Several unanswered questions remain regarding the taxonomy and phylogeny of inquiline gallwasps (Cynipidae: Synergini), obligate inhabitants of plant galls induced primarily by other gallwasps (Cynipidae: Cynipini and Diplolepidini). Here we use morphological and molecular data to revise the inquiline genus Synophrus, members of which are notable for extensively modifying the structure of galls induced by oak gallwasp hosts on oaks in the section Cerris of Quercus subgenus Quercus in the Western Palaearctic. Previous taxonomic treatments have recognized three Western Palaearctic species of Synophrus: S. pilulae, S. politus and S. olivieri. Our results support the establishment of four additional Western Palaearctic species: Synophrus hungaricus sp.n., S. libani sp.n., S. syriacus sp.n. and S. hispanicus sp.n. We describe and diagnose these new taxa, analyse their phylogenetic relationships, and show that Synophrus inquilines are able to impose their own gall phenotypes on those of their hosts. We provide an updated key to Synophrus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science