Callirhytis vaccinii

Family: Cynipidae | Genus: Callirhytis
Detachable: detachable
Color: brown, orange, red
Texture: hairless
Shape: globular, cluster
Season: Fall, Summer
Alignment: erect, supine, leaning
Walls: thick
Location: lower leaf, leaf midrib
Cells: monothalamous
Possible Range:i
Common Name(s):
Acraspis vaccinii
Ashmead's name for a wasp he took to induce a gall described by OS. Weld states the synonymy to his C lustrans only applies to the gall, not the wasp.
Andricus dimorphus variety verifactor
Kinsey took this synonymy to apply to Cynips vacciniiformis but he seems to have been mistaken; see ID Notes
Andricus impositus
Beutenmuller's original name, wasp and gall
Andricus lustrans
Beutenmuller's original name, wasp only
Callirhytis lustrans
Trigonaspis vaccinii
Zopheroteras vaccinii
Type species of the new genus Zopheroteras
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  • image of Callirhytis vaccinii

Studies of some new and described Cynipidae (Hymenoptera)

Andricus dimorphus variety verifactor, new variety [Based on Kinsey's description of the gall and Weld's synonymy of the wasp, the association of this name with vacciniiformis is likely mistaken and this gall is most likely Callirhytis vaccinii]

Cynips vacciniiformis (gall only!)

GALL. — Clustered, seed-like leaf galls. Each gall monothalamous, elongate, rather cylindrical, urn-shape, broadest at the middle, less broad apically, flattened at the end, taper-pointed basally, up to 4.0 mm. in diameter by 6.0 mm. in length; colored dark green when young, becoming a dark red or purplish red when old. Mostly solid and fleshy when young, becoming hard, thin-walled, and hollow when old, without a distinct larval cell lining. In compact clusters of up to 30 galls, attached to the midrib, on the under sides of leaves of Quercus stellata (and Q. breviloba).

RANGE.— Texas: Buffalo, Hearne, Elgin, (Leander?), Austin. Probably thruout more eastern Texas and a part of Oklahoma and Louisiana.

This gall is very common on the post oaks in Texas. Patterson states that the punctures from which the galls will arise may be detected about the first of May, that the galls do not develop from the scars until about the middle of July, that the galls are fully grown in size by the first of October, and in a couple of weeks most of them fall to the ground. I have collected them in late November and December, but the larvae are then still so small that they do not mature after becoming dry. Evidently they need to be kept moist, as they are when lying on the ground, to allow the insect to develop. Patterson secured over a hundred adults which emerged from February 12, 1922, to March 8. Inasmuch as the breeding of the insect is difficult unless carefully handled on the field, we are considerably indebted to Dr. Patterson for successfully rearing the adult.

I collected the galls, but did not obtain the insects from the other Texas localities listed. It is possible but not probable that other varieties occur at some of those points. The gall occurs on Q. breviloba at Leander, and Patterson reports it as occasionally on breviloba at Austin. It is not unlikely that the breviloba insect is a distinct variety with a range centering about Burnett County, Texas.

This is certainly a variety of Andricus dimorphus, described as a Cynips (Beutenmuller, 1913, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc, XXXIX, p. 245) from galls taken by Weld at Evanston, Illinois, on Q. macrocarpa. Similar galls have been recorded and are common on white oaks of many species from the whole of eastern United States. Unfortunately I cannot examine the types of dimorphus, and cannot furnish a comparative description. Cynips vacciniiformis was described from Q. stellata galls which are undoubtedly those of verifactor, and from Austin. But the description of the single insect obtained is far from correct for the true producer of this gall, and apparently applies to a different species mistakenly supposed to have come from verifactor galls. Vacciniiformis was described in 1913. Of course insects bred from galls collected in 1917 and now labelled cotypes in at least a couple of collections, cannot have any standing as type material.

- Alfred Charles Kinsey: (1922) Studies of some new and described Cynipidae (Hymenoptera)©


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