This study uses an integrated approach to address the taxonomic status of six different and problematic oak galls and their inducing wasps sampled from two sites in the Central Zagros Mountains (Lorestan province) in western Iran. Our aim was to establish whether morphologically similar but different galls are induced by the same or distinct gall-inducers. The gall wasp specimens were identified morphologically to species level, and their genomic DNA was extracted. We used PCR and Sanger sequencing to amplify three fragments comprising cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), cytochrome b (cytB), and a multi-gene fragment of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) including partial 5.8S, complete internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), and partial 28S rRNA. We found that a pair of structurally similar but differently coloured galls are induced by the sexual generation of Andricus grossulariae, while another similar pair are induced by the asexual generation of A. sternlichti. In contrast, we found that two similar galls that differ in some structural details and in developmental phenology are induced by two closely related but different gall wasps; one is the sexual generation of A. cecconii, while the second is a new but closely related sexual generation Andricus sp.
- Gall wasps
- gall morphology