Bug Bytes

Where Do Four-Lined Plant Bugs Come From?

I’ve come to expect seeing some damage each spring from our native Four-Lined Plant Bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus, family Hemiptera). However, their wreckage appears to be particularly heavy this season in some parts of Ohio. The question “where did they come from” is common when hordes of hungry insect pests descend seemingly out of nowhere onto plants to cause extensive damage.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

American Elm Pests and Host Preference Studies

I came across a 'Princeton' American elm (Ulmus americana) planted in a county park in southwest Ohio sporting three pests: Woolly Elm Aphid, (Eriosoma americanum); Elm Cockscomb Gall Aphid (Colopha ulmicola); and European Elm Flea Weevil (EEFW) (Orchestes alni). EEFW is a non-native, but the woolly and cockscomb gall aphids are native insects that appear in pest records dating back to when American elms were "America's Street Tree."
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Calico Scale Crawl

Calico scale (Eulecanium cerasorum) eggs located beneath helmet-shaped females are hatching in southwest Ohio and the 1st instar nymphs (crawlers) are on the move. All nymphal stages are mobile, so all nymphs can be called "crawlers." The tiny, tannish-brown, oblong-shaped 1st instar crawlers are around 1/16" in length. They migrate to the undersides of leaves and position themselves along leaf veins where they insert their piercing-sucking mouthparts into phloem vessels to extract amino acids dissolved in the sugary plant sap.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Gypsy Moth Traps Pop-Up

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is currently deploying traps to continue its monitoring efforts for gypsy moth across Ohio in cooperation with the US Forest Service. The green traps are being placed throughout Ohio at different densities, depending on location and the known gypsy moth activity. 
Published on
Authors
Amy Stone

Springtime Fall Webworms

Fall Webworms (Hyphantria cunea) have at least two generations in Ohio and overwintered eggs that produce the first generation are now hatching in the southwest part of the state. I took these images yesterday of a first generation nest on dogwood with 1st instar "black-headed" caterpillars constructing their characteristic silk nest and feeding upon the leaves enveloped within.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Bagworm Eggs are Hatching

Overwintered Common Bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) eggs are hatching in southwest Ohio. The 1st instar caterpillars are very small with their bags measuring around 1/8" in length. They're constructed with pieces of tan to reddish-brown, sawdust-like frass (excrement) stuck to the outside of silk. The tiny 1st instar bags look like little dunce caps.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

An Ode to Catalpas … Their Hornworms and a Tiny Wasp.

Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa, family Bignoniaceae) trees are in full-bloom in southern Ohio. Last year, I posted a BYGL Alert! extolling the virtues of catalpa trees; both northern and its southern cousin (C. bignonioides). Of course, I recognized a few minor shortcomings, but no tree is perfect. I noted that whether viewed as a beautiful, resilient native tree that will compliment any urban landscaping, or a coarse, messy, tree best confined to forested bottomlands, no one can ignore the beautiful bell-shaped blooms!
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Mulberry Whitefly "Pupae" Can Present an ID Challenge

Participants in Monday's Southwest Ohio BYGLive! Diagnostic Walk-About held at Stanley Rowe Arboretum observed final instar nymphs, called "pupae," of the Mulberry Whitefly (Tetraleurodes mori) on the undersides of holly leaves. The round, shiny black pupae are ringed in a white fringe and are commonly mistaken for a scale insect. Indeed, whiteflies are not "flies" (order Diptera); they belong to the same order (Hemiptera) as scale insects and share certain traits with both armored and soft scale insects.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Hawthorn Leafminers Have Completed Their Development in S.W. Ohio

On April 11, I reported that the adults of three leafmining sawflies were mating and laying eggs on their host trees in southwest Ohio (see BYGL Alert! Sawfly Leafminers Fly). Today, I noticed some heavy leafmining damage by one of the sawflies, the Hawthorn Leafminer (Profenusa canadensis), on its namesake host in a hospital parking lot in the southwest part of the state.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

UPDATE: Early-Emerging Periodical Cicadas

In my May 1, 2017, BYGL Alert! posting (Please Report Early-Bird Periodical Cicadas), I noted that Gene Kritsky (Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati) was predicting that we will see an "early emergence" of some members of Brood X of the 17-year periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) this spring even though this brood is not expected to emerge full force until 2021. In fact, as you can see by the photos I took in Springdale (Hamilton County), OH, the emergence is now well underway.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs