oak flake gall wasp

(Neuroterus floccosus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

oak flake gall wasp

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

 

Flight/Season

Spring

Habitat

Anywhere host species are found

Size

Wasp: 1 16 to long

Gall: to 3 16 in diameter


Identification

This cynipid gall wasp is usually identified by the gall it produces. The galls are found on the underside of leaves of bur oak and swamp white oak. They occur singly though there are usually several galls on any one leaf. They are hemispherical, thickly hairy, and to 3 16 in diameter including the hairs. The hairs are white at first but soon turn brown. Each gall contains a single chamber and a single wasp larva. It is revealed on the upper leaf surface as a smooth blister-like bump.

The adult wasp is short-lived, about 1 16 to long, and appears hump-backed. It does not sting.

The head is black. The antennae are thread-like, not elbowed, and have 13 to 16 segments.

The thorax is black and rough. When seen from the side, the plate covering the first segment of the thorax (pronotum) is more or less triangular in shape and reaches nearly to the plate at the base of the forewing (tegula).

The abdomen is black, shiny, oval, and somewhat compressed. When viewed from above only two abdominal segments are visible. The egg-laying structure (ovipositor) of the female emerges on the underside of the abdomen before the tip. It is permanently extended and cannot be withdrawn into the abdomen.

The wings are clear with a few dark brown veins and fewer than 6 closed cells.

The first segment of the hind foot (tarsus) is about as long as the next two or three combined.

 
Similar
Species

Oak gall wasp (Neuroterus exiguissimus) is found on white oak.


Larval Hosts

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)

 
Adult Food

Adult wasps do not feed.

 
Life Cycle

The larva pupates in the fall and overwinters in the gall. Adults emerge in the spring. A small, circular hole in the side of a gall indicates where the wasp has emerged, though this is obscured by the hairs.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (ants, bees, true wasps)

 

Infraorder:

Terebrantes

 

Superfamily:

Cynipoidea (gall wasps)

 

Family:

Cynipidae (gall wasps)

 

Subfamily:

Cynipinae

 

Tribe:

Cynipini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

oak flake gall wasp


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

gall

An abnormal growth on a plant produced in response to an insect larva, mite, bacteria, or fungus.

 

ovipositor

A long needle-like tube on the abdomens of some female insects, used to inject eggs into soil or plant stems.

 

pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

tegula

A small, hardened, plate or flap-like structure that overlaps the base of the forewing of insects in the orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Homoptera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  oak flake gall wasp   oak flake gall wasp
       
  oak flake gall wasp   oak flake gall wasp
       
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