Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The tip of the gallberg

Everybody knows the idiomatic expression “the tip of the iceberg.” Recently, I came across a metamorphosis of this expression: “the tip of the gall-berg.” It was used by Ron Russo in a fascinating article about galls [1]. Galls are swellings on plant leaves—shaped like nipples, blisters, bulbs, veins, baskets, or stars. They nurse insect larvae. About 13,000 insect species have evolved the ability to induce galls in specific host plants.
Many questions about plant-insect relations remain unanswered. Curiosity and appreciation for beautiful shapes and biodiversity is needed to shine, by long-term exploration, some light onto “the bottom of the gallberg”—possible only if respective guest-host species and their ecosystems will be preserved.

Keywords: idioms, entomology, plant science

[1] Ron Russo: Confessions of a Gall Hunter. Natural History December 2009 / January 2010, Volume 118, Number 10, pp. 20-25. Article.

No comments:

Post a Comment