Can a larva that's been removed from a gall be kept alive?

Hi everyone! The other day my grandfather found and cut a willow sawfly gall in half in order for us to examine it under the microscope.

It was very interesting to see the internal structure of the gall and the sawfly larva inside. However now I have that larva & half the gall living in a jar and I’m feeling a bit bad for it.

Is there any way I can help the larva complete the rest of its life cycle? Or will it not survive now that it’s been prematurely removed from the gall?

Other factors: I’m currently on holiday and I’m not sure it’s advisable (legal?) to import a random insect from Italy to the UK, so I’ll need to figure out what to do with the larva before this Monday.

Thoughts? Any resources for raising insects from a gall? I had a look but I couldn’t find any resources on keeping insects from a gall alive, only how to eliminate them.

Thanks all!

1 Like

I am not sure about survival or not, but I would definitely advise against moving live insects between countries (or even any great distance within one!). That really goes for any species. For one, it could actually be illegal. But more broadly, the potential of ecosystem disruption (while it is probably quite low for any one individual moved) could have a massive negative impact. This isn’t going to be offset by the very small positive impact of potentially helping one individual organism.

1 Like

I like your compassion for a small animal! Still, I think placing it as near to where it was found is the better course. Think of it as feeding the nearby birds or other small animals that may benefit from it.

2 Likes