Gall of the Ant

Oak Rough Bulletgall, made by the wasp Disholcaspis quercusmamma on Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor; although this tree is actually a Swamp White cross with another oak species, as engineered by Cornell U.) That’s the critter’s exit hole.

And an entrance hole for other critters. I watched this ant, identified on iNaturalist as a subgenus Myrmentoma carpenter ant, go in and out one and a half times; that is, she didn’t exit a second time while I was there. Now, as we know, this kind of gall is an extrafloral nectary, producing food for ants and other insects. By this late stage of the gall’s existence, I don’t think it’s doing that any more. The ant didn’t seem to be carrying anything either way. These galls have the old pupal case and frass inside them. Plus the occasional spider: I mean, what a great place to cache some spider eggs.

1 Response to “Gall of the Ant”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander November 22, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Could the ant be eating spider eggs?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Bookmark and Share

Join 685 other subscribers
Nature Blog Network


%d bloggers like this: