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Gall wasps of the world

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Cynipoidea; Family: Cynipidae)

ClassificationCynipoidea keys






Distribution Predominately a northern Hemisphere group. Most of the 1300 described species are Holarctic. The exceptions are eight species that occur in South America, the endemic South African monotypic genera Qwaqwaia and Rhoophilus and indigenous South African species of Phanacis.
Biology Herbivores that either induce galls on plants or develop as obligate inhabitants (termed inquilines) in the galls induced by other insects.


Abe, Y., T. Ide, and K.-I. Odagiri. 2014. Cynipidae (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea) on Cyclobalanopsis (Fagaceae) in mainland China, with the first record of sexual generation of Bassett, H. F. 1881. New Species of Cynipidae. The Canadian Entomologist. 13: 51–53. doi:10.4039/Ent1351-3

Buffington ML, Forshage M, Liljeblad J, Tang CT, van Noort, S. 2020. World Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera):a key to higher-level groups. Insect Systematics and Diversity 4(4): 1–69. https://doi.org/10.1093/isd/ixaa003

Burks, B.D. 1979. Superfamily Cynipoidea, pp. 1045- 1107. In K. V. Krombein, P. D. Hurd, Jr., D. R. Smith, and B. D. Burks (eds), Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Volume 1, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Cuesta-Porta, V., Arnedo, M.À., Cibrián-Tovar, D., Barrera-Ruiz, U.M., García-Martiñón, R.D., Equihua-Martínez, A., Estrada-Venegas, E.G., Clark-Tapia, R., Romero-Rangel, S. and Pujade-Villar, J., 2020. A new genus of oak gall wasp, Striatoandricus Pujade-Villar (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) from America with descriptions of two new Mexican species. Zoological Studies 59: 8 (2020). https://doi.org/10.6620/ZS.2020.59-08

Ferrer-Suay, M, Carpenter, JM, Lebeau, C, Pujade-Villar J. 2017. Designation of lectotypes for the Mexican species of Andricus described by Alfred Kinsey and comments about some generic synonymies (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Entomologica Americana 123: 29-34. https://doi.org/10.1664/1947-5144-123.1-4.29
Gillette, C.P. 1891. Descriptions of new Cynipidae in the collection of the Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History. Bulletin of the Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History 3: 191-197.

Hartig, T. 1843. Zweiter nachtrag zur naturgeschichte der Gallwespen. Zeitschrift fur Entomologie 4: 395 - 422.

Ide T, Mu MA, Nobuyuki T. 2020. First record of Cynipidae from Myanmar with description of a new species of Lithosaphonecrus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Zootaxa 4810(2): 344–350. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4810.2.7

Klöppel M, Smith L, Syrett P. 2003. Predicting the impact of the biocontrol agent Aulacidea subterminalis (Cynipidae) on growth of Hieracium pilosella (Asteraceae) under differing environmental conditions in New Zealand. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 13: 207-218. https://doi.org/10.1080/0958315021000073478

Liljeblad, J., Nieves-Aldrey, J.L., Neser, S. & Melika, G. 2011. Adding another piece to the cynipoid puzzle: the description of a new tribe, genus and species of gall wasp (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) endemic to The Republic of South Africa. Zootaxa 2806: 35–52.

Lobato-Vila, I., Pujade-Vilar, J. 2019. Revision of world Ceroptresini (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) with the description of a new genus and five new species. Zootaxa. 4685: 1–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4685.1.1

Mayr, G. 1881. Die genera der gallenbewohnenden Cynipiden. Jahresberichte der Rossauer Communal Oberrealschule im I. Bezirke 20:138.

Melika, G. 2006. Gall wasps of Ukraine. Cynipidae. Vestnik zoologii, supplement 21, vol. 1–2.
Melika, G. 2012. Superfamily Cynipoidea – cynipoids or gallwasps, pp. 139–146. In A. Lelej (ed.) Annotated catalogue of the insects of the Russian Far East. Vol. I. Hymenoptera. Vladivostok. Dalnauka, Russia (in Russian)
Melika, G., and W. G. Abrahamson. 2002. Review of the world genera of oak cynipid wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini), pp. 150–190. In G. Melika, and C. Thuroczy (eds.), Parasitic Wasps: evolution, systematics, biodiversity and biological control. Agroinform, Budapest, Hungary.

