Out of The Ordinary

Robin’s Pincushion (Diplolepis rosae) – Also called the Bedeguar Gall, this strange but beautiful, almost alien, fibrous growth is caused by the larvae of a tiny wasp. It is found on the stems of wild roses, and each of these can contain many grubs which feed on the plant tissues inside a woody heart filled with chambers, but apparently do the plant no serious harm.

I am fascinated by plant galls, which often go unnoticed, and how organisms like wasps, flies, mites and even fungi, can transform living tissue into these abnormal, often bizzare forms.

Robin's Pincushion Diplolepis rosae

Double-click image for a closer look.

32 thoughts on “Out of The Ordinary

    1. That morning I went looking to photograph the wild rose blooms, but the blooms had gone over, but these magnificently bright red forms where there instead! Thank you 🙂

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  1. That’s a wonderful and aptly-descriptive common name. It looks like it could be the hair of a Muppet after a particularly-explosive sneeze.

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  2. Once again, you’ve opened my eyes and made me learn something new! I was just this morning taking photos of dog rose blooms in the forest, and in autumn my dogs enjoy plucking the hips off and eating them (good source of vitamin C, it turns out). I’ve never noticed one of these gauls on the local wild dog roses, but I’m going to start looking (assuming a similar wasp lives in this area, and some quick research tells me they likely do). Thank you!

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    1. I hope you do get to see them there, Rebecca, as they are quite beautiful and interesting, as are plant galls in general.


  3. Sömntorn in swedish (sömn= sleep and torn= tower)
    In the past some thought that you got good sleep with one under the pillow 🙂

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  4. Galls are one of the more alien types of beauty in nature. I photographed a fly some time ago which turned out to be a species of gall fly, and was interested to see the cause of these strange things.

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  5. Amazing! I have been wondering where the wasps in our backyard are coming from because they seem to be ever present lately. I just happened to notice three holes in the border of our garden bed. They built nests in the ground. That’s why I missed them. I kept looking up in the eaves for their home. Now you’re telling me they can build in rose bushes too?! Amazing insects! Thank you for this beautiful photo Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

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