Gall Update

The gift that is the white oak. Big fuzzy Hedgehog Gall (Acraspis erinacei) and Phylloteras poculum on the same leaf underside.
Details of the Phylloteras poculum galls.
On swamp white oak: Jumping Oak Gall (Neuroterus saltarius).Most of these have already fallen off; evidently they jump around on the ground a bit before settling down? All the above are induced by tiny wasps.
On butternut hickory leaflets: Aceria vaga. These are induced by a mite..

By rough count, I have 77 wasp, midge, mite, and aphid gall-inducers logged on iNaturalist, most of them in Brooklyn, and most of these in Green-Wood Cemetery.

3 Responses to “Gall Update”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander July 8, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    So, where are the swarms of ladybeetles and other such predators that should be feeding on these galls?

    • 2 mthew July 9, 2021 at 7:21 am

      The galls themselves are plant material which serve to both shelter and feed the inducer larvae within. Not a lot of things eat the actual galls. I’ve seen holes on woodsy bullet galls that suggest woodpeckers have been at work. The lifeforms within is juicy, of course, but it’s relatively protected. There are some parasitic wasps who lay their eggs inside the galls, the resulting larva eating the original gall-inducer larva.

  2. 3 Chuck McAlexander July 9, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    To quote my brother, “everybody is on somebody’s menu at dome time”. I expected there to be a long list of predators and parasites taking advantage of this food source. Go figure.

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