Economic Botany

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 33–40 | Cite as

Oak galls preserved by the eruption of mount vesuvius in A.D. 79, and their probable use

  • Hiram G. Larew


Eight oak galls caused by cynipid wasps and preserved by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at Herculaneum, Italy, provide tangible clues to the significance of galls in early human culture. The external and internal appearances of the galls are described. Remnants of insects were found in two of the specimens. It is suggested that all but one of the galls were caused by the cynipidAdleria kollari. Probable uses of the galls are discussed; it is concluded that the galls were likely sold for use in medicines.


Gall Economic Botany Nipple Exit Hole Emergence Hole 
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Copyright information

© New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiram G. Larew
    • 1
  1. 1.Research EntomologistFlorist and Nursery Crops LaboratoryBeltsville

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