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Wonderful World of Wasps

Exhibition Iziko South African Museum

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera)

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What is a gall?

A gall is an abnormal growth on plants and trees formed in response to the invasion of other life forms such as insect larvae, mites, or fungi. Galls on South African Searsia species (Anacardiaceae) comprise a great diversity of shapes, colours and sizes. Galls can be formed on leaves, leaf petioles, flower cluster petioles, or on older woody stems. Many of these galls are formed by a primitive moth, whose caterpillars eventually form “jumping beans”. Some of these moth galls are modified by a Gall wasp, Rhoophilus loewi (Cynipidae).

Photographs © Simon van Noort

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2018. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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