Melika, G. & Nicholls, J.A. 2021. A new genus of Nearctic oak gall wasp, Grahamstoneia Melika & Nicholls, gen. nov. (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae, Cynipini). Zootaxa 4999(5): 456–468. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4999.5.4

Melika, G., J. Pujade-Villar, Y. Abe, C. T. Tang, J. A. Nicholls, N. Wachi, T. Ide, M. M. Yang, Z. Pénzes, G. Csóka, and G. N. Stone. 2010. Palaearctic oak gallwasps galling oaks (Quercus) in the section Cerris: re-appraisal of generic limits, with descriptions of new genera and species (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa. 2470: 1–79.
Melika, G., C. T. Tang, J. A. Nicholls, M. M. Yang, and G. N. Stone. 2011. Four new species of Dryocosmus gallwasps from Taiwan (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). ISRN Zoology. 17 pp. doi:10.5402/2011/725180
Melika, G., E. Buss, J. Nicholls, J. Platt Bird, and G. N. Stone. 2013. Life cycle of Discholcaspis quercusvirens (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) with a description of the sexual generation. Florida Entomol. 96: 991–1001.
Melika, G., C. T. Tang, F. Sinclair, M. M. Yang, K. Lohse, J. Hearn, J. A. Nicholls and G. N. Stone. 2013. A new genus of oak gallwasp, Cyclocynips Melika, Tang & Sinclair (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini), with descriptions of two new species from Taiwan. Zootaxa.
3630: 534–548.

Melika G, Pujade-Villar J, Nicholls JA, Cuesta-Porta V, Cooke-Mcewen C, Stone GN. 2021. Three new Nearctic genera of oak cynipid gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini): Burnettweldia Pujade-Villar, Melika & Nicholls, Nichollsiella Melika, Pujade-Villar & Stone, Disholandricus Melika, Pujade-Villar & Nicholls and re-establishment of the genus Paracraspis Weld. Zootaxa 4993(1): 1–81. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4993.1.1

Nieves-Aldrey, J.L. 1994. Revision of the West-European genera of the tribe Aylacini Ashmead (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 3: 175–206.

Nieves-Aldrey, J. L. 2001. Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Fauna Iberica, vol. 16, 636 pp. M. A. Ramos et al. (eds.). Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
Nieves-Aldrey, J. L. 2002. Notes on the morphology and biology of Neaylax salviae (Giraud), a cynipid new to the Iberian fauna, with a description of the larva (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). Bol. Soc. Entomol. Arag. 31: 61–65.
Nieves-Aldrey, J. L. 2012. Revision of the Amphibolips species of Mexico excluding the “niger complex” Kinsey (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), with description of seven new species. Zootaxa 3545: 1–40.
Nieves-Aldrey, J. L., J. Liljeblad, M. Hernández-Nieves, A. Grez, and J. A. A. Nylander. 2009. Revision and phylogenetics of the genus Paraulax Kieffer (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae) with biological notes and description of a new tribe, a new genus, and five new species. Zootaxa. 2200: 1–40.

Nieves-Aldrey JL, Blas GS. 2015. Revision of the Neotropical genus Eschatocerus Mayr (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Eschatocerini) with biological notes and the first description of the terminal larva. Zootaxa 4012: 135-155. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4012.1.7

Nieves-Aldrey J.L., J. Liljeblad, M. Hernández-Nieves, A Grez and J.A.A. Nylander. 2009. Revision and phylogenetics of the genus Paraulax Kieffer (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae) with biological notes and description of a new tribe, a new genus, and five new species Zootaxa 2200: 1-40. 10.5281/zenodo.189597.

Penzes, Z., Melika, G., Bozsoki, Z., Bihari, P., Miko, I., Tavakoli, M., Pudje-Villar, J., Feher, B., Fulop, D., Szabo, K., Bozso, M., Sipos, B., Somogyi, K. & Stone, G. 2009. Systematic re-appraisal of the gall-usurping wasp genus Synophrus Hartig, 1843 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Systematic Entomology 34: 688 - 711. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3113.2009.00482.x
Pujade-Villar, J. 2019. Reclasificación de los grandes taxa de Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera) desde Weld (1952) hasta 2017: la historia de una lucha evolutiva entre el parasitoidismo y la fitofàgia. Folia Entomol. Mex. 5: 18−65.

Pujade-Villar, J., and M. Ferrer-Suay. 2015. Adjudicació genèrica d’espècies mexicanes d’ubicació dubtosa descrites per Kinsey i comentaris sobre la fauna mexicana (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Butll. Inst. Catalana Hist. Nat. 79: 7–14.
Pujade-Villar, J., and G. Melika. 2014. Re-establishment of Erythres Kinsey, 1937 as a valid genus of gallwasps from Mexico (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Dugesiana. 21: 155–160.
Pujade-Villar, J., D. Bellido, G. Segú, and G. Melika. 2001. Current state of knowledge of heterogony in Cynipidae (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea). Sessió Conjunta de Entomologia ICHN-SCL. 11: 87–107.

