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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

10 December, 2014

Speedwell Gall-fly; high dependencies | Nature Notes

For years I have been seeing fluffy heads on germander speedwell plants and I just assumed they had gone to seed. Imagine my surprise when browsing through my new book about plant galls to come across a photograph like mine. This is not germander speedwell gone to seed, it is the work of a gall fly, Jaapiella veronicae. Apparently, the fly attacks the shoot tips and causes the topmost pair of leaves to cling together to form a hairy pouch that then contains numerous fly larvae.
This fly only attacks germander speedwell and germander speedwell is a pretty common flower but is there not a real risk here for the fly? 

Read More ... Speedwell Gall-fly; high dependencies | Nature Notes