Saturday, April 18, 2020

Creosote Gall

Something interesting: This is a creosote gall I found. I didn't know what it was, so I researched. It's an old, dried-up one, but once it was green and leafy. Creosote galls are caused by gall midges from the genus Asphondylia. Midges are little fly-like insects. They lay their eggs and the gall forms around them to provide nutrients for the larvae.

I wondered if the plant formed the gall to keep the hungry larvae in one place. To...shall we say...slow the spread. Something I'm sure none of us have heard anything about recently. But it looks like most galls that form in response to insects are actually controlled by the insects. The larvae inject a chemical which induces the plant to involuntarily form the gall (though some may rely on mechanical damage to induce the growth). So, the little midges restructure their environment to suit them.

The whole process doesn't benefit the creosote bush, but neither does it seem to cause serious harm. Nature is amazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment