Robin's pincushion

This is not a forest fire at the reserve - it's a Robin's pincushion gall growing on a Field Rose. Also known as Bedeguar gall and Moss gall, this is an exotic structure on the rose stem stimulated by egg-laying by the gall wasp Diplolepis rosae. In the centre of this dense mass of sticky hairs there are chambers occupied by Diplolepis larvae. When I was a child we were very familiar with these strange growths on wild roses and I was surprised to have people on a walk recently who had never noticed them and had never heard of Robin's pincushions.

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