Beetles on the Potatoes in the Garden

While out looking at an oak tree earlier today in Lucas County, the property owner asked if I wanted to see his vegetable gardens - YES gardens!  Corn, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, potatoes and more! 

 

The potatoes where being hit pretty hard by the feeding of the Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) - both the adult and the larvae were present.  

 

The homeowner had been hand picking but losing the battle so I joined in for a bit.  There were many more eating to their hearts content in his several rows as he continued to "take...

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Amy Stone

Flatlining Linden

  I was walking down the street in Warrenton, Virginia, it was such a fine sight to see,,,Well, not so much for a linden street tree. It was in fact a fine blue-sky day, but backlit against that sky, the leaves of this linden displayed serious leaf scorch along the outer portions of what should have been deep green leaves. The tree itself was not thriving, annual growth was poor, and the leaves looked as parched as the 95 degree southern day. The culprit? The trunk had a completely flat trunk where it entered the soil. This is suggestive of a stem-girdling root that is restricting...

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Jim Chatfield

Leaves of Three - Just Let it Be!

 

While people vary in their sensitivity to poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), repeat exposure to the oily resin called urushiol that is found in all parts of the plant, can sometimes increase a person's sensitivity over time.  

 

Poison ivy is a very prolific plant and can be found almost anywhere.  It is common to see this plant along roadsides, along fence lines, in the woods, at forest edges, and even in the landscape.  A reason for this wide distribution is that fruit is eaten by wildlife like birds and deer.  It is documented that over 60 species of...

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Amy Stone

The Ins and Outs of Bagworms

  The title of this bygl-alert is actually a bit disingenuous, since Dave Shetlar, Joe Boggs, and Curtis Young, entomologists all, are better equipped on the ins and outs of Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, the common bagworm, compared to me, a plant pathologist. The Latin binomial itself makes me a bit crazy, which I guess makes sense, since the family (group of related genera) for the common bagworm is – Psychidae. The actual ins and outs in this case actually refers to what my wife and I saw at a central Pennsylvania rest area this weekend.  There were numerous...

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Jim Chatfield
Keep a Lookout for Porcelain-Berry crook.46 Wed, 07/27/2016 - 15:15

Porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine native to Northeast Asia. The leaves are alternate, simple 2 ½ to 5" long and wide with a heart-shaped base and 3 to 5 palmate lobes.  The inconspicuous flowers are green-white and appear in June through August.  The colorful grape-like fruits mature from September to October changing from pale lilac, to green to a bright blue.  Porcelain-berry grows and spreads quickly in partial to full sunlight.  This vigorous invader grows well in moist soils and can often be found along ponds, stream banks and forest...

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Julie Crook

Squiggly Lines on Magnolia Leaves

The highly visible handiwork of the magnolia serpentine leafmining caterpillar (Phyllocnistis magnoliella) is becoming evident magnolias in nurseries and landscapes in southern Ohio.  The moth belongs to the leafmining family Gracillariidae.  The tiny caterpillars of this aptly named moth feed close to the upper leaf epidermis, producing long, thin, serpentine mines that appear as silvery tracks snaking across the leaf surface.

 

Hosts for this leafminer include bigleaf, cucumber, southern, star, sweet bay, and umbrella magnolias.  Large numbers of mines on a...

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Joe Boggs

Big Friendly Giant Caterpillars

Finding giant silkworm caterpillars (family Saturniidae) or observing the resulting giant moths was once a common occurrence.  Notable members of this moth family include Cecropia (Hyalophora Cecropia); Luna (Actias luna); Polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus); Promethia (Callosamia promethean); and the impressively named Hickory Horned Devil (Citheronia regalis).

 

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Joe Boggs

Hidden Hornworms

While watering the two tomato plants in my great expectations garden, I noticed a few missing leaves and some black, barrel-shaped frass (insect excrement) beneath the plants.  Certain I'd quickly find the hornworm culprits, I looked, and looked, and … I'm always amazed at how well these large caterpillars can remain hidden from our probing eyes!

 

Tomato Hornworm

 

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Joe Boggs

Cockscomb Galls on Elm

Look closely at the leaves of slippery elm (= red elm) (Ulmus rubra); you may be lucky enough to spot the unusual looking elm cockscomb galls produced by the so-called elm cockscomb aphid, Colopha ulmicola.  Although these galls are commonly mentioned in the literature, I've rarely seen them in southwest Ohio where elm sack galls produced by the aphid, Tetraneura ulmi, are the dominant aphid gall found on slippery elm.

 

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Joe Boggs