Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (4): 657-661, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.089

Spatial distribution of Cynips quercusfolii (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) galls on leaves and within the crowns of oak trees

Marian J. GIERTYCH1,2, Andrzej M. JAGODZIŃSKI1,3, Piotr KAROLEWSKI1
1 Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Dendrology, Parkowa 5, 62-035 Kórnik, Poland
2 University of Zielona Góra, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Szafrana 1, 65-516 Zielona Góra, Poland; e-mail: giertych@man.poznan.pl
3 Poznań University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Protection, Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60-625 Poznań, Poland; e-mail: amj@man.poznan.pl

The factors that affect oviposition and consequently spatial distribution of the galls of many gall makers are poorly understood. Knowledge of these factors could result in a better understanding of the mechanisms that initiate and regulate the development of galls. We tested the hypotheses that, regardless of tree height, galls of Cynips quercusfolii L. produced agamically are distributed randomly in the crowns and on the veins of leaves of oak trees. This study was done in Poland on 15 pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) trees of various heights. We measured the areas of 1659 leaves, including 192 leaves with galls, and the distances along a vein from a gall to the petiole and from gall to leaf edge. The number of galls did not depend on tree height but depended on the position of the leaf within the crown (upper or lower). Regardless of the position in the crown, leaves with galls were significantly larger than those without galls. We conclude that galls were located at a fixed distance from the edge of leaves irrespective of leaf size, but the distance from the gall to the leaf petiole depended significantly on leaf size. We conclude that agamic females of C. quercusfolii prefer large leaves and choose the site on a leaf on which to deposit their eggs. This probably ensures that the developing gall obtains the required amount of nutrients and assimilates.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynips quercusfolii, galls, oaks, gall distribution, oviposition preference

Received: November 8, 2012; Accepted: May 6, 2013; Prepublished online: October 1, 2013; Published: December 1, 2013

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