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This wasp is a member of the family Cynipidae but is not a gall causing wasp, like many others. In fact it is incapable of forming a gall of its own so acts as an inquiline. This is basically a wasp that lays its egg into an existing gall at an early stage to share the same food store as the gall causer. Although the causer is not directly targeted, the fight for food resource can sometimes cause the death of the gall causer, especially if the inquiline is sharing the same cavity as the causer.
The common gall hosts of this species are; Andricus aries agamic, A. corruptrix agamic, A. kollari agamic, and A. lignicola agamic. The flight times for this wasp are from march through to october, as well as a short spell from december to january.
The female measures in at 1.9-4.5mm with an average of 3.5mm.
The head is black and granular with a clear definition to the edge of the mouth. The eyes are mid sized and dark brown with large, close set, brown ocelli. The antennaehas 14 segments and are pale brown, darkening to mid neutral-brown, with a chestnut edgeing to the segments. The first half of the scape is dark.
The thorax is granular and black with pronotal carina present and a black tegulae. The wings clear with heavy dark brown veins, pale hairs and a closed radial cell. The legs are generally dark in appearence with dark brown coxae and femora, with contrasting yellow-brown joints. The tibia and tarsi are dirty yellow.
The bulky, dark black/brown gaster (abdomen) has chestnut hints beneath and to the rear and is clearly punctuate.
The male measures 1.8-3.9mm with an average of 2.9mm
The head is black and granular with a clear cut pale mouth. The eyes are mid sized and mid brown in colour with large close set, brown ocelli. The antennae have 15 segments and are pale brown darkening to neutral brown, with a slight chestnut tint on the segment ends, and have a dark scape.
The thorax is black with the pronotal carina present. The tegulae are black and the wings are clear with prominent rich, dark brown veins, pale hairs and a closed radial cell. The legs have very dark coxae and fibulae and tibiae with contrasting yellow joints. There is some brown on the first tarsel joint.
The gaster is dark brown with a paler band underneath and clearly punctuate.
More detailed descriptions and identification keys are available from Robin Williams at the British Plant Gall Society.
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