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Zapatella grahami Pujade-Villar & Melika, sp. n. by present designation.
Partially resembles Callirhytis, Bassettia and Plagiotrochus. However, in Zapatella, the malar sulcus is absent; mesosoma strongly arched, short, as long as high in lateral view; mesoscutum with numerous fine short, interrupted transverse striae with numerous longitudinal anastomosis connecting transverse striae and together forming a net-like, delicately reticulate, irregular sculpture; the pronotum laterally delicately reticulate; the metascutellum rugoso-reticulate; the metanotal trough and the lateral area of the propodeum with dense white setae. In Callirhytis a distinct malar sulcus is present; the mesosoma less arched, always at least slightly longer than high in lateral view; the transversely orientated rugae on the mesoscutum are much stronger with much fewer anastomoses between them; the pronotum with distinct strong rugae laterally; the metascutellum rugose, never reticulate; the metanotal trough and the lateral area of the propodeum without or with very few setae. In Bassettia the mesosoma is strongly compressed dorsolaterally, distinctly longer than broad; the head always more massive from above and nearly rounded in anterior view, broader than the mesosoma. In Plagiotrochus the sculpture of the mesopleuron, the shape of propodeal carinae and the length of the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium are quite different. The most striking characters that differentiates Zapatella from the above-mentioned genera are the long prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium, which is 6.0–8.5 times longer than broad; hind coxae with dense white setae on the dorsoposterior surface, while in the other mentioned genera the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium is very short, at most 2–3 times longer than broad, and hind coxae without dense setae. For more details see also the Discussion.
Body, including antennae and legs, predominantly chestnut brown; in some species head partially, mesoscutellum and stripes on mesoscutum dark brown to black. Head 1.3–1.5 times as broad as high in anterior view, massive from above and slightly broader than mesosoma. Gena broadened behind eye, as broad as transverse diameter of eye; malar sulcus absent. Antenna with 11 flagellomeres in female, 13 in male.
Mesosoma strongly arched, short, as long as high in lateral view. Pronotum delicately reticulate laterally; mesoscutum with numerous fine interrupted short transverse striae with numerous longitudinal anastomosis connecting transverse striae and together forming a net-like, delicately reticulate, irregular sculpture. Notauli complete (only in Zapatella herberti) or incomplete, extending to 1/2–2/3 length of mesoscutum, converging, deep and broad posteriorly [in some species, on first view, notauli seem to be complete; however, these are just darker lines, not impressed notauli, e.g. Zapatella quercusmedullae]. Anterior parallel lines extending to 1/2 length of mesoscutum; parapsidal lines distinct and broad, starting from posterior margin and extending to 1/2 length of mesoscutum; median mesoscutal line present or absent. Mesoscutellum 0.5 times as long as mesoscutum, as long as broad, not or only slightly overhanging metanotum, center of disk reticulate, sides and posterior 1/3–2/3 dull rugose; scutellar foveae present, indistinctly delimited posteriorly. Mesopleuron uniformly delicately reticulate, smooth and shiny basally. Metascutellum rugoso-reticulate; metanotal trough and lateral propodeal area with dense setae. Central propodeal area delimited by distinct subparallel or slightly bented outwards lateral propodeal carinae. Dorsoposterior surface of hind coxa with dense white setae. Tarsal claws simple, without basal lobe. Forewing venation pale yellow, indistinct, R1 inconspicuous, hardly traceable; wing margin without cilia. 2nd metasomal tergite with felt-like dense ring of white setae, interrupted dorsally and few setae scattered on lateral surface of tergite; narrow posterior band on 2nd metasomal tergite and all subsequent tergites with very delicate dense micropunctures. Prominent part of ventral spine of hypopygium very long, 6.0–8.5 times longer than broad, with very few short white setae in two rows, directed ventrally; subapical setae absent.
Based on a word-play in football, a joke often used between some coauthors and prof. Graham N. Stone (Edinburgh University), in honour of whom one of the species is named.
According to the emergence dates of adults obtained from the collected galls, both sexual and asexual forms are present in the newly described genus. However, the emergence periods of alternate generations are overlapping. Moreover, no morphological differences have been observed between sexual and asexual females. The duration of life cycle is probably more than one year. In the Neotropical area the sexual form (Zapatella grahami Pujade-Villar & Melika, sp. n.)is obtained from acorn galls, while the asexual form (Zapatella nievesaldreyi Melika & Pujade-Villar,sp. n.) from twig galls; in the Nearctic area the asexual forms are obtained from twig and bud galls (Zapatella cryptica (Weld), comb. n., Zapatella herberti (Weld), comb. n., Zapatella quercusmedullae (Ashmead), comb. n.), Zapatella oblata (Weld), comb. n.,while the sexual form, Zapatella quercusphellos (Osten Sacken) comb. n.(= quercussimilis (Bassett), syn. n. from twig galls. A detailed study of the biological cycles is necessary to solve this problem, which might be partially similar to that found in Plagiotrochus amenti Kieffer whichhas two reproductive modes: a heterogonic life cycle with alternation of generations in the circum-Mediterranean region, and an asexual, parthenogenetic life cycle in North America (Garbín et al. 2008), but the most important aspect is that in the Mediterranean area Plagiotrochus amenti has a partially overlapping emergence of the asexual and sexual forms (Benia et al. 2009). The same heterogenetic life cycle was also found in another Western Palaearctic gallwasp, Andricus quadrilineatus Hartig (Folliot 1961, 1964).
Currently known fromthe Neotropics(Costa Rica and Colombia) and the Nearctic (USA, from California, through Texas to Florida and along the Atlantic coast, up to New York state), after transferring 4 Callirhytis species.
- Pujade-Villar, J; Hanson, P; Medina, C; Torres, M; Melika, G; 2012: A new genus of oak gallwasps, Zapatella Pujade-Villar & Melika, gen. n., with a description of two new species from the Neotropics (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini) ZooKeys, 210: 75-104. doi
- Garbín L, Díaz N, Pujade-Villar J (2008) Experimental study of the reproductive cycle of Plagiotrochus amenti Kieffer, 1901 (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea, Cynipidae), with comments on its taxonomy. Boletín de la Asociación Española de Entomología 32(3/4): 341–349.
- Benia F, Khelil M, Pujade-Villar J (2009) Plagiotrochus amenti, una espèce gallicole potentiellement dangereuse pour la chêne-liége (Quercus suber L.) trouvée pour la première fois en Algérie (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae). Nouvelle Revue d’Entomologie 25 (4): 291-296.
- Folliot R (1961) Sur le regroupement des espèces Andricus quadrilineatus Hartig et Andricus marginalis Schlechtendal. Comptes Rendus des Sciences de l’Académie des Sciences 253: 3050-3052.
- Folliot R (1964) Contributions a l’étude de la biologie des Cynipides gallicoles (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea). Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Zoologie 6: 409-564.