Asian Gallwasp Project

The Project

The Cynipini gallwasps are a fascinating group of insects whose larvae induce complex and often spectacular galls on trees of the Fagaceae family. The majority of the ~1000 known species are associated with trees of the genus Quercus in North America and Europe, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that there are many further species associated with the Fagaceae genera Castanopsis and Lithocarpus that are endemic to Eastern and Central Asia. The Asian Gallwasp Project was established by postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh to promote investigation of the ecology and taxonomy of Cynipini gallwasps in Asia.

The first project expedition to Taiwan and China was conducted in spring 2011, and was successful in discovering more than 80 novel gall-types. Adult gallwasps have since been reared from 20 of these, and further molecular and taxonomic analysis of specimens is underway. From this expedition it was apparent that we have barely scratched the surface of gallwasp diversity in Asia, and there are clear perspectives for further ecological and taxonomic research in the region.

 

new gall species

Novel gall-types from Quercus sessilifolia in Taiwan (left), Lithocarpus spp. In China (centre), and Castanopsis echinocarpa in China (right). Photos by Chang-Ti Tang. 


The intention of this website is to provide information about the work being conducted by the project members and their collaborators, and to make available the reports and publications that have resulted from the project.

 


We are grateful for the support of the following oganisations:


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