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The wasps associated with seeds and galls of Rosa canina in Iran.


Galls occur on many different plants. This malformed growth maybe caused by insects, fungi, bacteria, or nematodes , but insect galls are the most common[16]. The ability to form galls represents an important and widespread life style among insects. The galling habit has evolved several times, and over 13000 species of gallers have been described[22].

Galling insects are usually not considered as pests. Most of them are harmless and just look interesting. However, certain species can physically and aesthetically damage high value plants by reducing photosynthesis and seed production, discoloring foliage, causing defoliation, branch dieback and rarely, plant death[16].

Gall wasps mainly belong to the family Cynipidae that attack herbaceous and tree species in the Palearctic and Nearctic regions[6]. Among cynipids, the genus Diplolepis include major gall wasp species. Diplolepis wasps are restricted to wild roses[40]. One of the species Diplolepis mayri, which is widely distributed, induces gall on wild roses such as dog rose (Rosa canina L.)[10,21,35,68]. D. mayri has been reported by Farahbakhsh [23] from Chahar mahal-Bakhtiari in Iran.

Gall wasps have a complex of specific natural enemies such as parasitoid wasps that help suppress their population. These parasitoid wasps belong to the two great superfamilies: Chalcidoidea[10.68] and Ichneumonoidea[9,38,58]. Many chalcidoid species of the families Pteromalidae [31.36], Eulophidae, Eurytomidae, Ormyridae, Torymida e [31], Eupelmidae[13,19] and some species of Ichneumonidae [30,53] are important parasitoids of gall wasps.

Among chalcidoids, the most phytophagous torymids belong to the subfamily Megastigminae, which includes one genus Megastigmus [31]. The larvae of some species feed on tissue in developing seeds of Rosa canina [60]. The objective of this study was to determine seed wasps and parasitoids of gall was p, D. mayri on R. canina in Iran.

Simpson diversity indices (D and ED) and Shannon diversity indices (H and EH) provide important information about rarity and commonness of species in a community. Also these indices are important tools for biologists trying to understand community structure[11].

Materials and Methods

The studies on seed feeders, gall wasps and parasitoids of gall wasps on dog rose was carried out from April to November 2002 in Tehran province (Shahrestanak, Aghasht) and also February to June 2003 in Tabriz (campus of college of Agriculture, Tabriz University) and Uromieh (Nazlou).

The galls of dog rose were collected irregularly from field and transferred to the laboratory. The materials were placed in petri-dishes, covered with a layer of filter paper. The petri dishes were kept in room condition. The emerged wasps were collected daily using an aspirator and stored in 75% ethyl alcohol for future works. The wasp species were identified by experts.

Simpson diversity indices (D and ED) were calculated by the following equations:


where D is the Simpson's diversity index, [p.sub.i] is the proportion of species i relative to the total number of species, S is the total number of species in the community and [E.sub.D] is the equitability or evenness [11].

Shannon's diversity indices (H and [E.sub.H]) is another indices that is commonly used to characterize species diversity in a community:


where H is the Shannon's diversity index, [E.sub.H] is the Shannon's equitability and [H.sub.maz] is equal to lnS, other characters are like Simpson's indices [11].

Result and Discussion

Eleven species of wasps were recorded in our investigations. Among the wasps associated with R. canina, two species, Megastigmus aculeatus (Swederus) and Megastigmus rosae Boucek (Hym: Torymidae) were recorded as seed feeders. The species, Diplolepis mayri (Schlechtendal) was the only gall wasp on hips of R. canina in all studied regions and years.

A total of eight species of parasitoids from the superfamilies Chalcidoidea and Ichneumonoidea were reared from D. mayi on Rosa Canina. These belong to five families: Torymidae, Eurytomidae, Pteromalidae, Eupelmidae and Ichneumonidae. Torymus bedeguaris (Linnaeus), Glyphomerus stigma (Fabricius), Eurytoma pistaciae Rondani, E. rosae Nees, Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thomson), Eupelmus urozonus Dalman belong to Chalcidoidea, Exeristes roborator (Fabricius) and Orthopelma mediator Thunberg belong to Ichneumonidae that Exeristes roborator was newly recorded from D. mayri.

