Naturalist Newsletter of March 31, 2008
written in the community of 28 de Junio, in the Central Valley,
8 kms east of Pujiltic, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 800 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 16° 18'N, LONG. -92° 28'W.
Above you can see a fuzzy gall on an oak stem near the top of Big-Cross Hill. This gall is very similar to one often seen on oak stems during the spring in eastern North American forests. North America's gall is known as the Wool-sower Gall and is produced by a wasp of the family Cynipidae, so I'm guessing that the same is true of our gall.
At http://www.backyardnature.net/pix/gallwool.jpg you can see a Wool-sower Gall I photographed in northern Mississippi. More information on galls in general is at http://www.backyardnature.net/galls.htm.
Andrés told us that people here seek out these galls when they have a baby whose tongue and lips are covered with blisters. The gall is smeared with sugar and then daubed over the baby's blistered mouthparts.