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Kos K.,University of Ljubljana | Kriston E.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory
European Journal of Entomology | Year: 2015

The Asian chestnut gall wasp (ACGW), Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), is a global pest of chestnut trees. This pest was first recorded in Slovenia in 2005. Despite strict phytosanitary measures it was present throughout the country in native chestnut stands by 2013. We provide here the first overview of the parasitoids of ACGW in Slovenia recorded over a 4-year period and the direct interactions between parasitoid communities attacking hosts on chestnut and oaks at the same sites. A total of 27 species of native parasitoids that normally parasitize oak cynipids emerged from ACGW galls. The most abundant species were Torymus flavipes and Eupelmus urozonus. Seven species appear to be geographically well distributed in Slovenia. Twelve species of oak gall wasp were parasitized by 19 species of parasitoids. All native parasitoids have broad host ranges, so a large parasitoid diversity within this community can be expected. This is a novel study comparing the parasitoid communities associated with chestnut and oak galls.

PubMed | University of West of Scotland, Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Szeged and National Chung Hsing University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Eight new species of cynipid inquilines, Synergus abei Melika & Schwger, S. belizinellus Schwger & Melika, S. changtitangi Melika & Schwger, S. formosanus Schwger & Melika, S. ishikarii Melika & Schwger, S. kawakamii Tang & Melika, S. khazani Melika & Schwger and S. symbioticus Schwger & Melika, from the Eastern Palaearctic are described. Descriptions, diagnoses, biology, and host associations for the new species and a key to all known Eastern Palaearctic Synergus species are given. All taxa are supported by morphological and molecular data. We discuss the status of all previously described Eastern Palaearctic Synergus species, and provide validation and synonymization of some species.

PubMed | University of West of Scotland, Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Szeged and National Chung Hsing University
Type: | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Fifteen new species of cynipid inquilines, Saphonecrus chinensis Tang & Schwger, S. gilvus Melika & Schwger, S. globosus Schwger & Tang, S. leleyi Melika & Schwger, S. lithocarpii Schwger & Melika, S. longinuxi Schwger & Melika, S. morii Schwger & Tang, S. nantoui Tang, Schwger & Melika, S. nichollsi Schwger & Melika, S. pachylomai Schwger, Tang & Melika, S. robustus Schwger & Melika, S. saliciniai Melika, Tang & Schwger, S. shanzhukui Melika & Tang, S. symbioticus Melika & Schwger, and S. taitungi Schwger, Tang & Melika, from the Eastern Palaearctic are described. Descriptions, diagnoses, biology, and host associations for the new species, and a key to Palaearctic Saphonecrus species are given. All new taxa form distinct units as demonstrated by the molecular phylogenetic analyses of Palaearctic Saphonecrus species. The status of some earlier described Saphonecrus species is discussed also. The Synergini genus Lithonecrus Nieves-Aldrey & Butterill, 2014 is synonymized with Lithosaphonecrus Tang, Melika & Bozs, 2013. Three Saphonecrus species are transferred to Synergus: Synergus brevis (Weld) comb. nova, Synergus hupingshanensis (Liu, Yang & Zhu) comb. nova, and Synergus yukawai (Wachi, Ide & Abe) comb. nova. Synophrus vietnamensis Abe, Ide, Konishi & Ueno is transferred to Lithosaphonecrus: Lithosaphonecrus vietnamensis Abe, Ide, Konishi & Ueno), comb. nova. The current number of valid Saphonecrus species worldwide is 36.

Buffington M.L.,Smithsonian Institution | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory | Davis M.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Elkinton J.S.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington | Year: 2016

Many species of gall wasp (Cynipidae) essentially co-exist with their host oak tree species. Occasionally, the association becomes destructive to the tree, as is the case with Zapatella davisae, new species. This species is a twig galler, and as such, in the cases of heavy infestation, cause flagging, leaf clumping, and dieback of branches and twigs. Historical records of other species of Zapatella suggest that members of this genus have a checkered record with respect to damaging their host plants in North America, and these data are summarized here.

Tang C.-T.,National Chung Hsing University | Yang M.-M.,National Chung Hsing University | Stone G.N.,University of Edinburgh | Nicholls J.A.,University of Edinburgh | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology | Year: 2016

A new species of oak gall wasp, Plagiotrochus tarokoensis Tang and Melika sp. nov., is described from Taiwan. The species induces integral leaf galls on Quercus tarokoensis (Fagaceae). Data on the diagnosis, distribution, and biology of the new species are given. This is the second known Plagiotrochus species from the Oriental region and the first one known to associate with the Ilex group of section Cerris oaks within Quercus linnaeus subgenus Quercus. © 2016 Korean Society of Applied Entomology, Taiwan Entomological Society and Malaysian Plant Protection Society.

Pujade-Villar J.,University of Barcelona | Cibrian-Tovar D.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Barrera-Ruiz U.M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Southwestern Entomologist | Year: 2014

A new species of oak gall wasp, Andricus breviramuli Pujade-Villar n. sp., is described from Mexico. The species is known only from asexual females. Data on the diagnosis, distribution, and biology of the new species are given. The wasp induces galls on twigs and young shoots of Quercus laeta Liebm. This gall wasp seems to be a serious pest of Q. laeta in Santa Fe (Delegación Cuajimalpa, DF), México City.

