A definite oddity


Now this is an odd thing, isn’t it? I spotted these growths on a rose bush last year and here they are again—but now I know what they are. It’s Diplolepis rosae, otherwise known as the rose bedeguar or Robin’s pincushion gall, among other things. It’s “caused by the parthenogenetic hymenopteran gall wasp,” and the details are fascinating.

I was interested to see Wikipedia’s comment that it “has more folklore attached to it than most”—one can certainly see why.


7 thoughts on “A definite oddity

  1. These are one of the prettiest wasp nest around. This actually reminded me that the Gabriolan blogged on this oddity last year,

  2. Curiously I saw one of these last week for the first time in my life (that I can remember anyway!) and wondered what it was. I was planning on looking it up, but then saw your post and didn’t have to! I wonder if they are particularly profuse this year…

    1. Heh… always glad to be helpful.

      I don’t know if they’re more profuse this year. I noticed this particular rosebush last year—kind of hard not to, simply because of its relationship to the trail. And so of course I re-noticed it this year. But I think I’ll look around. I don’t know if the wasps come back to the same bushes or not… that might affect sightings. And then of course maybe there are more wasps this year. (Certainly there were a lot of tent caterpillars, and sometimes there are relationships between bugs… so who knows?)

  3. We have on wild rose in our garden that has these every year, and even when I moved a shoot many years ago to the other side of the garden, then it too had them. The other roses are unaffected (and we don’t treat them any differently).

      1. I have no idea. I suppose it could be that eggs or something travel with the cutting, or perhaps it is the species of rose and the others are not so well suited, so the wasps found this one in its new place, but ignored the others.

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