Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Dozen Tiny Wasps From A Blueberry Stem Gall

We brought a Blueberry Stem Gall into the house from out in the cold, snowy woods.
Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp emerging from its gall
About a month or so later we witnessed the emergence of about a dozen miniscule wasps from the woody little gall.  These gall wasps were not much bigger than a pinhead.  I think most of the wasps that emerged were Blueberry Stem Gall Wasps - Hemadas nubilipennis.  
What a sight to see those wasps working to extricate themselves from their gall.
Gall of the Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp

In this photo, the Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp struggles to pull its abdomen through the hole it made in the gall.
Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp emerging

Just about free...
emerging Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp - Hemadas nubilipennis

Free at last...
Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp

There were at least two other species of wasps that emerged from this gall.  These are two species of the six that are parasitoids of the Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp.  One of the parasitoids that emerged from the gall is pictured here.
Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp parasitoid

Here is another parasitoid of the Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp.
another Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp parasitoid

Here is a photo of the Blueberry Stem Gall with least eight wasps working to get out of the gall.
Blueberry Stem Gall
Notice how the galls form on ends of the blueberry shoots (these were lowbush blueberry bushes).
Blueberry Stem Gall
  Sure is entertaining and educational to rear galls by bringing them in from the cold.
Now as we hike through the woods and we see those lumpy little galls on the blueberry bushes we can remember...

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