Insect galls from the Serra da Bandeira (Barreiras, Western Bahia, Brazil)


  • Jeferson Brito de Menezes Universidade Federal da Bahia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde
  • Valdeir Pereira Lima Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Departamento de Fitotecnia
  • Daniéla Cristina Calado Universidade Federal da Bahia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde


Abstract Understanding the diversity of insect galls is pivotal to the establishment of conservation planning in different Brazilian ecosystems. Here, we (1) characterize the insect galls found on plant host species, (2) identify the gall-inducing insects to the lowest possible taxonomic level, and (3) record the presence of gall-associated fauna. Our study was carried out monthly from August, 2017 to July, 2018 along nine trails in Serra da Bandeira, which is located in an area of Cerrado stricto sensu over a year. We found 48 distinct gall morphotypes, belonging to 12 botanical families. The most morphotypes commonly found were globoid (27.1%), lenticular (27.1%) and cylindrical (25%). The plant organs most affected by galling insects were the leaves (73%), followed by the stem (19%), flower (4%), inflorescence (2%) and fruits (2%). The host botanical families holding the highest number of galls were Fabaceae (26), Malpighiaceae (5) and Anacardiaceae, Combretaceae and Euphorbiaceae (3). We observed that the genus Copaifera Lindl. (Fabaceae) had the greatest diversity of gall morphotypes, harboring 19 morphotypes distributed in three species that occur sympatrically - Copaifera sabulicola J. Costa (Fabaceae), Copaifera depilis Dwyer (Fabaceae) and Copaifera luetzelburgii Harms (Fabaceae). For the first time in Brazil, we recorded the occurrence of galls on flowers of Manihot caerulescens (Euphorbiaceae), on inflorescences of Mimosa acutistipula (Fabaceae) and flower buds of Anacardium humile (Anacardiaceae), which were induced by Cecidomyiidae. Inducers of the order Diptera (Family Cecidomyiidae) were the most abundant, found in 14 morphotypes of galls. Regarding the associated fauna, we found insects primarily belonging the order Hymenoptera, and identified them as parasitoids. The information provided can be used highly by decision makers for conservation programs, as well as in other strategies for the conservation of biological diversity in the Brazilian Cerrado.




How to Cite

Menezes, J. B. de, Lima, V. P., & Calado, D. C. (2023). Insect galls from the Serra da Bandeira (Barreiras, Western Bahia, Brazil). Biota Neotropica, 23(4). Retrieved from //




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