Common Spangle Gall Wasp

Neuroterus quercusbaccarum

Common Spangle Gall Wasp

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A close up image of a common spangle wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum on the underside of a green leaf
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Oak Gall Wasps are tiny insects that are parasitic to Oak trees, requiring Oak to reproduce successfully. When Wasps lay eggs in Oak, growths, or galls, appear on plants. Although unsightly, Oak trees can tolerate Gall Wasps. The Common Spangle Gall Wasp produces two kinds of gall during a life cycle. When the Gall Wasp lays eggs in spring, currant galls arise on catkins. The second generation of wasps to emerge from the currant galls lay the second generation in Oak as well, this time producing spangle galls. Spangle galls fall from Oak leaves in autumn. The wasp larvae develop within galls throughout winter, emerging as adults in spring.
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Traits

They cause plants to produce abnormal growths, called galls.
Plant galls won't damage the plant.

Appearance

Adults: These wasps are so tiny it's unlikely you'd see them. Galls: In spring, currant galls may be seen in Oak. These are spherical and measure between 4-7 mm. They vary in colour, comprising green, yellow and red. They can easily be mistaken for berries. The second generation of wasp eggs is laid in summer appearing in summer and autumn. Spangle galls look like flattened discs and measure roughly 5 mm. The begin creamy yellow, becoming redder as time goes on. They're covered in fuzzy hairs. Each leave can have up to 100 galls!

Symptoms

Red-brown button galls under the leaves of Oak. Currant-shaped galls may be seen on catkins.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Cynipidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe

Biological treatment

This wasp will not impact the longterm yield of trees, but the galls it produces may be unsightly. Gall wasps seem to be more frequent in some years than others, so trees normally have quieter periods in which they recover.

Chemical treatment

Insecticides are unlikely to work on this wasp. It's not advised to try and treat plants with these wasps present.

Attracts

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