Oak Adjacents

Several leafy twigs of a mature White Oak were on the ground last week so I picked them up while scouting for galls. I found these Noctuoidea caterpillars. Still working on narrowing these down even to genus, even on Bugguide, but what a great reminder of all the creatures that live off oaks! [Update: for example, Talliamy and Shropshire 2009 found 557 caterpillar species in the Mid-Atlantic supported by oaks.]

Speaking of galls: this time of year many detach from the leaves they’ve grown out of. I found these Callirhytis piperoides under a hybrid oak in Brooklyn Botanic. More recently, I found some under a Northern Red Oak in Green-Wood.

This is what one looks like inside at this stage of growth. The wasp larva should be in the inner chamber. Unless, of course, it’s a parasite…

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