Trigg bushland tuart friends
Scale insect galls

Apiomorpha scale insect gall female tuart
Female gall on tuart
Photo P Alcock

Galls on tuart made by the female and male of a scale insect in the genus Apiomorpha.

The males, when mature, escape their tiny tubular galls and enter the female's gall to mate with her.

The female is trapped inside her gall, as the opening is not large enough for her to escape. She eventually dies, with her body full of eggs.

The eggs hatch, the young crawl out of the gall and attach themselves to different parts of the tree to grow into either male or female galls, and the cycle begins again.

Apiomorpha scale insect gall male tuart
Male gall on tuart leaf
Photo P Alcock

There are a number of different insects in the genus Apiomorpha, and each has a slightly different shaped gall (both male and female). It is thought that the excreta of gall insects cause the plant to react by producing abnormal growth, and as each species of gall has a slightly different excreta, different gall shapes are formed. The shape of the gall is distinctive for each species.

Information Source: Robert Powell and nature walkabout Oct 1982 Ed. Thea Shipley (courtesy Peter St Clair Baker) Return to Interactive Tuart Tree





Website development funded by a Department of Environment and Conservation Community Grant for Tuart Conservation and Management. Text and images copyright Friends of Trigg Bushland Inc except as otherwise noted. Website design by Nina McLaren and Peter Peacock 2008