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Cherry gall wasp

Scientific name: Cynips quercusfolii
Living up to its name, the cherry gall wasp produces growths, or 'galls', on oak leaves that look like red cherries. Inside the gall, the larvae of the wasp feed on the host tissues, but cause little damage.

Species information


Diameter of gall: 2cm

Conservation status


When to see

July to October


The cherry gall wasp, Cynips quercusfolii, is a tiny gall wasp that causes growths, or 'galls', on the undersides of oak leaves. The grub remains in the gall after leaf-fall, emerging as an adult wasp in winter. This asexual generation will lay its eggs on the oak tree trunk, which eventually mature to the sexual generation; this generation mates and produces the more obvious galls.

How to identify

The cherry gall wasp produces small, round, red-and-green galls on the undersides of oak leaves.



Did you know?

Female gall wasps lay their eggs on their host plants, which causes the plants to swell up into characteristically odd shapes. The larvae feed on the plant tissue inside the galls.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.