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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Succulent Oak Gall, Revisited

Two years ago, you might remember that there were thousands, probably millions, of these little balls on the ground under oak trees. After some research, I learned that they are succulent oak galls, caused by being punctured by a cynipid wasp. The leaf grows a ball of unusual cells around the irritation, where the wasp has laid an egg. Thus the egg has a nice safe home in which to develop.

Two years ago, almost all the galls had fallen to the ground. Yesterday, I found some still attached to a white oak leaf. And this picture shows the color variety better too.

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vanilla said...

Is there symbiosis? I mean, I see what the wasp gets out of it, but what is the benefit to the oak?

Sharkbytes said...

vanilla- nothing. Not really symbiotic, more parasitic

Secondary Roads said...

I used to see succulent oak gall on the leaves of the oak trees that surrounded our former home.

rainfield61 said...

Another way of living.

Ann said...

what an odd but interesting reaction to the wasps puncture

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