I got up around 5:30 this morning and after giving Esteban his breakfast and letting him out for potty, I headed over to the William B. Pond Park along the American River to do a kind of recon on the galls there.
There are several oak trees on the manicured lawn that often provide an abundance of specimens, and then, of course, there’s what I call the “Reverend Mother” tree: a particular Valley Oak that I go to every year. It sits at an intersection of different parts of the trail near the river, and sports a wide variety of galls throughout the late summer. I wanted to see what was out there before I brought my friend Roxanne over there on a gall hunt; to make sure that there was something there to see.
The galls are still just starting to emerge, but I did see several different species, including a beautiful Rosette gall (on the Reverend Mother tree).
There were also a couple of oak apple galls that were oozing black goo. I cut one open and found the wasp larva inside, but couldn’t see any indication of other insect that was causing the rot. So, I figured they had some kind of fungal infection. I couldn’t find any information on that in my research yet, though, so I’m not sure.
The honeydew galls aren’t big enough or engorged enough to start dripping, but I did see some Yellow Jackets hanging around the tree, looking for them.
CLICK HERE for the full album pf photos.
While I was checking out some Round Galls, I saw a tiny red nymph, shaped kind of like a cigar, with black coloring at both ends. I was surprised that it was relatively easy to figure out it was the nymph of some kind of Tube-Tailed Trip. (Thank you, BugGuide.net) But I’m still not seeing the number of insects I’d expect to find in the summer by the water. I only saw one damselfly, some kind of Dancer.
Oddly enough, I didn’t see or hear many birds along the river, either, but I did come across some California Quail and a Bewick’s Wren.
I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back home.
- Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis
- Assassin Bug, Zelus sp. [eggs]
- Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
- California Quail, Callipepla californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
- California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
- Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
- Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
- Dancer Damselfly, Unidentified, Argia sp.
- Disc Gall Wasp, Andricus parmula [round flat, “spangle gall”]
- Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
- Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
- Fuzzy Gall Wasp galls, Disholcaspis washingtonensi [round faintly fuzzy galls on stems]
- Gall-Like Scale, Allokermes rattani [striped ball]
- Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus bifrons [white flowers]
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Irregular Spindle Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysolepidicola
- Jumping Oak Gall Wasp, Neuroterus saltatorius
- Liquid Ambar, American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua
- Live Oak Erineum Mite gall, Aceria mackiei
- Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
- Non-Biting Midge, Chironomus sp.
- Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
- Ribbed Cocoon-Maker Moth, Bucculatrix albertiella [cocoon]
- Rosette Oak Gall Wasp, Andricus wiltzae
- Round Gall Wasp, Cynpis conspicuus [round gall near base of leaf on Valley Oaks, formerly Besbicus conspicuus]
- Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
- Sheet Weaver Spiders, Family: Linyphiidae
- Silver Wattle, Acacia dealbata
- Solitary Oak Leaf Miner Moth, Cameraria hamadryadella [tracks on leaves]
- Spiny Turban Gall Wasp, Antron douglasii
- Tube-Tailed Trip, Family: Phlaeothripidae [red nymph]
- Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
- Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta [cocoon]
- Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris (lots of white fluff & honeydew)
- Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Andricus fullawayi