DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Erythrina gall wasp (Quadrastichus erythrinae). Eulophid wasps (gall-forming wasps) lay eggs into young tissue of certain types of trees. The Erythrina gall wasp lays eggs in to leaf and stem tissue of the Indian coral tree. The wasp larvae, which develop within the plant tissue, induce the formation of galls in leaflets, leaves, petioles and new shoots. Leaves curl and appear deformed while petioles and shoots become swollen. After feeding is complete, larvae pupate within the leaf and stem tissue. After pupation adult wasps emerge by cutting exit holes through to the outside. Heavily galled leaves and stems result in a loss of growth and in severe infestations can cause defoliation and death of the tree. Since its discovery on Oahu, Hawaii in April 2005, it has spread rapidly to the other islands of Hawaii. Magnification: x10 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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