Users' questions

What is the relationship between gall wasps and oak trees?

What is the relationship between gall wasps and oak trees?

Commensalism occurs when one species uses another for gain and no one is harmed in the process. The gall wasp is a master of commensalism when it comes to oak trees.

What do Crypt Keeper wasps eat?

The crypt-keeper wasp, (Euderus set) is a parasitic wasp—it lays its eggs in oak tree galls occupied by gall wasps, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the gall wasp inside.

Can a Crypt Keeper wasp sting?

The crypt-keeper wasp (Euderus set) is an interesting and attractive insect that was discovered in 2017. It’s a hyperparasite, or a parasite whose host is also a parasite. It parasitizes an insect known as the crypt gall wasp (Bassettia pallida). Most wasps are parasites that don’t sting.

Where do Crypt Keeper wasps live?

Meet Euderus set, otherwise known as the crypt-keeper wasp. Native to the southeastern United States, this species lays its egg inside the tiny, wooden chambers that another parasitic wasp species, the gall wasp (Bassettia pallida), carves out in sand live oak trees.

Why are wasps attracted to my oak tree?

These wasps lay their eggs in the terminal growths of dormant buds of oak trees, which is the resulting gall you see on the branches of your oak tree. However, the gall exudes honeydew, and this is what attracts other wasps, which are a nuisance to us.

Where do Crypt Keeper wasp lay their eggs?

Those victims are typically Bassettia pallida wasps, which lay their eggs in the stems and branches of oak trees, forming swollen bumps called galls or crypts. The crypt keeper wasp (Euderus set) then lays her eggs in the gall, where her larvae either camp out next to the host hatchlings or burrow into their bodies.

Can you keep wasps as pets?

You cannot successfully keep a wasp as a pet. Wasps don’t work like that. They are social insects and need to exist in a “super organism” that exists as an hive. You might be able to bottle one and keep it alive for a while but without the “sistas” (the other hive members) it will never survive for long.

Do wasp keepers exist?

The crypt-keeper wasp seeks out oak galls and lays an egg inside them. Infected gall wasps still start chewing their way out of the gall, but they stop when the hole is small and then remain where they are with their head blocking the exit, thus protecting the larva growing inside them – “keeping the crypt”.

Are gall wasps beneficial?

Most galls, especially on leaves, do not hurt the oak tree, and the wasps aren’t harmful to people either. In fact, like many insects, the wasps inside these galls are a beneficial source of food for our native wildlife, including many species of birds, as well as mammals such as opossums and raccoons.

How do you stop oak gall wasps?

How to Prevent Galls from Forming

  1. Prevent stress on oaks by watering during dry periods.
  2. Fertilize and mulch your oak trees.

How do you get rid of gall wasps on oak trees?

Oak Gall Management

  1. Prune and destroy gall-infested twigs and branches.
  2. Burn or step on the galls to kill the developing larvae.
  3. Place gall remains in a tightly sealed baggie or trash bag and discard immediately.
  4. Rake and destroy gall-infested fallen leaves.