Occurrence and characterization of entomogenic galls in an area of Cerrado sensu stricto and Gallery forest of the state of Bahia, Brazil

Abstract We surveyed insect galls in an area of Cerrado sensu stricto and Gallery forest in the municipality of Caetité (BA) to contribute to current knowledge of the local flora and its associated gall-inducing insects. Monthly collections were made between February/2015 and January/2016, totaling 12 field campaigns (involving two or three people and lasting four hours) that followed an established path through the countryside. A total of 63 gall morphotypes were identified on 47 host plant species belonging to 22 families; 17 morphotypes were found in the Gallery forest and 46 in Cerrado vegetation. The plant families showing the greatest gall richness were Leguminosae (n=15), Myrtaceae (n=9), and Asteraceae (n=7). The species with the greatest number of galls was Mimosa gemmulata Barneby (Leguminosae) (n=3). Most galls were observed on leaves (66%) and stems (24%); they were mostly green (49.3%) or brown (26%), with globoid shapes (39.7%) or marginal roll (17.4%), and were unilocular (87%), glabrous (62%) and isolated (89%). Cecidomyiidae (Diptera) were the principal gall-inducing insects. The associated fauna was principally composed of Hymenoptera. Eight plant taxa were recorded for the first time as hosts of galling fauna.