Two gall species on Boxelder Maple this spring

This spring I was excited to find two species of gall on a group of Boxelder Maple saplings on the edge of the Freshwater Wetland in Randalls Island, Manhattan, NYC.

On the Boxelder Maple there, the most common gall (extremely common this spring!) is the "Box Elder Pouch Gall Mite" (caused by mites). The mites create galls that look like little nodules on the upper leaf surface (see images one and two).

However, there were also some galls (not nearly as many) which were a lot larger, and looked like a soft pale money bag (but they were quite hard). These galls occurred on the rib of a leaflet (see the third image).

Here are my two other observations of other examples of that larger gall:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24764347

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24764268

And here is a gall on BugGuide that looks like those big ones:

https://bugguide.net/node/view/532163/bgimage

It turns out that the big galls are indeed caused by "Box Elder Gall Midge", Contarinia negundinis, which is in the Family Cecidomyiidae - Gall Midges and Wood Midges.

So I thought that was cool, simultaneously finding some galls caused by mites, and some galls caused by midges on the same species of plant.

Thank you to some input from Charley Eiseman.

.

.................................INTERESTING UPDATE FROM AUGUST 2019:

In August I noticed some strange little pink granular clusters on some of the young leaves which also had the Box Eldger Pouch Gall Mite galls:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31812587

Then @megachile suggested that perhaps the pink clusters could be Maple Erineum Mite (Aceria calceris). He said that "The Amrine catalog says that Aceria calaceris, which causes red erineum on Acer glabrum, was reported on boxelder too. Amrine notes that he thinks it's probably a mistake but that is a possibility."

Posted by susanhewitt susanhewitt, May 20, 2019 13:58

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Box Elder Pouch Gall Mite Aceria negundi

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

May 11, 2019 03:33 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Box Elder Pouch Gall Mite Aceria negundi

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

May 11, 2019 03:34 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Box Elder Gall Midge Contarinia negundinis

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

May 11, 2019 03:33 PM EDT

Description

?

Comments

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@srall -- I think you already know both of these galls.

Posted by susanhewitt almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Neat!

Posted by srall almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Cool! I've started adding gall observations to 3 relevant gall projects as I come across them:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/leaf-and-plant-galls (I added yours just to this one with two of the fields)
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/galls-of-north-america
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/galls-of-the-eastern-united-states

Galls are so taxonomically varied (and therefore hard to get traction on identifications) that it seems like a very good use of traditional projects for aggregating observations.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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I have been putting almost all my gall observation into the 2nd and 3rd projects that you mentioned, Carrie. Until now I did not know about the first project you mentioned. And the three images with this journal post may have recently been separated out from other observations, so that is why I may have missed adding them.

Posted by susanhewitt almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Hi Susan:
Any idea how to decide between two conflicting scientific names for a recent observation of red gall on Rocky Mtn maple?
Eriophyes calaceris or Aceria calaceris? I'm not an expert but it looks like people use both on various sites.
Aceria is listed as "previous scientific name" here:
https://www.entsoc.org/PDF/2012/names/Rocky_Mountain_maple_felt_mite.pdf
Common name: "Rocky Mountain maple felt mite"
per Entomological Society of America: https://www.entsoc.org/PDF/Pubs/Common_Names/taxa_name.pdf

Posted by doryo 10 months ago (Flag)
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@megachile will probably know which database we use as a reference for names for mites.

Posted by susanhewitt 10 months ago (Flag)
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Aceria calaceris is the name in the Amrine catalog, with Eriophyes calaceris listed as a synonym. The strange thing is that both names are attributed to Keifer 1952--did he change his mind?

Posted by megachile 10 months ago (Flag)
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I guess that Keifer, the author of the species, may have decided that his species belonged better in that other genus.

However, the species name will always "belong to" the author, no matter how many times it get changed from one genus to another.

Posted by susanhewitt 10 months ago (Flag)
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That's true. I guess I'm not sure when the species was moved, then, but it seems to be in Aceria now.

Posted by megachile 10 months ago (Flag)
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@doryo -- where is your observation of the mite species?

Posted by susanhewitt 10 months ago (Flag)
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Medicine Bow Nat Forest at Esterbrook- I should have posted link to the observation.
July 17 2020...bad cell service in Tetons & I cant get the page up. Sorry.

Posted by doryo 10 months ago (Flag)
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Sorry -- I meant where is it on iNaturalist? I was hoping you could give us the URL.

Posted by susanhewitt 10 months ago (Flag)
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@susanhewitt I think @doryo had limited internet access but looks like this one https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/54468448

Posted by carrieseltzer 10 months ago (Flag)
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That's it. Thanks for finding it. Had two days without Wifi in Tetons.

Posted by doryo 10 months ago (Flag)

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