Weird, alien grape leaves

Weird, alien grape leaves

I was out in the alley beside the parish hall this morning cleaning gutters when I noticed that some of the leaves on the grape arbor have these weird spikes growing off them- there’s nothing on the underside of the leaves, just these little cones on the top.
It’s obviously  some it’s some kind of parasite, but I have no idea what… I shall have to Google it when I’m done with the gutters!

OK, Update- I just came inside and did a quick Google on these and they are caused by a midge called the Grape Tube Gallmaker. It’s a tiny fly that apparently only lives for a day once it hatches and does no real damage to the grapes…

“These are Grape Tube Gallmakers formed by a Midge, Cecidomyia viticola. Galls are growths on plants caused by insects (like wasps, flies or aphids), mites, fungus, bacteria, viruses and other sources. Galls can be found on leaves, stems, roots, buds and other plant parts. Most Galls are harmless, though unsightly, and a few are destructive. The Grape Tube Gallmaker is an example of a harmless Gall. The larval Midge forms the Gall and the Gall acts as the food source for the insect.”

…good thing as this is the first year that the birds seem to have ignored the grapes so we may actually get some that mature enough to be eaten 🙂 

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