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Photo courtesy and © 2008 D. Lee
Pine cone willow gall on S. eriocephala. The insect responsible is a gall midge, Rhabdophaga strobiloides, that lays its egg in the shoot apex of the willow. The insect larva secretes chemicals that mimic the plant hormones that control apical growth in such a way as to suppress internode elongation and cause the leaves to develop a scale-like structures that enclose, feed, and protect the larva until it emerges the next growing season as an adult.
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