Eriophyes tiliae

Alternative names
Nail Gall
Description

The gall mites Eriophyes tiliae causes nail galls (tubular growths usually over 8mm long, with pointed tips) to develop on the upper surface of Large-leaved Lime (Tilia platyphyllos) tree leaves.  They may also occur on Common  Lime, Tilia x europaea, and other planted hybrid limes, but are hard to distinguish from Eriophyes lateannulatus on hybrids. The galls are far easier to see than the mites.

Similar Species

Eriophyes lateannulatus in found on Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) and hybrid Limes; it is smaller (c.5mm) and with rounded tips

Identification difficulty

Adult Gall

ID guidance

Only identifiable with confidence on Large-leaved Lime; this has leaves that are hairy on the lower-side, the hairs are simple and the inflorescences are usually 3-5 flowered, without staminodes.

Recording advice

The host plant MUST be identified to species-level, and noted in the comments box; galls on hybrid limes cannot be identified with confidence 

Habitat

Anywhere that the host trees grow

When to see it

During late spring and summer.

Life History

The mites move onto the foliage in the spring, having overwintered in the bark crevices or around buds. As the mites suck sap from the leaf surface the chemicals released cause the galls to develop. The galls are usually red but may vary from yellow through pink.

UK Status

Very common and widespread in Britain where the host trees grow.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map