The total number of each parasitoid species and their relative frequency in the examined samples are given in table 1. In Tehran, Pteromalus bedegusris was found to be the most common parasitoid (33.17 %) followed by E. roase (31.77%). P. bedeguaris was also found to be the dominant species (37.79%), followed by O. mediator (19.85 %) in Tabriz. Also in Uromieh, P. bedeguaris was the most common species (60.86 %), followed by E. rosae (13.04 %). The other species were less abundant.

Diversity indices provide more information than simply the number of species in a given area. The present study has also revealed that D. mayri had the highest parasitoid diversity in Tehran (Shannon's H= 1.590, Simpson's D= 4.175), in comparison to Tabriz and Uromieh. For a given richness (e. g. Tehran and Uromieh, S=6), D and H increase as equitability increases . Equitability is greatest when species are equally abundant (Table 2).

Rose Gall wasp

Family: Cynipidae

Diplolepis mayri (Schlechtendal, 1877)

Material examined

Tabriz, 14.II.2003, 41 females; 12.III.2003, 108 females; 16.IV.2003, 92 females, 24.IV.2003, 138 females; Uromieh, Nazlou, 10.IV.2003, 73 females. In this research, D. mayri was collected from Tabriz and Uromieh regions on R. canina. This species has also been reported by Farahbakhsh[23] from Iran on Rosa sp. It is widely distributed in Sweeden [59], Spain [67], Romania[64].

D. mayri induces large, complex and multichambered galls in the hips of several species roses including Rosa canina, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa villosa and Rosa majalis or Rosa rugosa [58,5,10,68,35,33,21].

A complex of parasitoid species of D. mayri on R. canina vere identified. These include Eurytoma rosae Nees , E. pistaciae Rond., Torymus bedeguaris (L.), Glyphomerus stigma (F.), Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thoms.), Eupelmus urozonus Dalman, Exeristes roborator (Fabricius) and Orthopelma mediator Thunberg.

Rose seed wasps

Family: Torymidae

Subfamily: Megastigminae

Megastigmus aculeatus (Swederus, 1795)

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 22.V.2002, 28 females, 4 males; Shahrestanak, 6.VI.2002, 18 females, 6 males; 22.VI.2002, 7 females, 5 males; Tabriz, 16.IV.2003, 1 female.

M. aculeatus is a phytophagous wasp. The larvae consume the entire contents of seeds of Rosa multiflora [44-46] and R. canina[39]. It is also reported from Rosa rubiginosa, [60], R. gallica, R. palustris and R. virginiata [51]. Gorlenko et al. [26] mentioned M. aculeatus as one of the pests of rose under field and glasshouse conditions.

In this study numerous M. aculeatus were found in Shahrestanak and Aghasht and one from Tabriz. Rakhshani et al[54] was reported M. aculeatus on R. canina from Tehran. This wasp also has been recorded from Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, France, England, Japan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, New Zeland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Tajikis tan, Turkmenis tan, Ukraine and USA [48].

Multiflora rose is one of the most important weed. M. aculeatus is an interesting species which is used for biological control of Rosa multiflora[3].

Megastigmus rosae Boucek, 1971

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 25.V.2002, 21 females, 5 males; Shahrestanak, 10.VI.2002, 11 females, 4 males; 15.VI.2002, 7 females, 2 males ; Tabriz, 14.IV.2003, 6 females; 24.IV.2003, 8 females; Uromieh, Nazlou, 10.IV.2003, 1 female.

Bayram et al. [10] reported M. rosae Boucek in complex of D. mayri on dog rose in Turkey as a phytophagous (seedfeeder) species. This wasp has been also recorded from R. arvensis, R. ferruginea, R. pendulina, R. rubiginosa , R. tshatyrdag and R. turkestanica [55].

This wasp has been collected from Tehran province. It has been recorded from Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Caucasus, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Rissia, Tajikis tan, Turkmenis tan Turkey and Ukrine [48].

Parasitoids of Rose gall wasp

Family: Torymidae

Subfamily: Toryminae

Torymus bedeguaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Material examined

Tehran, Shahrestanak, 25.VI.2002, 12 females, 8 males; Tabriz, 16.IV.2003, 12 females, 4 males; 24.IV.2003, 8 females; Uromieh, Nazlou, 21.IV.2003, 2 females.

The species T. bedeguaris has association with gall insects, especially cynipids. T. bedeguaris has previously been reported by Shodjai [56] as a parasitoid of D. mayri. Zerova and D'yakonchuk [68] and Bayram et al.[10] has also reared this species from D. mayri. This parasitoid wasp has been also recorded from D. bicolor [27], D. centifoliae[32], D. ignota [51,27], D. rosae [14,32,50], D. multispinosa[32,51], D. spinosisssimae [32] and D. tuberculatrix [27].

