Oak Gall – 5/11/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/20

Observation Time: 11:05 a.m.

Observation Location: in a small oak tree in the field across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Oak gall

Scientific Name: caused by small wasps in the family Cynipidae

Comments: Oak apple or oak gall is the common name for a large, round, vaguely apple-like gall commonly found on many species of oak. Oak apples range in size from 2 to 4 centimetres (1 to 2 in) in diameter and are caused by chemicals injected by the larvae of certain kinds of gall wasp in the family Cynipidae. The adult female wasp lays single eggs in developing leaf buds. The wasp larvae feed on the gall tissue resulting from their secretions, which modify the oak bud into the gall, a structure that protects the developing larvae until they undergo metamorphosis into adults. Considerable confusion exists in the general “literature” between the oak apple and the oak marble gall. The oak marble is frequently called the oak apple due to the superficial resemblance and the preponderance of the oak marble gall in the wild. Other galls found on oak trees include the oak artichoke gall and the acorn cup gall, but each of these has its own distinctive form.

Some common oak-apple-forming species are the Biorhiza pallida gall wasp in Europe, Amphibolips confluenta in eastern North America,[2] and Atrusca bella in western North America.

More Information: Wikipedia