Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creosote Galls

Loads of insects use the creosote bush in some way. The larvae of a species (or two) of  creosote gall midge, for example, live in the leafy ball-like galls pictured below. The female midge fly deposits her eggs in the stem. (Other species deposit other places.) The plant produces the gall to heal the 'wound;' the eggs hatch and the larvae say: yum.

Photo by Ned Harris - This gall is relatively 'fresh' 

Photo by Ned Harris - Same kind of gall, but dried out.

Other species of midge lay eggs in different areas/parts of the creosote bush. The corresponding galls look different. The gall below looks like it's composed mainly of crystallized sap.

Photo by Gene Spesard 1/15/2014

The fruits of the creosote bush (fruit = the thing that has/holds the seeds) are furry (not spiny) and white.

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