Parasitism with gall wasps
Top image: Parasitic gall wasp showing long ovipositor for boring into gall tissue.
Bottom image: Common target for parasitic gall wasps, Robin’s pincushion gall.
In the previous post I mentioned the gall wasp larvae and how they genetically modify acorns from oak trees to form protective galls. In this post I want to mention how these wasps have become a target for parasitism.
Parasitic gall wasps target the defenceless larvae contained within galls by depositing their own eggs into the gall where they hatch and consume the previous host. In the case of the gall wasp picture in the image above, this is accomplished by using an ovipositor. These long structures are covered in zinc to aid insertion into the gall tissue.