Currently viewing the category: "Galls"

tropical gall
Your gall page is great! Any idea what insect might be producing this gall? I’m pretty sure the tree is in the Myrtaceae family, but beyond that, I couldn’t say. The tree is in western Panama at an altitude of about 800 m. Thanks for any help.

Hi Mary,
We don’t know anything about your Gall from Panama. It is unusual in that it is a twig gall and not a leaf gall. We will post your photo to see if any of our readers knows the answer, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high for an identification. Tropical insects are even difficult to identify when they are large, spectacular looking, or highly unusual, unlike this relatively innocuous Gall.

Eggs on Scuppernong
Hi, I stumbled upon your great website while trying to find out what these apparent eggs are on a Scuppernong (wild) leaf in our front yard woods here in Northeastern Alabama. Got any ideas? Many thanks for any help.
Mike O’Brien

Hi Mike,
Your letter attracted our attention since we had no idea what a Scuppernong was. Thanks to Wikipedia, now we know a Scuppernong is a Wild Grape. These are Grape Tube Gallmakers formed by a Midge, Cecidomyia viticola. Dave’s Garden website has photos. Galls are growths on plants caused by insects (like wasps, flies or aphids), mites, fungus, bacteria, viruses and other sources. Galls can be found on leaves, stems, roots, buds and other plant parts. Most Galls are harmless, though unsightly, and a few are destructive. The Grape Tube Gallmaker is an example of a harmless Gall. The larval Midge forms the Gall and the Gall acts as the food source for the insect. The are

Cocoon on Oak Tree Branch?
Hi — I found your website through Google. I live in central Missouri and found this "weird growth" on a branch of one of the oak trees in my yard. I’ve tried researching the web, but I still can’t identify if it’s a plant fungus, or a gall, or a bird nest, or a cocoon, or something else! Do you have any idea? It’s about the size of a ping-pong ball, white with pink spots, and it’s "perched" on top of the branch. Very strange. Thanks!
Susan Foster

Hi Susan,
In the true sense of the word, this is not a cocoon though adult insects will emerge. You have a Wool Sower Gall which is produced by a tiny wasp, Callirhytis seminator. Galls are growths on various parts of plants, usually caused by a Gall Wasp or a type of mite. There are many species of Gall Wasps, and each has a specific host plant. The Wool Sower Gall used the oak tree as a host. Here is a site with additional information.

Yesterday we noticed this gall on our largest protected California Black Walnut Tree, and did some internet research. We can’t locate a convincing photo, but believe it might be the result of the Velvet Gall Mite, Eriophyes caulis. We will check with local California Black Walnut experts Clare Marter-Kenyon and Julian Donahue to see if they know of this mite on Los Angeles trees. According to the information we can locate: “Little is known about the mites that occur on black walnut, but the velvet gall mite is common in some areas. The mite itself is so small that it cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Injury The velvet gall mite causes a conspicuous velvety red growth up to an inch long on the leaf stem, often causing the leaf to curl or twist over on itself. Galls may be numerous on individual trees but they are considered to be harmless to the tree. Control No control is recommended. ”

unusual oak galls?
First, I love your site! These odd-looking galls appeared on some oak trees in my yard last year and they’re back this year. I can’t seem to identify them anywhere on the internet. I suspect they are wasps of some kind and don’t want to eliminate them if they’re harmless. My dog, a golden retriever, actually ate a few them today! GROSS! I assume since the squirrels eat them they must not be toxic. (?) Thanks in advance for any help in identifying what kind of creature is in there…
a bug lover

Hi Bug Lover,
We believe these are Oak Apple Galls, benign leaf galls produced by the Gall Wasp, Amphibolips confluenta, a “very small and dark cynipid wasps with an oval, compressed abdomen” according to a website we located. Another website indicates that several wasps produce Oak Apple Galls, also known as King Charles’ Apple. One species mentioned is Biorhiza pallida.

Rose Galls
Just thought I’d share this pic of Rose galls – presumably from a gall wasp. Enjoy!
Barbara Logan
Fairbanks, Alaska

Hi Barbara,
After a bit of research, we believe these Galls to be either the Spiny Rose Gall, Diplolepis bicolor, or another related rose leaf gall, Diplolepis polita, and not the picturesque Robin’s Pincushion, Diplolepis rosae.