Monday, May 11, 2009

Cypress Twig Gall Midge


Insects fascinate me almost as much as plants. Their unique evolutionary ties with plants whether commensal, beneficial, or parasitic are a source of endless wonder to me. I share with you today, the cypress twig gall midge. I found these guys on the lower limbs of bald cypress in natural wetland when I was trying to find immature cypress cones low enough to photograph. You can just see (below) the top of the same tree loaded with ball shaped cones. If you don’t hear from me in a while it is probably because I fell out of a cypress trying to get a picture.



Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting your photo. I work at a botanical garden in the DC area and found this gall today on our cypress trees. A good clear photo with ID is a great tool. Your ID is corroborated by others. That's what science is about - clarity, specificity, repetition. Thanks for your time in posting this!

TheLongleaf said...

Thanks, I am glad my post could be of help! I sometimes find it hard to not photograph and research every little critter, crud, or anomaly I see...I am overjoyed when someone else has done the same and can corroborate my findings. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent photo. Quite a few of these on a bald cypress I planted at lakeside near Tampa. Almost one gall per leaf! I asked a landscape designer about them and was told they were seed cones. Had my doubts about that, so googled the answer. I'm glad to know what they really are. Sounds like they are not fatal. I guess I'd rather not rake the dead leaves each winter since there is shrubby ground cover beneath the tree. I wonder if it is a good idea to depend on the wasps for control.