Friday, December 28, 2012

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Coast Live Oak Gall Wasp, Stuff You Missed This Year

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 10, 2012.  I'd always wondered about those mutant golf ball sized fruits you occasionally see on the native Coast Live Oak in the area.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Last week's Christmas Fungus Frenzy had me wrongly thinking puffball mushroom, but they're always on the sunny, east facing side of the tree. 
Gall Wasps lay their eggs in the buds of native Coast Live Oak Trees.  The tree reacts by creating the protective casing or "gall" around the growing larvae.  When holes appear in the gall, the larvae has matured and left the gall.  Another mystery solved.
"Stuff You Missed This Year" is our annual wrap-up of interesting photos we didn't get a chance to run in a timely manner.