, irregular, orb-shaped gall, 15–25 mm in diameter, develops at the edge of the acorn cup. Surface covered by curved spines 2–5 mm long which are glutinous when young and can be easily broken off when the gall is mature. The gall is hard, woody and multilocular, containing many cells. The gall initially bright green to pale yellow; later the mature gall becoming white. The inner gall is thin-walled and fused with the base tissue around it. Sometimes 2–3 galls may develop on one acorn cup and may fuse together, forming a cluster. The gall is very similar to that of A. seckendorffi .

Biology. Only asexual females are known from galls on Quercus infectoria Olivier. Galls become visible from mid-August; adults emerge in November-December.

Comments. We believe that the morphological differences given above for A. chodjaii and A. seckendorffi are adequate to treat A. chodjaii as a separate species from A. seckendorffi . However, the limits of the geographic distribution and the degree of geographic overlap of these two species remain to be determined. We compared the newly described species with A. seckendorffi wasps collected in Hungary, Austria and Romania. Andricus seckendorffi -like galls have been collected by one of the authors (G.N. Stone ) in Turkey (Suluova, 2000, on Quercus infectoria ). Although the collected galls showed no differences to those of A. chodjaii , the reared adults appeared closer to A. seckendorffi rather than the herein described new species, A. chodjaii . The examined type of Andricus magrettii Kieffer (synonym of A. seckendorffi ( Melika 1999)) also known from Turkey (Smyrna) is definitely A. seckendorffi rather than A. chodjaii . These two taxa thus appear to represent closely-related species whose ranges may coincide in Turkey, as demonstrated for two sister lineages of A. quercustozae (Bosc) (= A. insana (Westwood)) ( Rokas et al. 2003a) . It is possible that a further closely related lineage exists to the west, in Italy. Galls collected in the western Po River valley (Alessandria, Asti, Alba, coll. G.N. Stone ) differs from the galls of A. seckendorffi collected in Hungary, Austria, southern Italy (Campania, Puglia), Turkey and Iran. Northern Italian galls are less globular, the spines are not dehiscent and they are not sticky but pubescent. The reared adult wasps differ from those of A. seckendorffi collected in Hungary, Austria, and Turkey. DNA sequence based analysis of interrelationships in this clade is in progress.

The extreme rarity of purely asexual lifecycles in oak gallwasps ( Stone et al. 2002) suggests that A. chodjaii p robably has a sexual generation. The clade of Andricus species that includes A. chodjaii all have lifecycles involving alternation between oaks in the sections Quercus (for the asexual generation) and Cerris (for the sexual generation). The sexual generation galls in this clade are commonly small and inconspicuous bud or catkin galls ( Melika, Csóka & Pujade-Villar 2000; Cook et al. 2002; Rokas et al. 2003b), and it is probable that the same is true for this new species. Possible hosts from the Cerris oak section in the region include Quercus libani Olivier and Q. brantii Lindl. (= Q. persica Jaub. et Spach ).

Distribution. Iran, Kordestan province only (Bane and Marivan).


Hungarian Natural History Museum (Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum)


Natural History Museum, Tripoli