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Cynips quercusfolii

Cherry gall

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusCynipsOak gall wasps. From New Latin, altered from Late Latin cyniphes, “a kind of stinging insect,” corrupt form of Ancient Greek κνίψ (kníps), varying with σκνίψ (skníps)
SpeciesquercusfoliiOak leaf gall

About plant names...

Cherry galls are not plants or fruits. They are homes built by trees at the direction of a wasp, specifically by Cynips quercusfolii, a gall wasp. They are found on Quercus frain­etto, Q. macranthera, Q. petraea, Q. pubescens, Q. pyren­aica, Q. robur, and rarely, Q. cerris.

Plants: Cherry galls are created when a gall wasp larva secretes substances on some oak species, com­mand­eering the plant’s cellular machinery into building a “house.” The house acts as an incubation cham­ber, food source, and complete miniature habitat for the larva. How cool is that? Galls are ½-⅞" (1.5-2.5 cm) in diameter, yel­low-green with pink or bright red, sometimes smooth and shiny, some­times warty. The wasps themselves are less than ¼" (6.3 mm) long and black, and the larva occupies a tiny hollow in the middle of the gall.

Galls form from July to October, maturing in August.

Online References:

Cynips quercusfolii on bladmineerders.nl (great photos)

Cynips quercusfolii on www.naturespot.org.uk

Cynips quercusfolii on BioLib.cz (wasp and gall photos)

Cynips quercusfolii on Wikimedia Commons (photos)

Cynips quercusfolii on www.dreamstime.com (more photos)

References:

Redfern, Margaret, Plant Galls, Collins, 2011, p. 267, 334, 341-2, 474, 489-90

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

9/16/2017 · Wills Hole/Town Forest, Acton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 1¾ × 1½" (4.5 × 4.3 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

On sessile oak (Quercus petraea) · 7/31/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

9/16/2017 · Wills Hole/Town Forest, Acton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 1¾ × 1¾" (4.9 × 5 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

9/23/2007 · Near Mike & Ellen’s, Milford, Penn­syl­vania
≈ 2½ × 1¾" (7.1 × 4.7 cm)

 

Cynips quercusfolii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 1 Jan 2021.

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Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

On sessile oak (Quercus petraea) · 7/31/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

9/5/2009 · Willard Brook State Park, Orange Trail, Townsend, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 3 × 2" (7.8 × 5.2 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

8/28/2017 · Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest, Lowell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 1¾ × 1¾" (4.8 × 4.7 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

On sessile oak (Quercus petraea) · 7/31/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

On sessile oak (Quercus petraea) · 7/31/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 3½ × 2½" (9 × 6.8 cm)

Cynips quercusfolii (cherry gall)

9/23/2007 · Near Mike & Ellen’s, Milford, Penn­syl­vania
≈ 2 × 1½" (5.9 × 3.9 cm)