Szocs L.,Forest Research Institute | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory | Thuroczy C.,Malomarok u. 27 | Csoka G.,Forest Research Institute
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica | Year: 2015

Between 2011 and 2014, 1,154 mines of Phyllonorycter comparella (Duponchel) were collected at 12 locations in Hungary and were put into single-mine rearing containers. A total of 574 parasitoid specimens belonging to 29 parasitoid species (26 Chalcididae, 2 Encyrtidae and 1 Braconidae) emerged. Of these species, 13 have not yet been mentioned in either international or in Hungarian literature as a parasitoid of the P. comparella. The species assemblages of the parasitoid complexes varied greatly among the sample sites. The primary dominant species of the total samples was found to be Sympiesis sericeicornis (Nees), an abundant idiobiont solitary ectoparasitoid. Among the species reared, we have found specialist parasitoids such as Achrysocharoides scaposa (Erdos) and even species never recorded from Populus (Zagrammosoma variegatum (Masi)) according to the Universal Chalcidoidea Database.

Shachar E.,Tel Aviv University | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory | Dorchin N.,Tel Aviv University
Annals of the Entomological Society of America | Year: 2015

The rich Israeli fauna of cynipid gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) includes dozens of species, many of which induce complex, conspicuous galls on the five local oak species, in what constitutes the southern edge of distribution for both the wasps and their host plants. The taxonomy and life history of the cynipid species of the Levant in general, and of Israel in particular, are virtually unstudied, although some of the Israeli galls were recorded and keyed in the 1960s. As part of a comprehensive revision of the Israeli cynipid fauna, we describe here Andricus miriami n. sp., which induces one of the most conspicuous and complex galls in inflorescence buds of Quercus ithaburensis along the Galilee and Coastal Plain in Israel, and in north-western Jordan. The species has been treated in the literature as a nomen nudum since 1968, and its current description clarifies its taxonomic status and validates the name given to it when first reported. We provide a detailed description of adults of the asexual generation and the galls they induce, as well as information on their life history and distribution. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

Szocs L.,NARIC Forest Research Institute | George M.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory | Thuroczy C.,Malomarok str. 27 | Csoka G.,NARIC Forest Research Institute
Periodicum Biologorum | Year: 2016

Background and Purpose: Despite the importance of studying the native enemy complex of the introduced and invasive leaf miner sawfly species in their native territories, few studies have been done in recent years concerning the species component and the regulating potential of their parasitoid complexes (in both native and invaded area). Heterarthrus vagans and Fenusa dohrnii are only some of the species which are native in Palearctic area, but alien invasive in North America, causing damage on forest plantations. In this short paper we provide our original data to the knowledge of parasitoid fauna associated with seven leaf mining sawflies native in Hungary. Material and Methods: For a period of four years (2011–2014), several leaf miner species were collected and placed in single mine rearings. From the leafminers, belonging to the Tenthredinidae family, a total of 809 mines made by 9 different species (Heterarthrus wuestneii, Fenusa dohrnii, Heterarthrus vagans, Fenusa pumila, Fenusella nana, Profenusa pygmaea, Metallus pumilus, Parna apicalis, Fenusa ulmi) were collected from 19 locations across Hungary. Results and Conclusions: A total of 188 specimens of 13 parasitoid species belonging to 3 families (Braconidae – 1; Ichneumonidae – 1 and Eulophidae – 11) were reared out from our samples. Parasitoid adults were obtained from 7 of the 9 species of leaf mining sawfly hosts (Fenusa dohrnii, Fenusa pumila, Fenusa ulmi, Heterarthrus vagans, Metallus pumilus, Parna apicalis, Profenusa pygmaea). From Heterarthrus wuestneii and Fenusella nana no parasitoid adults emerged.The parasitoid species presented in this work are typically associated with leaf mining sawflies. Several new host-parasitoid associations have been described. © 2015, Croatian Society of Natural Sciences. All rights reserved.

Matosevic D.,Croatian Forest Research Institute | Melika G.,Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Bulletin of Insectology | Year: 2013

Research on recruitment of native parasitoids on the recently introduced invasive species Dryocosmus kuriphilus has been carried out on four sites in 2011 and 2012 in Croatia. In total 15 species of native parasitoids were reared which belong to 5 of 6 chalcid families attacking native oak cynipid gallwasps (Eupelmidae - 2, Eurytomidae - 4, Ormyridae - 1, Pteromalidae - 4 and Torymidae - 4 species). This research has shown that the time lag between introduction of new host and recruitment of native parasitoids is short. Sex ratios for the most abundant parasitoid species appeared to be female-biased and the parasitoid emergence rate for all sites was relatively low. Torymus flavipes was recorded from D. kuriphilus at all sites and in both years and was the most abundant species exploiting the new host. Among other species, especially T. flavipes and Megastigmus dorsalis, which have been reared from D. kuriphilus galls, could provide a good possibility for biological control but further research is needed.

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