Zsolt Pénzes


Institute of Biology
Faculty of Science and Informatics
University of Szeged
6726 Szeged, Közép fasor 52. Hungary

Academic history

1990 - 1992 Department of Biophysics, BRC, Szeged. Modelling protein structure. Participation in the development of an EIA Reader prototype (Biohit Finland and BRC project).
1993 - 1997 Department of Evolutionary Zoology, Kossuth University (recently University of Debrecen), Debrecen. Modelling behaviour of paper wasps: Optimisation and Self-organization. PhD in biology (1998). Thesis: Self-organizing patterns of Polistes colonies.
1998 - present Associate professor, Department of Ecology, University of Szeged
head of the Molecular Biodiversity Unit, BRC (2003-2017)
head of the Department of Ecology (2015-2023)


  • Evolution of inquiline gall wasps. Of the various forms of insect herbivory, the most intimate and complex form is gall induction. Galls represent discrete microhabitats that support relatively closed communities of specialist inhabitants. With around 1400 described species, gall wasps (Cynipidae, Hymenoptera) constitute the second largest group of galling insects, and they induce some of the most structurally complex and diverse galls known. A number of species can not induce galls themselves but develop inside the galls of other cynipids: these are called inquilines. Our main interest is the evolution of the latter group, especially the tribe Synergini associated to Fagaceae host plants.


  • Evolutionary biology. Lecture, BSc and MSc.
  • Molecular evolutionary genetics. Lecture and practice, MSc and PhD.
  • Molecular ecology. Lecture, MSc and PhD.
  • Models in biology. Practice, MSc.
  • Phylogenetics. Practice, PhD.

Publications (fullScopus)

