September 29, 2021

How to get started?

Gall Week is starting in less than a week! During Gall Week we will try to document the incredible diversity of galls. Galls are little structures on plants, induced by a few different groups of organisms, mostly insects. They often have interesting shapes, and many of them are colorful and objectively pretty. They can be found on leaves, stems, buds, and even roots. For a good background about galls, listen to this podcast interview with Adam Kranz from Gallformes -
For Gall Week, we are interested in documenting the galls themselves or the gall inducers (adult wasps for example). If you're lucky, you might be able to document one of their associated species - parasitic or inquiline wasps trying to lay their eggs into the galls. We could add these to the project as well.
Since all galls are a result of an interaction between the gall inducer (such as a wasp) and the plant host, it is highly important to document the plant species as well. It is highly important for their identification. Please add the plant name in the observation's comments, and if possible in the "fields" as well. If you're not sure about the plant ID, you can post it to iNaturalist as well, and link that to the gall observation. Please note, you will have to add each observation to this project manually.
---if you've never looked for galls before ----
I'd suggest finding out what are the best host plants in your area. In the West: Oaks, Willows, Coyote Brush, and poplar, among many others. In the East: poplars, willows, and goldenrods (please correct me if I'm wrong). You can find them easily on iNaturalist. Try searching first for gall photos, so you'd know what to look for.
I'd like to share a few resources people can use in order to get started. Please feel free to add more - there are many great resources out there - let's share them! Are there any great books/ websites/ iNat projects that you love using? Please add them in the comments.
Here are a few suggestions, especially for the west:

Posted on September 29, 2021 01:18 by merav merav | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 15, 2021

new Gall Week project

This project is replacing the first one, please join it instead.

(this is an old-school project, where we'll have to manually add observations)
Apologies for the inconvenience!

Posted on September 15, 2021 02:28 by merav merav | 5 comments | Leave a comment