A New-To-Me Willow Gall, 06-19-23

I went over to the William B. Pond Park on the American River, which is across the river from the American River Bend Park. It was about 52ºF and windy when I got there, so that cut down one the number of bird sightings and whether or not I would see dragonflies flitting around.

Most of the birds I saw were either transporting nesting material, or feeding fledglings on the ground. I could hear Red-Shouldered Hawks calling to one another from the tree tops, caught some glimpses of Ash-Throated Flycatchers, and saw some Tree Swallows flying around, but I couldn’t get photos of them.

By the sound of them, there were quite a few Northern Mockingbirds around, but I only saw one that was carrying some food and/or nesting material with it.

The Yellow-Billed Magpies were, likewise, quite noisy, but much of the noise was coming from young birds demanding food from their parents.

A lot of the usual plants were all around. The White Clover was going a bit crazy on the more manicured lawns, and the Spanish Clover was starting to flower out along the trails.

The river was flowing high and fast, and in one area had undercut the shallow roots of a eucalyptus tree and toppled it. That tree was in a spot where the tall eucalyptus trees were actually holding each other up. Without the support of their fallen comrade, I wouldn’t be surprised if the other trees fell soon as well. Scary. In other parts of the river, trees were being swamped by the water.

On the leaves of the eucalyptus trees, I found a slew of honeydew covered lerps spun by the Red Gum Lerp Psyllids.

This image shows not only the lerps, but also some psyllid eggs, drop of honeydew, and the dark shed exuvia of adult psyllids.

Other insects found on my walk were very limited. There was a small Jalisco Petrophila Moth and a Black Dancer Caddisfly.

I’m fascinated by caddisflies, but wasn’t able to see many in their larval form this year because the river was so high and washed out most of the areas where I look for the critters. Caddisfly larvae cover themselves with rocks and gravel, and I had been able to see some of them in the slow-moving shallows of the American River before. Here are some photos I took in 2021:

Backtracking on the trail toward the bridge that spans the river, I found an Arroyo Willow with galls on it, including the Willow Apple Sawfly galls, and the new-to-me Willow Tube galls made in response to a species of Iteomyia midge. They look kind of the Willow Apples, but on one side of the leaf, the galls taper into a point. I’d never seen those around the river before, so that was an exciting find for me.

Once again, I was seeing a LOT of Oak Apple galls on the Valley Oaks.

There wasn’t much else to see or photograph this morning, so I was only out for about 2½ hours. The exercise was good for me, though. This was hike #36 of my #52hikechallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  2. Blackberry Orange Rust, Gymnoconia peckiana
  3. Blackberry, Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [red canes, white flowers]
  4. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  5. Caddisfly, Black Dancer Caddisfly, Mystacides sepulchralis
  6. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  7. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  8. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  9. Clover, Spanish Clover, Acmispon americanus
  10. Clover, White Clover, Trifolium repens
  11. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  12. Eucalyptus, Red Gum Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  13. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  14. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  15. Iris, Yellow Water Iris, Iris pseudacorus
  16. Jalisco Petrophila Moth, Petrophila jaliscalis
  17. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  18. Mullein, Moth Mullein, Verbascum blattaria [thin stick, white or yellow]
  19. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  20. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  21. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  22. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  23. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  24. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  25. Red Gum Lerp Psyllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei
  26. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
  27. Silver Wattle, Acacia dealbata
  28. Thistle, Yellow Star-Thistle, Centaurea solstitialis
  29. Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima
  30. Turkey Tangle Frogfruit, Phyla nodiflora
  31. Willow Apple Gall Sawfly, Euura californica
  32. Willow Tube Gall Midge, Iteomyia sp. [single tooth] [lifer]
  33. Willow, Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  34. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

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