Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for January 23rd, 2015

Oak gall

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Oak Gall Broken Open 2523

A gall is a growth that a plant produces in response to the sting or injection made by an insect or other invertebrate. The gall, which benefits its provoker by providing a place for its young to develop, usually doesn’t harm the plant. One of the most common galls I see in central Texas is the type shown here, which I photographed on Morado Circle on January 5th adjacent to the goldeneye you saw last time. Online sources lead me to think that the maker might well be an oak apple gall wasp, Amphibolips confluenta. The life cycle of that insect is fascinating, and I encourage you to read about it in an article posted on the website of the Island Creek Elementary School in Virginia. If you’d like more information, including a picture of the larva inside one of these galls, you can check out The Urban Pantheist.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2015 at 5:40 AM

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