Temperature Protection in Galls Induced by the Aphid species Baizongia pistaciae (Hemiptera: Pemphigidae)
[Temperaturschutz in den von der Blattlausart Baizongia pistaciae erzeugten Gallen (Hemiptera: Pemphigidae)]
The microenvironment hypothesis is a theoretical frame work for understanding the adaptive nature of galls induced in host plants by insects. This hypothesis has not been studied in the system of gall aphids on Pistacia trees around the Mediterranean Basin. Determining the properties of the environment inside the gall cavity has to be the first step in dealing with this hypothesis. In the present preliminary research using Baizongia pistaciae [L], an aphid that creates galls in Pistacia palaestina Boiss and in Pistacia terebinthus, field measures were first conducted to assess the isolating effect of the gall wall on the air temperature inside the gall cavity. Findings indicate that during the hottest hours of the day the temperature inside the gall is significantly lower than that in the shadow of the host tree, far below the aphid’s lethal temperature.