California Oak Galls Induced by Unknown or Undescribed Species
There are many undescribed cynipid wasps in California. Some of their galls have been known for
decades -- over 60 years -- but the wasps have never been scientifically described.
In some cases, adults have never been reared from their galls, which is why they haven't been described.
Adults are needed for scientific descriptions of new insects. In other cases, adults have been reared but
are awaiting experts to describe them as new species, or perhaps describe them as alternate generations
of already described species.
Alternate generations usually
make completely different types of galls, at different times of the year, often on
different parts of the tree (ie., buds versus leaves), even
though the wasps are the same species. So it can be difficult to make the connection between
the two generations.
Since oak galls don't cause significant economic damage, there is little
incentive to fund cynipid research in the U.S., and many cynipid species in California remain unknown.
See also the page of scientifically described oak galls.
-- Thanks to Diane Erwin for her help creating these pages. --