Sputnik Gall Wasp - Diplolepis nervosa

    Alternative names
    Sputnik Gall

    The Sputnik Gall is nearly always caused by the cynipid wasp Diplolepis nervosa. It is usually found on the undersides of the leaves of the Dog-rose (Rosa canina), but occasionally on the upper surface. The gall is more likely to be seen than the adult wasp.

    Identification difficulty

    Adult Gall


    Anywhere that the host Dog-rose plant is found.

    When to see it

    The adult insects emerge from their galls in spring.

    Life History

    Each gall is, in effect, a hollow, fleshy nursery chamber for a small white grub, the larva of the Diplolepis nervosa gall wasp, which feeds on the chamber wall. The galls appear to detach from the leaves before leaf fall and will lie in the leaf litter until the grub pupates and emerges as the small adult wasp, only about 4 mm long.

    UK Status

    Quite common and widespread in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map