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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!

21 January, 2015

Gall Mite: Aceraria echii | Nature Notes from Dorset

We found a number of viper's bugloss plants with deformed stems and leaves whilst out walking on the Purbeck cliffs and were rather intrigued by them. After some research on the internet I discovered the deformities are caused by a tiny gall mite, Aceraria echii.
The mite is, as the name implies, very small. It is shaped like the horn of a cow and has two hooks by which it attaches itself to the plant to extract nutrients. There can be countless numbers on a single plant and they produce between them what I think is a rather attractive effect!



Read more: Gall Mite: Aceraria echii | Nature Notes from Dorset