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Discussion in 'Nature' started by pdh, Jan 28, 2014.
Robin's pincushion by _loupe, on Flickr
? Me neither
Well that's interesting, never heard of them !
Why the puzzlement?
Polly, you will have to explain this one
Wiki is you friend
The rose bedeguar gall, Robin's pincushion gall, or moss gall develops as a chemically induced distortion of an unopened leaf axillary or terminal buds, mostly on field rose (Rosa arvensis) or dog rose (Rosa canina) shrubs, caused by the parthenogenetic hymenopteran gall wasp (Diplolepis rosae (Linnaeus, 1758)), previous synonyms are D. bedeguaris, Rhodites rosae or Cynips rosae.
Diplolepis females lay up to 60 eggs within each leaf bud using their ovipositors. The asexual wasp emerges in spring; less than 1% are males.
A similar gall is caused by Diplolepis mayri, but this is much less common.
The CIA/NSA must have been at work!!
Must turn the heating up - it's cold this morning
Miss Warmtone, your posts nearly always make me chortle with glee.
One learns something every day. Beautiful photo, Paul.
I had been watching it since it was in its full "fruiting" stage (early Autumn last year), though I did not take a photograph of it then.
This is a different specimen, from 2012, in its own glory:
20121012-1-2 by _loupe, on Flickr
Unfortunately, they fall prey at this time of year to hedge-cutting, which is why I picked this one - it wouldn't have survived the next pass of the cutter, though somehow it had managed to survive the first.
Here it is in its proper place on the verge a few weeks ago
b20131220-1 by _loupe, on Flickr
I imagine the reason it is called "pincushion" is for this final stage, when the gall has a firm, close texture (a little like the "Oasis" flower-arrangers use); I don't doubt in earlier times they were plucked from the hedgerows and actually used as pincushions, but I've never read anything to support my supposition.