FOTD – October 29 – Eucalyptus Leaves – The Gall Of It All

Cee’s FOTD Challenge permits the inclusion of leaves and berries, in part owing to the limited number of flowers in ‘Fall’ and Winter.

Although we are in Spring and not in Autumn Down Under my FOTD today was something so unusual i just had to post it.

(Click on image to open in a new window and click again to expand) 🙂lovewillbringustogether - Eucalyptus Gall 1These are some of the leaves from a recently planted Eucalypt (Gum Tree) in a small park near to where i live. I had never seen these objects before and initially thought they might be some sort of mutant fruit growing from the leaf itself!? They look very much like cherries or small apples. 🙂

 

lovewillbringustogether - Eucalyptus Gall 2

The lumps are spherical and the centre is located on the leaf, or where the leaf would have been if not for the fruit – the leaf ‘cuts’ through the centre of the sphere!

It turns out that the ‘fruits’ are a kind of leaf tumor, called a gall – a growth of plant tissue caused by a parasite such as fungi, bacteria or insects. It is likely that these were made by a small wasp larva, probably less than 1 mm in length!.
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link to:

Cee’s Flower of the Day – October 29, 2019 – Peonies

 

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17 comments

    • It was a teeny, tiny little bug and the overall effect actually looked pretty, i thought? 🙂

      There are other critters that leave much less attractive homes on leaves for their young!

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    • Up until this week i had never seen anything quite like this on any tree before so i can’t give too much more info, But i don’t think it does much harm to the tree although probably 40% of the leaves had one or more of these lumps, which protect the wasp until it can look after itself. ( It was a young small tree and i suspect just one wasp laid all the larvae).

      I suspect the wasp and eucalypt have a symbiotic relationship, the wasp gets a safe home for a while and a free lunch and then when it’s an adult may eat other insects that might harm the tree??

      Or not? 😉

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