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Oak Pests - A Guide to Major Insects, Diseases, Air Pollution and Chemical Injury

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Amphibolips confluenta

Importance. -- This is one of many leaf galls that affect oaks. These galls usually damage the tree less than do twig galls. However, heavy infestations of this and other leaf galls can cause premature leaf fall and are unsightly on ornamental trees.

Identifying the Insect. -- Adults are very small and dark cynipid wasps with an oval, compressed abdomen. The larvae are small and globe-shaped.

Identifying the Injury (figure 41). -- Galls are about .5 to 2 inches (12 to 50 mm) in diameter, and are filled with a fibrous mass. Each contains a single larva inside a hard center capsule. The galls are produced on the midrib or stem of leaves. Galls formed during spring are green, but become light brown on drying with a thin, papery shell. Oak-apple galls occur principally on red, black, and scarlet oaks.

Biology. -- Oak-apple galls, usually initiated during spring when the young leaf is being formed, sometimes appropriate the entire leaf for its own purpose. The biology is poorly known, but it probably has alternate generations on different host parts.

Control. -- Natural enemies are usually sufficient to control wasp populations. Galls can be picked or pruned off small ornamental trees.


Figure 41
Figure 41. -- Cluster of oak-apple galls.
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