Evolutionary and biological patterns can be obscured by inadequate or ill-defined terminology, especially when referring to ecological interactions. For example, cecidogenous (gall-inducing) species are considered ecosystem engineers, promoting structures rich in nutrients that create distinct microhabitats with many organisms interacting with the galls and gall inducers. These interactors are classified as members of a guild, and are described according to location, attribute, or activity of the host species. Guilds often do not typically have strict or clearly defined boundaries, nor do they need to be taxonomically interconnected. Cecidophage, inquilines, and kleptoparasite guilds appear to be poorly understood and misinterpreted. Herein, we bring an overview of the features that might help conceptualize and differentiate these interactions. We suggest that some cases described in the literature might be reassessed, and clear criteria proposed to distinguish among these 3 guilds associated with galls.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1