Insect galls in three species of Copaifera L. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae) occurring sympatrically in a Cerrado area (Bahia, Brazil)

Abstract The aim of this study was to characterize galls of three species of the Copaifera genus (C. sabulicola, C. luetzelburgii and C. depilis), which occur sympatrically in a Cerrado area from Bahia state. A total of 23 gall morphotypes were found, 9 morphotypes on C. sabulicola, 7 on C. luetzelburgii and 7 on C. depilis. Galls predominated on leaves and stems. The most abundant colours found among galls were brown and green. Regarding the period of the year, from 35,511 leaflets analysed, 16,322 were collected in the dry season and 19,189 in the rainy season. In the dry season, 1,635 leaflets having galls were observed, and the highest proportion was observed on C. luetzelburgii (16.31%). In relation to the rainy season, there is statistical difference in the incidence of leaflets with galls between C. sabulicola and C. depilis, these two species are affected differently during the rainy season. In general, most of the gall morphotypes were more abundant in the dry season. The gallers of 18 morphotypes cannot be determined, because the gall samples were collected occupied by parasitoids or without dwellers. Cecidomyiids induced galls in five morphotypes. Associated invertebrates belonging to the orders Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera and Acari were found among all gall morphotypes. The results obtained here indicate that the three species of Copaifera have an expressive number of galls, but lower than reported in the literature for C. langsdorffii, which is considered a super host.