  • Lobato-Vila I., Bae J., Roca-Cusachs M., Kang M., Jung S., Melika G., Pénzes Z., Pujade-Villar J. (2022) Global phylogeny of the inquilinous gall wasp tribe Synergini (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Cynipidae): first insights and establishment of a new cynipid tribe. Zool J Linn Soc 195:1338-1354
  • Pénzes Z., Tang C.-T., Stone G.N. ; Nicholls J.A., Schwéger Sz., Bozsó M., Melika G. (2018) Current status of the oak gallwasp (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) fauna of the Eastern Palaearctic and Oriental Regions. Zootaxa 4433:245-289
  • Stone G.N., White S.C., Csóka G., Melika G., Mutun S., Pénzes Z., Sadeghi S.E., Schönrogge K., Tavakoli M., Nicholls J.A. (2017) Tournament ABC analysis of the western Palaearctic population history of an oak gall wasp, Synergus umbraculus. Molecular ecology 26:6685-6703
  • Mónus F., Liker A., Pénzes Zs., Barta Z. (2017) Status signalling in male but not in female Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus. Ibis 159:180-192
  • Chang T.-T., Mikó I., Nicholls J.A., Schwéger Sz., Yang M.-M., Stone G.N., Sinclair F., Bozsó M., Melika G., Pénzes Zs. (2016) New Dryocosmus Giraud species associated with Cyclobalanopsis and non-Quercus host plants from the Eastern Palaearctic (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 53:77-162
  • Schwéger S., Melika G., Tang C.-T., Yang M.-M., Stone G.N., Nicholls J.A., Sinclair F., Hearn J., Bozsó M., Pénzes Zs (2015) New species of cynipid inquilines of the genus Saphonecrus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini) from the Eastern Palaearctic, with a re-appraisal of known species world-wide. Zootaxa 4054:1-84
  • Schwéger S., Melika G., Tang C.-T., Bihari P., Bozsó M., Stone G. N., Nicholls J. A., Pénzes Zs. (2015) New species of cynipid inquilines of the genus Synergus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini) from the Eastern Palaearctic. Zootaxa 3999:451-497
  • Bozsó M., Chang T.-T., Pénzes Zs, Yang M.-M., Bihari P., Pujade-Villar J., Schwéger Sz., Melika G. (2015) A new genus of cynipid inquiline, Lithosaphonecrus Tang , Melika and Bozsó (Hymenoptera:Cynipidae:Synergini) with description of four new species from Taiwan and China. Insect Systematics & Evolution 46:79-114
  • Csősz S., Wagner H.C., Bozsó M., Seifert B., Arthofer W., Schlick-Steiner B.C., Steiner F.M., Pénzes Zs (2014) Tetramorium indocile Santschi, 1927 stat. rev. is the proposed scientific name for Tetramorium sp. C sensu Schlick-Steiner et al. (2006) based on combined molecular and morphological evidence (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 253:469-481
  • Bozsó M., Pénzes Zs, Bihari P., Schwéger S., Tang C.-T., Yang M.-M., Pujade-Villar J., Melika G, (2014) Molecular phylogeny of the inquiline cynipid wasp genus Saphonecrus Dalla Torre and Kieffer, 1910 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Plant Protection Quarterly 29:26-31
  • Seltmann K.C., Pénzes Zs, Yoder M.J., Bertone M.A., Deans A.R. (2013) Utilizing Descriptive Statements from the Biodiversity Heritage Library to Expand the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology. PLOS ONE 8:e55674
  • Fülöp D., Mikó I., Seltmann K., Pénzes Zs., Melika G. (2013) The description of Alloxysta chinensis, a new Charipinae species from China (Hymenoptera, Figitidae). Zootaxa 3637:394-400
  • Melika G., Tang C.T., Yang M.M., Bihari P., Bozsó M., Pénzes Zs (2012) New species of cynipid inquilines of the genus Ufo Melika & Pujade-Villar, 2005 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini) Zootaxa 3478:143-163
  • Bihari P., Sipos B., Melika G., Fehér B., Somogyi K., Stone GN, Pénzes Zs (2011) Western Palearctic phylogeography of an inquiline gallwasp: Synergus umbraculus Olivier 1791 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Biol J Linn Soc 102:750-764
  • Mónus F., Szabó K., Lózsa A., Pénzes Zs., Barta Z (2011) Intersexual size and plumage differences in the tree sparrow (Passer montanus) - A morphological study based on molecular sex determination. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57: 269-276
  • Somogyi K, Sipos B, Pénzes Zs, Andó I (2010) A conserved gene cluster as a putative functional unit in insect innate immunity. FEBS Letters 584:4375-4378
  • Ács Z, Challis R, Bihari P, Pénzes Zs, Blaxter M, Hayward A, Melika G, Pujade-Villar J, Nieves-Aldrey J-L, Schönrogge K. Stone G.N Phylogeny and DNA Barcoding of Inquiline Oak Gallwasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) of the Western Palaearctic. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55:210-225
  • Melika G, Pujade-Villar J, Abe Y, Tang CT, Nicholls J, Wachi N, Ide T, Yang MM, Penzes Z, Csoka Gy, Stone GN (2010) Palaearctic oak gallwasps galling oaks (Quercus) in the section Cerris: re-appraisal of generic limits, with descriptions of new genera and species (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini) Zootaxa 2470:1-79
  • Pénzes Zs, Melika G, Bozsóki Z, Bihari P, Mikó I, Tavakoli M, Pujade-Villar J, Fehér B, Fülöp D, Szabó K, Bozsó M, Sipos B, Somogyi K, Stone GN (2009) A taxonomic and phylogenetic re-appraisal of the inquiline wasps of the genus Synophrus Hartig, 1843 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Systematic Entomology 34:688-711
  • Melika G, Pujade-Villar J, Stone GN, Fülöp D, Pénzes Zs (2009) New species of cynipid gallwasps of the genus Plagiotrochus Mayr, 1881 from Nepal and Jordan (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 55:263-274
  • Fehér Z, Szabó K, Bozsó M, Pénzes Zs (2009) Phylogeny and phylogeography of the Lozekia-Kovacsia species group (Gastropoda: Hygromiidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 47:306-314
  • Fehér Z, Szabó K, Bozsó M, Pénzes Zs. (2009) Recent range expansion of Pomatis rivulare (Eichwald, 1829) (Mollusca: Pomatiidae) in Central-Eastern Europe. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 55:67-75
  • Liker A, Bókony V, Kucsár A, Tóth Z, Szabó K, Kaholek B, Pénzes Zs (2009) Genetic relatedness in wintering groups of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Molecular Ecology 18:4696-4706
  • Tóth Z., Bókony V, Lendvai Á., Szabó K, Pénzes Zs, Liker A (2009) Kinship and aggression: do house sparrows spare their relatives? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 63:1189-1196
  • Tóth Z., Bókony V, Lendvai Á., Szabó K, Pénzes Zs (2009) Whom do the sparrows follow? The effect of kinship on social preference in house sparrow flocks. Behavioural Processes 82:173-177
  • Tóth Z, Bókony V, Lendvai Á., Szabó K, Pénzes Zs., Liker A. (2009) Effects of relatedness on social-foraging tactic use in house sparrows. Animal Behaviour 77:337-342
  • Csóka Gy, Pénzes Zs, Hirka A, Mikó I, Matošević D, Melika G (2009) Parasitoid assemblages of two invading black locust leaf miners, Phyllonorycter robiniella (Clemens, 1859) and Parectopa robiniella (Clemens, 1859) in Hungary. Periodicum biologorum 111:405-411
  • Somogyi K, Sipos B, Pénzes Zs, Kurucz É, Zsámboki J, Hultmark D, Andó I. (2008) Evolution of genes and repeats in the Nimrod superfamily. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25:2337-2347
  • Sipos B, Somogyi K, Andó I, Pénzes Zs. (2008) t2prhd: a tool to study the patterns of repeat evolution. BMC Bioinformatics 9:27
  • Tavakoli M, Melika G., Sadeghi S.E., Pénzes Zs, Assareh M.A., Atkinson R., Bechtold M, Mikó I., Zargaran M.R., Aligolizade D., Barimani H., Bihari P, Pirozi F, Fülöp D., Somogyi K, Challis R., Preuss S, Nicholls J, Stone G.N. (2008) New species of oak gallwaps from Iran (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Cynipini). Zootaxa 1699:1-64
  • Ács, Z., Melika, G., Pénzes, Zs., Pujade-Villar, J. and Stone, G. N. (2007): The phylogenetic relationships between Dryocosmus - Chilaspis and allied genera of oak gallwasps (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae: Cynipini) Syst. Entomol. 32:70-80
  • Kovács, G.M., Balázs, T., Pénzes, Zs. (2007) Molecular study of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing the sporophyte of the eusporangiate rattlesnake fern (Botrychium virginianum, Ophioglossaceae). Mycorrhiza 17:597-605
  • Mikó, I., Vilhelmsen, L, Johnson, N.F., Masner, L., Pénzes, Zs. (2007) Skeletomusculature of Scelionidae (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea): head and mesosoma. Zootaxa. 1571:1-78
  • Melika, G., Choi, J-Y., Pujade-Villar, J., Pénzes, Zs., & Fülöp, D. (2007) A new species of inquiline cynipid of the genus Ufo Melika & Pujade-Villar, 2005 from Korea (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 10:197-200
  • Kálmán, K., Medvegy, A., Pénzes, Zs., Mihalik, E. (2007) Morph-specific variation of floral traits associated with reciprocal herkogamy in natural populations of Primula vulgaris and Primula veris. Plant Systematics and Evolution 268:15-27
  • Sadeghi, S. E., Melika, G., Pujade-Villar, J., Pénzes, Zs., Ács, Z., Bechtold, M., Assareh, M.H. , Tavakoli, M., Yarmand, H., Askary, H., Stone, G.N. Azizkhani, E., Zargaran, M. R., Aligolizade, D. Barimani, H. & Dordaei A. A. (2006) Oak cynipid gall inquilines of Iran (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini), with description of new species. J. Entomol. Soc. Iran 25:15-50
  • Szekeres A, Leitgeb B, Pénzes Z, Kredics L, Hatvani L, Antal Z, Manczinger L, Vágvölgyi C. (2006) Proteases of Trichoderma strains from Hungarian winter wheat rhizosphere, In: Méndez-Vilas A (ed.): Modern Multidisciplinary Applied Microbiology. Exploiting Microbes and Their Interactions, Wiley-VCH, pp. 664-668
  • Melika, G., Ros-Farré, P., Pénzes, Zs., Ács, Z. and Pujade-Villar, J. (2005) Ufo abei Melika et Pujade-Villar (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae: Synergini) new genus and new species from Japan. Acta Zool. Acad. Sci. Hung. 51: 313-327
  • Homor P., Pfeiffer I. és Pénzes Zs. (2004) Genetic (RAPD) diversity in two Armadillidium vulgare populations. Tiscia 34:19-22
  • Kredics L., Manczinger L., Antal Z., Pénzes Zs., Szekeres A., Kevei F. és Nagy E. (2004) In vitro water activity and pH dependence of mycelial growth and extracellular enzyme activities of Trichoderma strains with biocontrol potential. J. Appl. Microbiol. 96:491-498
  • Varga T., Keyser C., Beer Zs., Pénzes Zs., Pamzsav H., Csete K. és Ludes B. (2003) STR data analysis in a Mongolian population. Legal Medicine 5:S156-159
  • Pénzes Zs., Csanádi Gy., Kovács M. G. és Beer Zs. (2002) Molecular markers in ecology. Tiscia 33:9-30
  • Pfeiffer I., Litter J., Pénzes Zs. and Kucsera J. (2001) Effect of double-stranded RNA viruses on the reproduction of Phaffia rhodozyma. Acta Biol. Hun. 52:299-306
  • Karsai I. and Pénzes Zs (2000) Optimality of cell arrangement and rules of thumb of cell initiation in Polistes dominulus: a modeling approach. Behavioral Ecology 11: 387-395.
  • Karsai I. and Pénzes Zs (1998): Nest shapes in paper wasps: Can the variability of forms be deduced from the same construction algorithm? Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 265:1261-1268.
  • Karsai I. Pénzes Zs. and Wenzel J. W. (1996) Dynamics of colony development in Polistes dominulus: a modeling approach. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 39:97-105.
  • Karsai I. and Pénzes Zs. (1996) Intraspecific variation of Polistes dominulus: parameters, maturation, nest size and cell arrangement. Ins. Soc. 43:277-296.
  • Karsai I. and Pénzes Zs. (1993) Comb building in social wasps: self-organization and stigmergic script. J. Theor. Biol. 161:505-525.
  • Ábrahám M., Pénzes Zs. and Szajáni B. (1992) A kinetic approach to the thermal inactivation of an immobilized triose-phosphate isomerase. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 40:525-529.
  • Ábrahám M., Pénzes Zs. and Szajáni B. (1992) Effects of carbodiimides as coupling agents on the stability of immobilized aldolases. Appl. Biochem. Biotech. 33:25-32.

  Last modified: 03/03/2018