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Previous events

Pink Egg Case? - Belonocnema kinseyi

Pink Egg Case? - Belonocnema kinseyi
Just outside of Austin and Jollyville, Williamson County, Texas, USA
April 19, 2010
Size: 1" x 1/2"

Images of this individual: tag all
Pink Egg Case? - Belonocnema kinseyi Pink Egg Case? - Belonocnema kinseyi

Moved from Trigonaspis.

Moved from ID Request. Felt (1) lists four oak galls of Trigonaspis (now Xanthoteras) species under the heading "clustered, when fresh, fleshy, pure white or rosy red at apex, fig-shaped, growing quickly in spring and after insects emerge either rotting or shriveling into a hard but not woody mass"--which in turn is under the heading "galls at the crown, frequently subterranean." These galls are found on species in the white oak group, but Felt doesn't list any galls (in the whole book) for Q. vaseyana. So this could be a new host record or an undescribed species. The photo of the "fig root gall," X. radicola, looks like a reasonable match for this. It is found on Q. alba and Q. chapmanii.

"scrub oaks"
There are several, similar-appearing, shrubby oak species with evergreen, sub-evergreen, or semi-evergreen foliage that inhabit dry habitats in the southeastern U.S. bearing the common name "scrub oak". Examples in the white oak group include Quercus vaseyana, Q. pungens, and Q. chapmanii. (In fact, Q. vaseyana was formerly treated as a variety of Q. pungens.) Q. chapmanii does not extend westward into Texas, but resembles Q. vaseyana.

looks like a rust/fungus
In these parts there is a similar looking mass that grows on red cedars known as cedar apple rust. Looking at your leaf it seems to be an evergreen (holly?). There are some rusts that infect holly. Hope this helps!

Exit holes...
suggest that this is in fact an insect gall. Also, this was below the soil line, and although there are a few fungi with underground fruiting bodies, I don't think any rusts are among them.

Could this be some kind of oak sapling? If so, this would be a cynipid wasp gall. Knowing the plant species might allow us to figure out exactly what type of gall this is, so if you have any more shots of the plant that might help.

Vasey Oak?
After poring through images of hollies and oaks, I wonder if this might be a seedling of Vasey Oak (Quercus vaseyana, see page 108 of 175 in the online PDF of Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America). Note the elongate leaves with short petioles; American Holly (Ilex opaca) has oval leaves with longer petioles; both of these species can have spine-tipped lobes. Vasey Oak is in the "white oak group"; apparent "bristle-tips" on the leaf lobes (typical of the red oak group) are actually "mucronate tips" (a variation within the white oak group).

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