Common Spangle Gall Wasp

Common Spangle Galls ©Brian Eversham

Common spangle gall wasp

Scientific name: Neuroterus quercusbaccarum
The common spangle gall wasp produces a small, disc-shaped growth, or 'gall', on the undersides of oak leaves. Inside the gall, the larvae of the wasp feed on the host tissues, but cause little damage.

Species information

Statistics

Diameter of gall: 4mm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The common spangle gall wasp is a tiny wasp, Neuropterus quercusbaccarum, that causes a growth, or 'gall', on the underside of oak leaves in early autumn. It is common and widespread, and a single leaf can host up to 100 galls, each containing a single larva. The galls fall to the ground and can be seen around oak trees during autumn. The larvae continue to develop through the winter, and emerge as adults in April.

How to identify

The common spangle gall wasp produces a brown, disc-shaped gall on the undersides of oak leaves. You are more likely to see the galls than the adult gall wasps or the grubs. However, there are several similar, disc-shaped galls that grow on oak trees.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The common spangle gall wasp has two generations: the females that emerge in April from the previous autumn's oak-leaf galls, lay their eggs in oak catkins, creating hanging, round 'currant galls'. From June, a sexual generation emerge from the currant galls, ready to lay their eggs on oak leaves and start the cycle again.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.