Bug Bytes

Backyard Flashers

I saw my first lighting beetles (Family Lampyridae) flashing in my backyard in southwest Ohio a little over a week ago. There were just a few; nothing to get too excited about. However, numbers have risen over the past few days to provide an impressive nighttime flashing display and I've gotten a few reports that the same is occurring in the central part of the state.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Japanese Beetles and Masked Chafers on the Wing

Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) are on the wing in southern and central Ohio with some localized heavy populations. Adding to the potential grub-party, I've been capturing a few Southern Masked Chafers (Cyclocephala lurida) around my porch lights at night in the southwest part of the state. Northern Masked Chafers (C. borealis) appear to be lagging behind.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Bladdergalls

I came across an old friend in a southwest Ohio county park over the weekend: the wart like, irregularly shaped galls, known as "bladdergalls," adorning the upper leaf surfaces of a red maple. The galls are produced under the gene-manipulating direction of the Maple Bladdergall Mite, Vasates quadripedes (family Eriophyidae). The mite also produces bladdergalls on silver maple.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Look Closely for Lace Bugs

The characteristic leaf damage produced by Lace Bugs (order Hemiptera; family Tingidae) is becoming evident in southwest Ohio. Lace bugs are tiny insects with the adults measuring no more than 3/16" long. They are so-named because of the lace-like pattern of veins and membranes in their wings. The nymphs are even tinier and appear to be covered in small spikes.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

1st Generation Scarlet Oak Sawfly Larvae

First generation scarlet oak sawfly (Caliroa quercuscoccineae) larvae are munching oak leaves in southwest Ohio. The larvae are currently in the 1st and 2nd instar stages and a little less than 1/8" long. Despite this sawfly's common name, larvae may be found feeding on a wide range of oaks including pin, black, red, and white oaks as well as its namesake oak.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Dripping Dogwoods

I recently came across dogwoods growing along a trail in southwest Ohio that were festooned with the frothy, spittle-like masses produced by the Dogwood Spittlebug (Clastoptera proteus); a reminder that there are at least 23 different species of spittlebugs (family Aphrophoridae) in North America.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs