I'm NOT an Orphan!

As the 'twitter painted' season ends and young wildlife are being born, it's important to realize that young are often left alone by their parents for their own safety. We naturally want to protect and care for a seemingly abandoned baby animal, but many wildlife infants are born much more advanced than human infants. This means wildlife babies are capable of being left alone.  Eastern cottontail rabbit kits mature very quickly, leaving the nest after 3 weeks as small versions of their parents.  A small baby rabbit with erect ears and open eyes does not need assistance.  Neither does a...

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Marne Titchenell

New Look to Growing Degree Website

Have you visited the Ohio State University's Growing Degree Day (GDD) website this spring?  If you haven't, you are in for a treat!  The website has a new look, is very easy to navigate, and has an added feature that everyone will be using. 

 

Once on the home-page, you have an option of inputting any Ohio zipcode.  The date will always be the current date, although you can manipulate and use past dates in your search.  Once the zipcode has been added, website users click on "show me the calendar" and are taken to a short sequence of what is occuring with plant blooms (...

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Amy Stone

Must See Website - Mary Gardiner, Department of Entomology

We have a website that you will want to be sure is included in your list of favorites!  Dr. Mary Gardiner is an Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology and doing some amazing work in Ohio.  Dr. Gardiner received her PhD from Michigan State University in 2008 and established the Agricultural Landscape Ecology Laboratory (ALE Lab) in 2009.  The ALE Lab is interested in understanding how the design and management of an urban greenspace or agroecosystem influences food web structure and function. 

 

Some of the ALE website highlights...

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Amy Stone

Night-Flying Buzz-Bumbling Beetles on the Wing

The familiar "bzzzzzzz...thud!" sound made by May/June Beetles as they fly around porch lights at night and bounce off walls, doors, windows, startled homeowners, etc., is now being heard in southwest Ohio.  There are five species of beetles in the genus Phyllophaga in Ohio that share the general common name of May or June Beetles.  The 1/2 - 1" long adults are slightly oblong, and reddish-brown to black in color.  Their obnoxious evening behavior often causes them to be dismissed as nuisance pests.  In most cases, this is true.  Although adults of most of these species feed at...

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Joe Boggs

Eastern Tent Caterpillars Coming Off Some Nests in S.W. Ohio

The pace of Eastern Tent Caterpillar (ETC) (Malacosoma americanum) development varies widely in southwest Ohio.  However, some caterpillars have reached their final instar stage and are abandoning their highly visible silk nests located in branch forks to go on a crawl-about in search of pupation sites.  Their abandoned nests will remain evident throughout much of the early summer as they gradually disintegrate.

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Joe Boggs

Sneaky Cankerworms Have Inched Onto the Scene

Tattered tree leaves are the calling card of cankerworms.  Spring Cankerworms (Paleacrita vernata) and Fall Cankerworms (Alsophilia pometeria) are currently producing leaf-feeding damage in southwest Ohio.  Both belong to the moth family Geometridae.  Caterpillars of moths in this family are also called "inchworms," "spanworms, and "loopers."  The common names of spring and fall cankerworms refer to the season when the flightless female moths lay their eggs.  Fall cankerworm moths lay eggs in the fall; spring cankerworms lay their eggs in the spring.  However, the eggs of...

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Joe Boggs

Black Knot Not Black

Black Knot of Prunus is caused by the fungus, Apiosporina morbosa, and is characterized by thick, corky, elongated gall-growths on twigs and branches.  The common name of the disease is based on the coal-black coloration of older galls late in the growing season. Currently, newly sporulating black knot galls are olive-green or reddish brown and may have a velvety texture.  Newly forming galls may appear as simple swollen growths causing the bark to crack; they may be mistaken for a cankering disease.
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Joe Boggs

Holey Oak Leaves

The handiwork of the spiny oak sawfly (Periclista albicollis) is becoming very apparent on the developing leaves of bur and white oaks in southwest Ohio.  The small, light-green semi-transparent spiny oak sawfly larvae have shiny black head capsules and are covered with rows of forked (bifurcated) spines.  Early instars primarily feed on the underside of newly emerging and expanding leaves.  They produce small holes that get larger as the leaves expand.  Later instars consume interveinal tissue leaving behind the main veins to give the oak leaves a tattered appearance.  Look...

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Joe Boggs

Junipers Garnished with Tangerine Tentacles and Orange Goo.

Our wet weather this spring has triggered spectacular spore production by three types of rust fungi on junipers in southwest Ohio.  All three fungi belong to the genus Gymnosporangium and each must alternate between a member of the plant genus Juniperus and members of the rose family (Rosaceae) in order to complete their life cycle.  The requirement to cycle between two types of widely divergent host plants coupled with the rusty color of their spores earns these fungi the collective moniker of "heteroecious" rusts.

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Authors
Joe Boggs