Created by: Rachel Fath and Han Huang, Class of 2002 Brandeis University
The information used
in this project comes from:
The photographs used in this project were taken by Rachel Fath, Class of 2002, Brandeis University.
Disclaimer: We, the creators of this website, apologize for any inaccurate information that might be provided by these pages. We are not gall experts, only undergrad students posing as experts, but not succeeding very well.
This comes as no fault of our own. Although we have researched extensively on the subject of insect galls through both published literature and internet resources, the only renowned and cited galls expert is E. P. Felt who published his findings in 1917 and 1940. We believe that although Felt's data is accurate, it also leaves some things to be desired.
The pictures of galls in the both books are either fuzzy black and white photographs or black and white drawings of galls. Most descriptions of the galls are not accompanied by visual images. In those cases, we must apply the adjectives Felt uses and try to fit the verbal description to our colored photographs. Sometimes, the description of the gall producer does not match up with the gall in our pictures (ie. galls that look like pictures in the gall books, but the listed tree that is affected does not match with the species of trees in our photograph). The combination of these traits of the medium in which the only information on galls is found makes it incredibly difficult to identify gall producers to a decent degree of certainty.
Additionally, some naming conventions have changed from Felt's time to now. For example, where Felt metions Spanish Oak as a common tree name, he lists the scientific name, Quercus rubra, which we know under the common name Red Oak. Because we wanted to remain consistent with Felt's conventions, we used his common names. For more information about the scientific and common names used here, please see the introductory material in each of Felt's books.
Although we are not 100% sure of our matching of galls with their producers, we believe that our field guide provides an adequate venue for identifying and comparing plant galls.
How to use this guide: These pages provide some introductory material and information about insect galls found in the New England area. It is not meant to be an exhaustive guide for every known gall, but the eventual goal is to continue to add to the collection here. If you have any comments about or additions you'd like to make to this site, please let us know! The true heart of the page is the Compare Galls section. Here is where you can pull up pictures of different galls and compare them side-by-side. Additionally, you can take a closer look at the individual galls by clicking on the image itself. A warning: these are LARGE pictures! Have fun exploring!