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UK Nature > Galls > Willow Red Gall

  • Raised galls on upper side of leaf
  • Showing how galls protrude through the underside of leaves

Gall causer:   Pontania proxima
Common Name:   Willow Redgall Sawfly

Willow redgall sawflies are small, black and shiny - approximately 3.5-5 mm long. The larvae of the Willow Redgall Sawfly (Pontania proxima), are pale green in color with a dark head. They are small and caterpillar-like, reaching only 5mm in length.

Adults emerge in late spring, and females seek out suitable willows on which to lay eggs. Females inserts an egg into leaf tissue where it hatches and begins to eat the soft leaf tissue. This stimulates the leaf to produce a gall which is bean-shaped, smooth and emerges equally on both sides of the leaf. The gall may be green, red or yellow.

A single larva feeds in the cavity of each gall. In mid summer the larva leaves the gall to drop to the ground where it pupates. A second brood emerges in late summer, and the fall larvae overwinter as pupae. Generally there are two generations per year.

Found wherever White Willow or Crack Willow grow, usually damp open wooded areas, by streams, rivers and lakes and sometimes hedgerows.
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