Bug Bytes

Garden Spider Orb Weavers

This is the time of the year when many species of spiders in Ohio begin to reach their maximum size as they fully mature. Two of our larger native spiders are the Black and Yellow Garden Spider and its similarly showy cousin, the Banded Garden Spider. Both belong to the orb weaver family (Araneidae), so named because of their flat, circular webs
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Joe Boggs
Leaf-Footed Bugs boggs.47 Sat, 08/19/2017 - 08:49
Leaf-footed bugs (family Coreidae) are rife with discrepancies. Their name is based on leaf-like expansions of their hind tibia, not their "feet;" however, many species lack the leaf-like feature. The family name Coreidae is derived from the Ancient Greek word for bedbug; however, bedbugs belong to a different family, Cimicidae. They are not called stink bugs (Family Pentatomidae), but some do stink.
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Joe Boggs

Fall Webworm Update and More Red-Heads Found

Fall Webworm has two generations per season in Ohio. The "fall" in the webworm's common name is based on the appearance of second generation nests late in the season. First generation nests began to appear in southern Ohio in late May and second generation caterpillars are now on the scene. Localized fall webworm populations are high throughout the state with nests becoming more evident as they undergo late-season expansion.
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Joe Boggs

Mosquito Alert

I was amazed last week at the cloud of mosquitoes buzzing in my wake as I hiked in a wooded park in southwest Ohio. Studies have shown that the relative attractiveness of individuals to mosquitoes varies and I've never been very attractive to mosquitoes. However, the enormous swarm following me through the woods could have been organizing an airlift operation!
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Joe Boggs

Going on an Egg Hunt - Gypsy Moth Style!

The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a non-native invasive species. This insect is currently in the egg mass stage, and will be in this stage until next spring when the caterpillars will hatch and begin feeding. Egg masses can help predict what population levels could be for the upcoming season. Now is the time to look for egg masses. Egg masses can be found almost anywhere. While we tend to look on trees, they can be found on homes, sheds, trailers, dog houses, bird houses, on firewood, on fences, yard art and signs. Egg masses can also be hidden under loose bark or in tree...

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Amy Stone

Robber Flies: Insect Fighter Jets!

One of my favorite insects is the Red-Footed Cannibalfly which is a type of robber fly (family Asilidae). Few carnivorous insects can match the amazing acrobatics and predatory proficiency of robber flies in their pursuit of prey. Adults of all species are predators and they will attack a variety of insects; even "armed" prey and insects much larger than their own body size.
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Joe Boggs

Monarchs vs. Tussocks

I've received two e-mail message this week asking for a recommendation to control native Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars feeding on their namesake host. The senders were well-meaning Monarch Butterfly enthusiasts who were concerned the tussocks were eating the monarchs out of house and home.
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Joe Boggs

Another Leafminer of Black Locust

On July 22, 2017, Joe Boggs wrote a BYGL Alert on the "flaming" of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) by the locust leafminer beetle (Odontota dorsalis) in certain areas of Ohio.  These "flamed" trees are easily observed along highways from southeast to northeast Ohio. Interestingly, Curtis Young and Amy Stone in Northwest Ohio seldom see any evidence of locust leafminer beetle.  They have to travel east to at least Mansfield, Ohio before seeing the activities of this leafminer and it isn't because of a lack of black locust trees. 

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Curtis E. Young

Harlequin Bug on Cleome

The harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica) (a.k.a. calico bug, fire bug or harlequin cabbage bug) is a black stink bug with either yellow-orange or red markings on both its back and stomach. Additionally, there are some white markings around the edge of its abdomen.  As with all true stink bugs, it belongs to the family Pentatomidae.

 

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Curtis E. Young
Annual Flaming of Black Locust Trees boggs.47 Fri, 07/21/2017 - 20:10
Jim Chatfield called me from the road this morning to report seeing "flamed" black locusts along a highway in northeast Ohio. The captivating reddish-brown leaf coloration caused by the native Locust Leafminer Beetle is often a familiar sight to travelers motoring on Ohio's interstate highways. Indeed, when beetle populations are high during "outbreak years," black locust trees are able to be identified at highway speeds because of their blow-torched appearance.
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Joe Boggs
Jim Chatfield