In this study T. bedeguaris was found in the galls collected from Shahrestanak, Tabriz and Nazlou. It has been reported by Shodjai [56] as a parasitoid of D. mayri from Tehran and East Azerbaijan. It has been also reported from Armenia, Austria, Canada, Caucasus, Croatia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, England, Hungary, Ireland (North and South), Italy, Netherland, Romania, Slovakia, U S A, USSR, Sweden, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Ukraine[48].

Most of the species of Toryminae are ectoparasitic on cecidogenus insects of the families Cecidomyidae and Cynipidae [54,27,15]. A few species of the genus Torymus are parasitic on gall inducing Eurytomidae[47].

Subfamily: Monodontomerinae

Glyphomerus stigma (Fabricius, 1793)

Material examined

Tehran, Shahrestanak, 26.VI.2002, 11 females, 8 males; Tabriz, 18.IV.2003, 5 females, 2 males; 24.IV.2003, 8 females.

G. stigma is one of the parasitoid of gall inducing cynipids that are mostly foud in the complex of other parasitoids. Tachikawa [61] reared G. stigma, from Diplolepis fukudae (Shinji) on R. rugosa. This species has also been reported as parasitoid of D. mayri (Schlechtendal) on R. canina [68]. Bayram et al. [10] found G. stigma as parasitoid of Diplolepis mayri and Diplolepis rosae on dog rose in Turkey. It has been also recorded from D. centifoliae, D. eglanteriae, [28], D. multispinosa, D. opaca, D. polita [54] and D. spinosisisimae [32].

Other distribution regions include Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Croatia, England, Japan, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, USSR, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany and Turkey [48].

Family: Eurytomidae

Subfamily: Eurytominae

Eurytoma pistaciae Rondani, 1877

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 29.VI.2002, 8 females, 5 males; Shahrestanak, 2.VI.2002, 6 females, 2 males; Tabriz, 15.IV.2003, 14 females, 12 males; Uromieh, Nazlou, 16.IV.2003, 5 females.

E. pistaciae has been always reported with together E. rosae Nees as parasitoid of gall inducing cynipids on rose. Zerova and D'yakonchuk [68] recorded this species from D. mayri on R. canina. Kim [37] and Murakami et al. [43] listed E. pistaciae as one of the natural enemies of chestnut gall was p, Dryocosmus kuriphilus.

Murakami et al. [42] investigated the activity of Torymus sinensis had been introduced for biocontrol of Dryocosmus kuriphilus. He found a faculative hyperparasitism by E. pistaciae on T. sinensis.

Other distribution regions include Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Japan, Russia, USSR, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary and Korea-South [48].

Eurytoma rosae Nees, 1834

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 29.V.2002, 28 females; Shahrestanak, 25.VI.2002, 27 females, 13 males; Tabriz, 16.IV.2003, 31 females, 23 males; 27.IV.2003, 12 females, 11 males; Uromieh, Nazlou, 5.VII.2003, 6 females.

E. rosae has been reported as parasitoid of D. mayri on R. canina [1 0,68] and also galls of R. pimpinellifoliae [49]. Bayram et al., [10] has recorded this species on D. rosae and D. eglanteriae from Turkey. It has been also recorded on D. spinosissimae, D. rosarum, D. nervosa and D. centifoliae [49,32].

E. rosae have parasitic activity on some other cynipids such as chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus [41,34].

Other distribution regions include Argentinia, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Caucasus, Switzerland, Peoples' republic of China, Czech Republic, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, England, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (North and South), Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, North Africa, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, USSR (European and Central Asia), Sweden and Turkey[48].

Members of the genus Eurytoma can be entomophagous, phytophagous or both. Entomophagous forms are documented to parasitize a wide variety of insect orders, including members of the Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Homoptera and Diptera as well as Araneae [20]. Some of them are external parasite of the immature stages of hymenopterous, paraticularly gall-cynipids, others parasitize larvae of other gall insects. Phytophagous forms are known from at leas t six plant families and most often attack seeds and stems (borers or gallers) or live as inquilines in galls formed by other insects. Many species of Eurytoma are ectoparasitic on the larvae of gall makinfg Tephritidae as well [17]. On the other hand some species of Eurytoma are gall inducing [65,2].

