On the contents of a Gall

Timothy Tyler Timothy.Tyler at bbs.oit.unc.edu
Tue Jun 30 19:46:31 EST 1992

In article <VSUMMERS.92Jun30123122 at polaris.cv.nrao.edu> vsummers at polaris.cv.nrao.edu (Vince Summers) writes:
>     ON a leaf of one of the wild grapes, galls were found which contain
>a golden orange "grub".  Can anyone identify this?
>vsummers at polaris.cv.nrao.edu

This is hard to do without seeing the specimen. While my specialty is
not plant galls, I do know a bit about them, so here goes:
Since you state there is a "grub" in the galls, fungi or molds can be
ruled out as the cause of the gall.
There are mites, aphids & wasps that can produce galls in plants, but i
suspect these galls may have been produced by a Cynipoid wasp.  The
identification of cynipoid wasps is a specialized occupation, and
taxonomy of these wasps is not as complete as for some other
Hymenopterans. Your best chance of getting the specimens identified is
to send the to the Smithsonian Institution Systematic Entomology
Laboratory in Washington D.C. (I do not have the address.. sorry). You
should be aware that the Laboratory charges a small fee for identifying
insect specimens.  If you do not want to send the specimens to the
Smithsonian, there is a Catalog of North American Hymemnoptera in three
volumes, published in 1979.  This catalog contains a list of plants
which are known as hosts for Hymenoptera, arranged Alphabetically.
This catalog may be available at university libraries (I am not sure
that it is still in print).  Hope this helps.

Timothy Tyler

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