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Texas Parks & Wildlife Shares Dr. Seuss-Looking Plant – or What’s Known as a Wool Sower Gall

Texas Parks and Wildlife loves to share unique finds within the State Parks of Texas and their latest Facebook post shares a photo that looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Posted on Tuesday, Ranger Steve came across the pink polka-dot plant in¬†Atlanta State Park located in Northeast Texas. While it looks appetizing, TPWD says it’s definitely not something you want to bring close to your face.

According to TPWD and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, this is a wool sower gall – essentially a home for the larvae of cynipid wasps. The wool sower gall acts as an incubator.

The wool sower gall wasp lays its eggs in oak trees – in this particular case a white oak. The gall is formed when the eggs hatch – usually in the spring – as it becomes a form of both food and protection for the wasp larvae. The secretions of the baby wasps or larvae actually accelerate the growth of cells in the plant.¬†So don’t mess with ’em!

Texas Parks  & Wildlife
Texas Parks & Wildlife

Cynipid wasps do not sting humans, reads the Sacramento Bee. Check out the footage of larvae chowing down inside a wool sower gall under a microscope.

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