Family: Pteromalidae

Subfamily: Pteromalinae

Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thomson, 1878)

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 25.V.2002, 33 females, 8 males; Shahrestanak, 10.VI.2002, 17 females, 13 males; Tabriz, 18.II.2003, 63 females, 34 males; 25.II.2003, 15 females , 14 males ; 24.III.2003, 14females, 18 males; Uromieh, Nazlou, 17.III.2003, 2 females, 1 male; 10.IV.2003, 3 females, 6 males; 18.IV.2003, 16 males.

In this research P. bedeguaris has been recorded from D. maryri. Also, D. rosae [68,50,32,24], D. eglanteriae, D. rosarum and D. spinosissimae [32] are the other hosts of this wasp.

During study, this was p was collected from Karaj, Tabriz and Uromieh. Other distribution regions include Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, England, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Sweden, USA, Sweden, Serbia, Caucasus and Turkey [48]. Pteromalus bedeguaris(Thomson)has previously been reared from galls induced by Diplolepis mayri on R. canina [10].

Family: Eupelmidae

Subfamily : Eupelminae

Eupelmus urozonus Dalman, 1820

Material examined

Tehran, Aghasht, 24.VI.2002, 16 females; Tabriz, 16.IV.2003, 5 females; Uromieh, Nazlou, 9.V.2003, 3 females.

In this research E. urozonus was recorded from D. maryri. It has been also reared from D. centifoliae, D. eglanteriae, D. spinosissimae [32] and D. rosae [50,8]. A good account of the biology of Eupelmus urozonus Dalman found parasitic on the cynipid galls of oak is available [4]. E. urozonus often parasitised gall insects specially cynipids and cecidomyiids. E. urozonus is one of the most improtant natural enemies of chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus in China [[34,41 ,29]. This species reared as parasitoid of some other gall insects [25], such as Dasineura gleditchiae (O.S.)[12], Janetia cerris and Dryomyia circinnans [7] (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae). Eupelmus urozonus has also found with Bruchidius chloroticus on seeds of Sesbania aculeata (Legominosae)[66]. There is an interesting report from E. urozonus as an egg parasitoid of Dendrolimus pini L. (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) in Hungary [18]. Thuroczy [62] recorded E. urozonus as parasitoid of several species of gracillariids in Hungary.

Other distribution regions include Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Algeria, Bulgaria, Bosnia Hercegovina, Egypt, Switzerland, Peoples' republic of China, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, England, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Ireland (North and South), Italy, North Africa, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Korea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Moldova, Norway, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, USSR (European and Central Asia), Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Syria, USA, Transcaucasus (Zakavkaz), Sweden and Turkey[48].

Several species are reported from the galls of plants and some are supposed to be gall inducer. Among the various genera of Euplemidae, the genus Eupelmus includes a majority of species associated with plant galls [47]. Some species of Eupelmidae such as E. urozonus have parasitic activity on gall insects mainly on Cynipidae. E. urozonus has been reported as parasitoid of olive fly, Daucus oleae (Dip. Tephritidae) [19,13].

Family: Ichneumonidae

Subfamily: Pimplinae

Exeristes roborator (Fabricius, 1793)

Material examined

Tabriz, 28.IV.2003, 8 females, 14 males; 7.V.2003, 6 females, 10 males.

E. roborator has been known as the parasitoid of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. In this study it was recorded from D. mayri which is the first record on cynipids. The lepidopteran hosts include Ostrinia kasmirica [30,1] and Rhyacionia buoliana [63] and it has also recorded from Larinus saussureae [30] and L. obtusus [52] as coleopteran hosts. The size of the Parasitoid wasps collected from D. mayri is smaller in comparison with the other hosts. Maybe gall wasps are not considered as favorite hosts for this parasitoid.

This Parasitoid wasp was recorded from Tabriz-Iran for the first time during 2003. It has already been reported from India (Uttar Paradash and Kashmir), Taiwan, Pakistan, Europe, China, Micronesia [30], Romania [52], Bulgaria [63] and Egypt [1].

Subfamily: Orthopelmatinae

Orthopelma mediator Thunberg, 1822

Material examined

Tabriz, 14.IV.2003, 1 female, 14 males; 19.IV.2003, 17 females, 20 males; 28.IV.2003, 15 females, 16 males; Uromieh, Nazlou, 15.IV.2003, 2 females.

