These small dry star-bursts of psyllid galls looked like rusted metal flowers stuck to the upper surfaces of gum leaves. These eruptions looked a lot "neater" than some of the galls induced by these little hemipterans.
Spotted on what looked like Silver-leaf Stringy Bark ( E.cinerea) in a reserve.
This eucalyptus tree with slightly pendulous branches and small clusters of creamy white flowers had delicate young leaves with their tips curled into thick cups. These cups appeared to have a membranous pale or brown lid (pic 5). Some of these cups had ants clustering around them as in pic 4. On opening one of these lidded "cups', I found a 3 mm psyllid nymph with small red wide-set eyes, orange thorax and green abdomen. Wings buds were dark with a white substance stuck to them. The tree had several young leaves with these galls.
Spotted on a box gum ( ? Eucalyptus microcarpa) in a bushland reserve.
I am not sure of the relationship between the ants and this species of psyllid. The gall-forming behaviour seems similar to Trioza species of psyllid.
My thanks to Ken Walker for confirming that this is Trioza ( species not known).
These are scale insect galls seen on the adaxial side of the leaf . The broad-based conical outgrowths are female galls. There were two of these, one at the base of the leaf base and another along the main vein. the gall was purplish and had a ring near the base. One of the galls showed two openings and the other a single smooth circular orifice. Also on the leaf surface were many upright tubular structures with apical openings with crenulated margins. These were male galls and they were tinged red.
Spotted on a eucalyptus tree - ? species. Nature reserve.
My thanks to Dr L.Cook for confirming genus and identifying the species.
Apiomorpha urnalis is a woody gall produced by a parasitic hemipteran. The female inside the large gall remains physically underdeveloped and never independent of her host plant. The dissection shows the larviform adult female.
The main picture shows a dissected gall exposing larvae at various stages of development with pale pink segmented bodies and a few eggs (pic 4). The galls were about 3 to 4 mm wide, shiny and green with knobbly tips. They seemed to arise from tips of leaflets (pinnules) and involved most of the leaflet (pic 2). Several of these galls were seen on the pinnae. Pic 4 shows a developing gall on a leaflet. The larvae seemed to have segments differentiated into thoracic and abdominal segments and there appeared to be three pairs of legs (pic 6) suggesting that these were mature and close to pupation ?. I assume these are midge galls and would greatly appreciate confirmation.
- ? Austroacacidiplosis botrycephalae
Spotted on Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) in a nature reserve ( Glenfern Valley Bushland Reserve)
A tree laden with pendulose galls over more than 75% of its leaves. These are produced by a small scale insect (hemipteran). A busy wasp was taking full advantage by laying eggs into the deep gall chambers.
These sub-conical galls with apical holes are female galls of a gall inducing scale insect. The female galls showed enlarged leaf glands. Some leaves also showed small cylindrical galls with apical openings- these were the males of the same species of scale insect (pic 3). Pic 2 shows galls of both sexes on the one leaf.
The underside of the leaf showed slight discolouration and minimal waxy bloom (pic 4).
Spotted on juvenile leaves of a eucalyptus tree (species unknown) in a nature reserve.
A lobulated gall probably involving terminal leaf buds. the galls were green and red and glossy. they were small, about 5 to 7mm wide. A dissected dry gall ( pics 4 & 5) showed thickened concentric layers of tissue. There was no sign of any life inside the gall.
Spotted on a prickly tea-tree (Leptospermum juniperinum).
This gall is formed by a scale insect of the genus Eremococcus. My thanks to L.Cook for the ID.
Mountain Hickory Wattle Leaf Gall
Several leaves of this young acacia shrub had circular to oval patches of thickened, firm, raised growths with brown encrustation on their pale convex surfaces (pics 1 to 3). The growths were concave on the underside with a outer circle of similar brown crust (pic 4). These patches did not occur in any particular part of the leaf - some involved the mid vein and others anywhere on the leaf lamina. A dissection of one of these structures revealed just thick tough plant tissue.
Spotted on young Mountain Hickory Wattle ( Acacia obliquinervia) shrubs on Mt Donna Buang (1250 masl)
Architect of gall unknown.
Looking very much like small Camellia flower buds, these pea-sized growths could easily be mistaken for flower buds on the tea tree. They were globose, had scaly bract like outer growth and layers of soft sheaths within. They did not appear to have stalks and were seen on branches between nodes.
On cutting one of them open, I found at least two very small maggots at the base, not much over 1 mm in length. The inside of the gall was soft with white fibrous layers.
Spotted on Coastal Tea Tree ( Leptospermum laevigatum)
This gall forming scale bug (Apiomorpha munita, family = Eriococcidae) produces a chemical stimulant causing the plant to grow a protective cage. The smaller posterior structures are (empty) male galls. The dissection shows the adult female prisoner with reduced wings, legs, antennae etc.