Friday, November 16, 2012

Much More Than A Fallen Leaf

I spotted a fallen leaf... a leaf that is much more than just a fallen aspen leaf.
That made my day!  Can you see why?
aspen leaf with gall of Poplar Petiole Gall Moth (Ectoedemia populella)
Did you notice the tiny ball gall on the stem?  I stood at one spot and picked up over a dozen leaves with galled stems.  I was surprised at how many aspen leaves with galls were scattered under this aspen grove.   
Aspen grove
   These cute little caterpillar galls are caused by the larvae of the Poplar Petiole Gall Moth (Ectoedemia populella).  The galls were home (and food supply) for the caterpillars as they grew during the summer, but now the galls are empty.  I found exit holes where the caterpillars left their galls to pupate in the ground.
  This photo shows a galled aspen leaf lying on the carpet of leaves underneath the aspen stand.
aspen leaf stem gall
  What is so special about aspen leaves with swellings on the stems?  See my previous post that goes into much more detail about the aspen galls.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know you go with me on almost every walk I take, as I try to spot things you've show us ?