All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

I noticed this <strong>Goldenrod gall</strong> along the Cumberland Trail. A small Tephritid fly lays her egg on the stem of a goldenrod plant in the spring. When the larva buries into the stem and releases a chemical, the plant begins to grow a tumor-...
I noticed this Goldenrod gall along the Cumberland Trail. A small Tephritid fly lays her egg on the stem of a goldenrod plant in the spring. When the larva buries into the stem and releases a chemical, the plant begins to grow a tumor-like gall. The larva eats the inside of the gall. When it is ready to pupate, the larva makes a small tunnel to the outside edge of the gall for a future escape route. If the fly matures and escapes the gall later in the year, you will find a round, pin-head sized hole. If you find a larger, ragged hole, you'll know that a bird had a meal of the pupa or the fly! This goldenrod also has a spittlebug as a tenant!

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