Hackberry Petiole Gall Psyllid by John Howard
Below is a close-up of the little critter. You can see its tiny orange wing buds on the sides of its body. As many as 13 nymphs can live inside the gall separated by compartments of wax.
The hackberry galls are very thick and tough. The Hackberry Petiole Gall Psyllid has sclerotized teeth on its abdomen that it scrapes across the inside of the gall until it is cut open. They emerge in the spring and molt into adults when new leaves are forming on the trees.
Photo by Osten-Sacken, University of Florida
One can never know what you may find when you start to look. This little creature is just one of the many amazing things that are out there in nature.