Pujade-Villar, J., Melika, G., Ros-Farre, P., Acs, Z. & Csoka, G. 2003. Cynipid inquiline wasps of Hungary, with taxonomic notes on the Western Palaearctic fauna (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae, Cynipinae, Synergini). Folia Entomologica Hungarica 64: 121 - 170.

Pujade-Villar, J. & Rodriguez, P. 2015. Primera cita del género Melikaiella (Hym.: Cynipidae) para Colombia y descripción de una especie nueva. Orsis 29. 193. 10.5565/rev/orsis.23.

Pujade-Villar, J. & Schiopu, I. 2015. Species of Aylacini Ashmead, 1903 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) inducing galls on Papaver L. (Papavaceae) from Romania with description of a new species and notes on parasitoids (Hymenoptera). Zoosystema 37: 505-515. https://doi.org/10.5252/z2015n3a5

Pujade-Villar, J., S. Romero-Rangel, C. Chagoyán-García, A. Equihua-Martínez, E. G. Estrada-Venegas, and G. Melika. 2010. A new genus of oak gallwasps, Kinseyella Pujade-Villar & Melika, with a description of a new species from Mexico (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa. 2335: 16–28.

Pujade-Villar, J., Hanson, P., Medina, C. A., Torres, M., and Melika, G. 2012. A new genus of oak gallwasps, Zapatella Pujade-Villar & Melika, gen. n., with a description of two new species from the Neotropics (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini). ZooKeys 210: 75-104.

Pujade-Villar, J., P. Hanson, and G. Melika. 2012. A new genus of oak gallwasp, Coffeikokkos Pujade-Villar & Melika, gen. n., with a description of a new species from Costa Rica (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). ZooKeys. 168: 19–29.

Pujade-Villar, J., A. Equihua-Martínez, E. G. Estrada-Venegas, and G. Melika. 2013. A new genus of oak gallwasp, Kokkocynips Pujade-Villar & Melika gen. n., with a description of a new species from Mexico (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Acta Zool. Mexicana. 29: 209–218.

Pujade-Villar, J., Cibrián-Tovar, D., Cibrián-Llanderal, V. D., Equihua-Martínez, A., Estrada-Venegas, E. G., Serrano-Muñoz, M. and Lomeli-Flores, J. R. 2014. A new genus of oak gallwasp, Melikaiella Pujade-Villar (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini), from the Nearctic region. Dugesiana 21: 1-29.

Pujade-Villar, J., I. Lobato-Vila, and M. Ferrer-Suay. 2017. Restablecimiento del género Dros Kinsey (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) como género válido para especies Americanas. Entomol. Mexicana. 4: 752–758.

Pujade-Villar, J., Wang, Y. & Lobato-Vila, I. 2020. Lithosaphonecrus puigdemonti sp. nov. from China (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Entomotaxonomia, 42 (1), 70–80.

Pujade-Villar, J., Kang, M., Bae, J., Wang, Y.-P., Guo, R. & Jung, S. 2020. Additional records to the Korean Cynipini: subspecies description, new combinations and checklist (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 23: 1208–1221.

Ritchie, A.J. 1993. Superfamily Cynipoidea (pp. 521-536). In GOULET, H. & HUBER, J. (eds). Hymenoptera of the World: an identification guide to families. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 668 pp.

Ronquist, F. 1999. Phylogeny, classification and evolution of the Cynipoidea. Zoologica Scripta 28:139–164.

Ronquist, F. & Liljeblad, J. 2001. Evolution of the gall wasp–host plant association. Evolution 55: 2503–2522.

Ronquist, F., Nieves-Aldrey, J.-L., Buffington, M. L., Liu, Z., Liljeblad, J., & Nylander, J. A. A. 2015. Phylogeny, Evolution and Classification of Gall Wasps: The Plot Thickens. PLoS ONE, 10(5), e0123301. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123301

Schwéger, S., Melika, G., Tang, C.-T., Yang, M.-M., Stone, G.N., Nicholls, J.A., Sinclair, F., Hearn, J., Bozsó, M. & Pénzes, Z. 2015. New species of cynipid inquilines of the genus Saphonecrus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini) from the Eastern Palaearctic, with a re-appraisal of known species world-wide. Zootaxa, 4054 (1), 1–84. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4054.1.1

Shachar, E, Melika, G, Inbar, M & Dorchin, N, 2018, The oak gall wasps of Israel (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini) - diversity, distribution and life history. Zootaxa 4521: 451-498. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4521.4.1
Sternlicht, M. 1968. The oak galls of Israel (Quercus calliprinos Webb, and Quercus ithaburensis Decne.). Israel Journal of Entomology 3: 17 - 57.

