Hey Buggy Joe!! What is it?? - Bladdergalls

I'm probably not alone in these galls being one of the earliest, if not the first, to open my eyes to the wide world of plant galls.  Nevertheless, mine is a cautionary tale.  I did not know that maple bladdergalls are a gateway-gall; they can lead to a serious hard-core gall-addiction.  Before you know it, you're standing before groups of people saying, "Hello, my name is [your name here], and I'm a gall-oholic."

 

My gall-habit stemmed from learning the fascinating story behind plant gall formation; read on at your own risk!  Eriophyid mites direct gall-growth by inducing plant genes to activate and deactivate at just the right time to cause newly differentiating leaf cells to form the same plant structure; the tiny cigar-shaped mites live inside the bladdergalls.  Vasates quadripedes never produces any other type of gall.  The equally common maple spindle galls are produced by a different eriophyid mite, V. aceriscrumena; this species never produces bladdergalls.

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Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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