Hedgehog gall, caused by a tiny cynipid wasp, Acraspis erinacei, on leaves of White Oak (Quercus alba) in Green-Wood Cemetery.There are three to five larval cells in each of these galls. Only female adults will emerge from these in the late fall, and lay eggs (without mating) on leaf buds. These eggs over-winter, hatching in early spring. The resulting larvae will then develop in other galls, and emerge as adults of both sexes, who mate. Mated females then lay eggs on leaves. When these eggs hatch, they stimulate (annoy?) the tree to form these furry galls, which protect the larvae.Before he got bogged down the relatively simple complexities of human sexuality, Alfred Kinsey was a cynipid wasp expert. There are thousands of gall-forcing organisms, wasps, mites, fungi. Oak species are associated with hundreds of them.
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This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.