Willow Pinecone Gall

“Pine Cones” Rise on Willows

Willow Pinecone Galls, with their faux seed scales, bear a striking resemblance to pine cones, particularly when the galls darken during the winter. Of course, pine cones don’t occur on angiosperms, only on gymnosperms. And, a close examination will expose the pine cone ruse with the galls covered in fine hairs; pine cones aren’t hairy.
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Joe Boggs

Weird Willow Galls

Willow Pinecone Galls are produced by the Willow Pinecone Gall Midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides (family Cecidomyiidae), to house, nourish, and protect a single fly larva (maggot) located deep within the gall. The elaborate structures bear a striking resemblance to a pine cone complete with faux seed scales.
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Joe Boggs
Pinecones on Willow? They're Baaack! boggs.47@osu.edu Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:58
Willow Pinecone Galls are one of the most unusual galls found in Ohio; I post a BYGL Alert! about them every year. Maybe more than one to spread the gall-joy! The galls are created by the Willow Pinecone Gall Midge to house, nourish, and protect a single fly larva (maggot) located deep within the gall. The literature lists a number of willow hosts; however, I've only ever found them on black willow.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Weird Willow Gall

Arguably, one of the weirdest galls found in Ohio is produced on willow by the gall-midge, Rhabdophaga strobiloides (family Cecidomyiidae).  The gall's appearance isn't weird; it looks like a pine cone.  However, finding a "pine cone" on a willow is weird.  As the common name implies, the Willow Pinecone Gall, which is sometimes called the "pine cone willow gall," closely resembles a pine cone with closed seed scales.

 

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Authors
Joe Boggs