In about July we noticed that something fairly wacky was going on with the wild roses:
Rather than a simple pink flower, many of them had these spiky red and yellow pompoms.
By today, mid September, these looked like this:
A bit of research has shown us that these are the delightfully named Robins Pincushions – made by a Bedeguar Gall Wasp and inside this gall are several chambers, each containing an overwintering larvae. The adult wasps emerge in the Spring and will look like this:
But thats not all!
Many of the Creeping Thistle also have galls:
This is the work of the Creeping Thistle Gall Fly, Urophora cardui who lays its eggs onto the thistle and, after hatching, the larvae burrow into the stem of the plant to form the gall to overwinter in.
The fly looks amazing and I’ll be looking out for it next year – we certainly have enough creeping thistle!