Anais da Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil
versão On-line ISSN 1981-5328
FERNANDES, Geraldo W.; ESPIRITO-SANTO, Mário M. e FARIA, Maurício L.. Cynipid gall growth dynamics and enemy attack: effects of gall size, toughness and thickness. An. Soc. Entomol. Bras. [online]. 1999, vol.28, n.2, pp. 211-218. ISSN 1981-5328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0301-80591999000200003.
Galling insects have developed many strategies to preclude or reduce the attack by natural enemies, such as an increased wall thickness early in the season, and switching to larger and tougher walls later in the maturation stage. In this study, we observed the efficiency of each one of these parameters in reducing mortality of the leaf galling wasp Atrusca caprone Weld (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), on Quercus turbinella Greene (Fagaceae), during the three months of gall development (June-August). Gall diameter and wall toughness increased from the first to the third month of the study (ANOVA, Diameter: F = 88.73, p < 0.0001; ANOVA, Toughness: F = 26.13, p < 0.0001). However, gall wall thickness increased from June to July, decreasing in August (ANOVA, F = 35.84, p < 0.0001). Gall survivorship was only 2 % in June, increasing to 10 % in July and to 29.3 % in August. Multiple regression analyses showed that only gall wall toughness influenced gall susceptibility to parasitoid attack (r2 = 0.52, F = 13.84, p < 0.01). Gall survivorship was very low in the first month due probably to low wall toughness, which led to a higher success of oviposition by parasitoids during this phase. These results suggest that the first month is critical to gall establishment, and the galls which are not parasitized at this stage are less likely to be attacked later.
Palavras-chave : Insecta; gall development; parasitoids; Atrusca caprone; window of vulnerability; Quercus turbinella.