Fuzzy brown something

Saturday, February 24, 2018

By Aaron Horrell

This photo shows several small balls of brown/orange fluff that I found tucked away between sticks of firewood inside a woodshed. I suspect that a native deer mouse put them there as the beginnings of a nest, but I have no proof.

I have seen these tiny tufts of fur-like stuff on fallen oak leaves during autumn and early winter. My research points to a tiny seldom-seen wasp called an oak gall wasp. The wasp will lay an egg inside the skin of a live oak leaf during summer. A pinhead size gall called the spiny oak gall will form and as the egg grows into a larvae the gall will grow its fuzz.

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