Bug Bytes

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.
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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.
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Joe Boggs
UPDATE: Early-Emerging Periodical Cicadas boggs.47 Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:57
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.
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Joe Boggs

Return of the Buckeye Leafmining Fly

We have written a number of BYGL reports over the past several years on the springtime occurrence of leafmining damage on wild Ohio buckeyes caused by an unidentified leafmining fly in Ohio. During this week's BYGL online diagnostic inservice yesterday, Curtis Young (OSU Extension, Van Wert County) reported that he is seeing a return of the damage in northwest Ohio. Likewise, I have seen the damage in the southwest part of the state.
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Joe Boggs
Erineum Patches on Tree Leaves boggs.47 Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:40
Erineum Patches may be found on the upper or lower leaf surfaces of several species of deciduous trees in Ohio. They are considered a type of plant gall and their general appearance accounts for common names such as velvet galls or felt galls.
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Joe Boggs
Oak "Apples" and the Gall-Making Process boggs.47 Fri, 05/12/2017 - 13:11
Several types of "oak-apple" galls are now obvious on their namesake oak hosts in southern and central Ohio. These unusual plant growths range in size at maturity from 1/2 - 2" in diameter and are named for their resemblance to apples. The galls are constructed of various plant parts that have been hijacked by a gall wasp (Family Cynipidae) to surround a single wasp larva located within a seed-like structure positioned at the center of the gall.
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Joe Boggs
Extrafloral Nectaries and ETC boggs.47 Thu, 05/11/2017 - 14:55
Last week, I wrote an Alert describing the "ETC Two-Step Control Method;" a very direct approach to eliminating Eastern Tent Caterpillars (ETC) (Malacosoma americanum). But what about more subtle "behind the scenes" ETC population regulators and where do extrafloral nectaries fit in?
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Joe Boggs
Annual Sugar Maple Leaf-Drop boggs.47 Sat, 05/06/2017 - 10:45
I noticed a large number of green leaves littering the ground beneath a shade-tree sized sugar maple today in southwest Ohio; not a surprise given the recent high winds and heavy rains. However, a closer look revealed the shed leaves all had very short petioles. The other part of the broken petioles remained attached to the tree and looked like toothpicks. This is the "calling card" of the Maple Petiole Borer (Caulocampus acericaulis).
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Joe Boggs
Meadow Spittlebugs boggs.47 Fri, 05/05/2017 - 17:46
I came across an impressive stand of Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans) earlier this week that was heavily infested with Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius). Flower stalks of this biennial weed are currently bolting from the rosette stage. Virtually every thistle stem appeared to be festooned with the tell-tale frothy, spittle-like masses characteristic of this and other spittlebugs. The frothy masses are produced by spittlebug nymphs (family Aphrophoridae); adults of these insects are called "froghoppers."
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Joe Boggs
ETC Two-Step Control Method (Violence: Reader Discretion is Advised) boggs.47 Fri, 05/05/2017 - 15:35
Eastern tent caterpillar (ETC) (Malacosoma americanum) silk nests are now large enough and the accompanying defoliation evident enough to be very noticeable in Ohio. The nests are located in branch forks and they reveal that population densities and caterpillar developmental rates vary widely across the state. I've driven long stretches recently without seeing a single nest on trees flanking the highway only to round a curve or top a hill to arrive in an ETC wonderland.
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Joe Boggs