The host- plant affinities and allozyme variation of cynipid Diplolepis mayri in southern Sweden were investigated, Orthopelma mediator was found in galls [59]. In addition this wasp also attack D. rosae, D. eglanteriae, D. spinosissimae and D. rosarum [58,24].

This Parasitoid is recorded here for the first time from Tabriz, Iran. It has been also recorded from Canada [57], Sweden [58,59] and Romania [64]. In southern Sweden, Parasitoid pressure was found to be high, causing D. rosae an estimated average larval loss of approximately 75%, mainly due to the attack of the ichneumonid wasp Orthopelma mediator[58].

In conclusion, the results of this study contribute to the knowledge of parasitoid-host relationships on R. canina. This study confirmed that the most parasitoids that attack cynipid rose gall wasp are members of the superfamily Chalcidoidea. Also the most parasitoids of gall wasps attack a wide range of gall wasp species.


We are most grateful to Prof. K. Horstmann (University of Wuerzburg, Germany) and Prof. C. Thuroczy (Systematic Parasitoid Laboratory, Koszeg, Hungary) for the identification of wasps, which were the key background of our studies.


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Shohreh Daneshvar, Ali Asghar Talebi, Yaghoub Fathipour

Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modarres University, P.O.Box: 14115-336, Tehran, Iran.

Shohreh Daneshvar, Ali Asghar Talebi, Yaghoub Fathipour: The Wasps Associated with Seeds and Galls of Rosa Canina in Iran: Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 3(1): 61-68, 2009

Corresponding Author

Ali As ghar Talebi, Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, P. O. Box: 14115-336, Tehran, IRAN, E-mail:
Table 1: Frequency of parasitoid species reared from D. mayri
in three locations of Iran.

                                  Number and Relative frequency

                                        Tehran (2002)

Parasitoid species                No.      Frequency(%)

Family: Torymidae
Torymus bedeguaris (Linnaeus)     20       9.34
Glyphomerus stigma (Fabricius)    21       8.87

Family: Eurytomidae
Eurytoma pistaciae Rondani        19       9.81
Eurytoma rosae Nees               68       31.77

Family: Pteromalidae
Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thomson)   71       33.17

Family: Eupelmidae
Eupelmus urozonus Dalman          16       7.47

Family: Ichneumonidae
Exeristes roborator (Fabricius)   0        0.00
Orthopelma mediator Thunberg      0        0.00

                                  Number and Relative frequency

                                        Tabriz (2003)

Parasitoid species                No.      Frequency(%)

Family: Torymidae
Torymus bedeguaris (Linnaeus)     16       3.82
Glyphomerus stigma (Fabricius)    15       3.58

Family: Eurytomidae
Eurytoma pistaciae Rondani        26       6.22
Eurytoma rosae Nees               77       18.42

Family: Pteromalidae
Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thomson)   158      37.79

Family: Eupelmidae
Eupelmus urozonus Dalman          5        1.19

Family: Ichneumonidae
Exeristes roborator (Fabricius)   38       9.09
Orthopelma mediator Thunberg      83       19.85

                                  Number and Relative frequency

                                        Uromieh (2003)

Parasitoid species                No.      Frequency(%)

Family: Torymidae
Torymus bedeguaris (Linnaeus)     2        4.34
Glyphomerus stigma (Fabricius)    0        0.00

Family: Eurytomidae
Eurytoma pistaciae Rondani        5        10.86
Eurytoma rosae Nees               6        13.04

Family: Pteromalidae
Pteromalus bedeguaris (Thomson)   28       60.86

Family: Eupelmidae
Eupelmus urozonus Dalman          3        6.52

Family: Ichneumonidae
Exeristes roborator (Fabricius)   0        0.00
Orthopelma mediator Thunberg      2        4.34

Table 2: Parasitoid diversity of D. mayri in three locations of Iran

                                     Tehran    Tabriz   Uromieh

Simpson's diversity index (D)        4.175     3.537    1.847
Simpson's equitability ([E.sub.D])   0.696     0.442    0.308
Shannon's diversity index (H)        1.590     1.563    0.970
Shannon's equitability ([E.sub.H])   0.889     0.752    0.541
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Daneshvar, Shohreh; Talebi, Ali Asghar; Fathipour, Yaghoub
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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