Lime Nail Galls :: Nature Study

Zonnah, a fellow homeschool mom and Outdoor Hour participant, recently posted her gall study and it reminded me of galls we observed in Norway.  While there, I had asked around but no one knew what they were.   Months later, I posted my spotting on Project Noah, spotting #7418081.  A recent clue leads me to believe these galls were formed by Eriophyes tiliae or Lime Nail Gall.  These chemically induced galls form an erect, oblique or curved distortion rising up from the upper surface of the leaves of the common lime tree Tilia x europaea.

Lime Nail Galls

Mites move onto the foliage in the spring, having overwintered in the crevices of the bark and around the buds.  The mites are less than 0.2 mm long.  The chemicals released while sucking the sap from the lower leaf epidermis creates the colorful, hollow, finger-like extensions to form on the upper surface of the leaf.  Before autumn, the mites, which have been actively feeding and growing inside the galls, depart from their little ‘homes’ and seek shelter elsewhere on the lime tree whereby the cycle begins anew.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

3 comments on “Lime Nail Galls :: Nature Study

  1. I was looking through a California Gall field guide and realized just how many different kinds of galls there are to learn about. Thanks for sharing your research and your interesting images.

  2. Interesting! We have some strange things sort of like that but a bit different on a couple of our trees. I’m going to have to see if I can find out exactly WHAT ours are.

Comments are closed.