Journal article Open Access

Insects associated with oaks (Quercus) in Israel

Bytinski-Salz, H.; Sternlicht, M.

370 species of insects are recorded as occuring on the 3 oak species in Israel (Quercus infectoria boistieri, Q. ithaburensis, Q. calliprinos). Of these, 40% are monophagous on Fagaceae, the rest occurring also on other plant families. Groups entirely or prevalently monophagous are: Coccoidea, Aphidoidea, Microlepidoptera, Cynipidae, Hymenoptera parasitica and Cecidomyidae, especially the leaf miners, gall producers and acorn breeders are monophagous, but also in polyphagous groups certain genera are restricted to oak. All species, with the exception of the endemic ones, are known to occur also on other Quercus species in Centraleuropean- and other Mediterranean countries. A zoogeographical analysis of the fauna shows that it is prevalently of Mediterranean origin (58.5%) roughly half of the species having a Circum-mediterranean, half of an East- mediterranean distribution, followed by the Eurosiberian element (18.5%) and a rather low percentage of Iranoturanian (3%), Eremian (1.1%) and Ethiopian (0.6%) elements. Species with large distribution areas (Cosmopolitan to Palaearctic 6.3%) are chiefly composed of cultural immigrations and polyphagous predators. The large percentage of endemic elements (12%) is witness to the specialized food requirements of a large number of species of which 53.5% are monophagous. So, the zoogeographical analysis of the oak fauna agrees well with the European–Mediterranean distribution of the genus Quercus.

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