Stojanovic, A & Marković, C. 2016. Aylax papaveris (Perris 1839) and Barbotinia oraniensis (Barbotin 1964): species new to the fauna of cynipid gall wasps (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae) of Serbia. Acta Entomologica Serbica 20: 21-25.

Syrett, P., L. Smith, G. Grosskopf, and C. Meurk. 2001. Predicting the likely success of biocontrol of hawkweeds in New Zealand. Plant Prot. Quar. 16: 172–176.

Tang, C.-T., G. Melika, J. A. Nicholls, M.-M. Yang, and G. N. Stone. 2011. A new genus of oak gallwasps, Cycloneuroterus Melika & Tang, with the description of five new species from Taiwan (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa 3008: 33–62.
Tang, C.-T., G. Melika, M.-M. Yang, J. A. Nicholls, and G. N. Stone. 2011. New species of oak gallwasps from Taiwan (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa 2865: 37–52.
Tang, C.-T., F. Sinclair, J. Hearn, M.-M. Yang, G. N. Stone, J. A. Nicholls, S. Schweger, and G. Melika. 2016. Eight new species of Cycloneuroterus Melika & Tang gallwasps from Taiwan and mainland China (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa 4088: 451–488.

Tang, C.T., Melika, G., Nicholls, J.A., Yang, M.M. and Stone, G.N., 2020. A New Cycloneuroterus Melika & Tang oak gallwasp species (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) associated with Lithocarpus (Fagaceae) from Taiwan. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 122(1): 184-196.

Tooker, J, Deans, A, Hanks, L. 2004. Description of the Antistrophus rufus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) species complex, including two new species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 13: 125-133.

van Noort, S, Buffington ML & Forshage, M. 2015. Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera). ZooKeys 493: 1-176. http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.493.6353

van Noort, S., Stone, G.N., Whitehead, V.B. & Nieves-Aldrey, J.L.  2007. Biology of Rhoophilus loewi (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Cynipidae), with implications for the evolution of inquilinism in gall wasps. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 90: 153-172. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00719.x

Wang Q, Wang X-D & Zhu D-H. 2021. A new species of Plagiotrochus from China (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) galling on Quercus glauce (Fagaceae). Zootaxa, 4995(2): 389–395. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4995.2.12

Ward, D. 2014. Overview and key to the New Zealand Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera). Zootaxa. 3878. 563-579. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3878.6.4 

Weld, L.H. 1952. Cynipoidea (Hym.) 1905–1950, being a Supplement to the Dalla Torre and Kieffer monograph, the Cynipidae in Das Tierreich, Lieferung 24, 1910 and bringing the systematic literature of the world up to date, including keys to families and subfamilies and list of new generic, specific and variety names. Privately Printed, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1–351 pp.
Weld, L.H. 1957. Cynipid galls of the Pacific Slope (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea) an aid to their identification. 84 pp. Privately Printed, Ann Arbor, MI.
Weld, L.H. 1959. Cynipid galls of Eastern United States. 124 pp. Privately Printed, Ann Arbor, MI.
Weld, L.H. 1960. Cynipid galls of the Southwest. 52 pp. Privately Printed, Ann Arbor, MI.

Weld, L.H. 1960. A new genus in Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 62: 195–196.

Yang., X.-H., Liu, Z., Pang, Y., Su, C.-Y. & Zhu, D.-H. 2019. Three new species of Synergini wasps from same galls on Lithocarpus glaber (Thunb.) in Hunan, China (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). Insect Systematics & Evolution, 1–33. https://doi.org/10.1163/1876312X-00002304

Yoshimoto, C. 1970. A new subfamily of Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera) from Nepal. Canadian Entomologist 102: 1583-1585.

Zhu, Q., Looney, C., Chen, T., Cuesta-Porta, V., Zoltán, L., Wang, Y., & Pujade-Villar, J. 2021. A new species of Diplolepis Geoffroy (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Diplolepidini) from northeastern China. Zootaxa 4985(2): 219–234. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4985.2.5


Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa) or

Photographs © Matt Buffington (Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA/ARS)

Matt Buffington (Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA/ARS) and Mattias Forshage (Swedish Museum of Natural History) both played an integral role in the development of the Cynipoidea pages.

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2022. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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