I was going to create a wikipedia page for Kokkocynips decidua (Oak wheat gall wasp), but realized up until 2021 the species was known under a different name Dryocosmus decidiuus which has a redlink on wikipedia genus page for Drycosmus) leading to a page which logically should be the iNaturalist Kokkocynips decidua page if that’s accurate new taxonomy - currently Kokkocynips only has one species that redirects to a Drycosmus species on wikipedia and hasn’t appeared to be updated since the new taxonomy came out - everything is confusing and I just wanted to learn more about what lives in the gall I saw two years ago but since the names haven’t been decided on I don’t know if any given article will be discussing the right species. I had chosen to do a project on gall-making insects for school and I currently am regretting my life choices because I wanted to use my own pictures but can’t find information on many of the makers of the galls I’d seen (least for insects)
We have more of the literature linked on Gallformers https://www.gallformers.org/gall/577 that might be of use.
We have a very active gall community here on iNat and a large majority of gall observations get identified. If you are stuck on one make sure you know what the host plant is (or if you do not that you have photos of it so that we can try and ID it at as well) and you can @ mention me @jeffdc and I will help however I can.
I think that your choice of topics is an amazing one and I hope that you find this topic as fascinating as I do!
We are currently in a renaissance of gall wasp research so there has been a lot of taxonomic movement with these species recently (and there will be a lot more in the near future). I second Jeff here, if you want to keep track of taxonomic changes, gallformers is a great place to go, most of the time you can search for an older name and it will bring up the species with the current name. The ID tool on there works pretty good as well, as long as you have a good host ID. Many of these species have changed names over the years, so when you search on google scholar or other places you may want to use older names as well.
Feel free to tag me @calconey as well, if you have any ID issues. I think we have a pretty good handle on species in Eastern North America as long as you have good pictures/host documentation.
Here is a great new paper with some cool ecological interactions on Kokkocynips species;
Awesome I’ll be sure to use that in my lecture! (assignment is a 15 minute lecture on some aspect of insect biodiversity) Thanks for the resources!
I can offer no insights into Gall Wasp taxonomy sadly
But, I’ve been wondering for a while now, is it possible to associate various plant galls to a wasp family or genus based on just the appearance of the gall?
I find so many interesting and really beautiful galls here in South Africa, but I don’t have a cooking clue as to what grouping of Gall Wasps or Midges are responsible
I’ll be sure to reference you for any future gall observations I make
Are you familiar with Southern African species?
Depends… host plant is usually your best hint. In my area of the US
Salix - sawfly
Atriplex - midge
Hackberry - psyllid
Maple - mites
Oak - wasps
Rabbitbrush - fruit flies and midges
The short answer is no, but as @egordan88 suggests here the host may suggest a general grouping (usually with multiple exceptions)… the set of associations in South Africa is likely completely different than the northern hemisphere observations that dominate the discussion. Given the incredible plant diversity in SA the gall diversity is probably huge as well.
There is a gall project for SA, that might help get you started, if you are not already aware of it. It looks like it is fairly active:
Here is a paper that talks about some general trends. It appears that there are a lot of lepidopteran galls in SA which are not so common in the northern hemisphere.
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