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Two Cats on the Prowl

Two general defoliators are producing damage in southwest Ohio: yellownecked caterpillars and walnut caterpillars. Both of these caterpillars feed in groups, or "colonies," of 10-30 individuals throughout their development which is why their defoliation is often focused on a single branch or a group of adjoining branches. However, it's also why multiple colonies can quickly defoliate small trees.
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Joe Boggs

Dogbane Discoveries

Dogbane is the representative species for the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, which includes milkweeds and other plants that ooze milky sap ladened with poisonous alkaloids. Indeed, Apocynum translates to "poisonous to dogs," or "dog killer." Sap from the plant is reported to have been used against ravenous feral dogs.
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Joe Boggs
Gallignostics chatfield.1 Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:21

  Let us call this A Case of Gallignostics. Plant galls are defined as abnormal plant growths caused by a gall-maker; the gall-maker being certain insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria. From horned oak gall to bacterial crown gall, from maple bladder galls to cedar-apple rust galls, there are many galls of interest to horticulturists. Relative to all this, Joe Boggs recently got an e-mail from Michael Goldman of the Grange Insurance Audubon Center:

 

  I'm a big fan of the BYGL, and found something here that might be interesting for it.  The pictures I took look like some...

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Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs

A Stinging Commentary on Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Baldfaced Hornets.

Paper Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Baldfaced Hornets are beneficial insects. Just keep repeating that to yourself when you're being chased or stung by these hymenopteran marauders! They’ve been with us since the beginning of the season. However, this is the time of the year when their ever-expanding nests become large enough and contain enough individuals to make their presence sometimes painfully known.
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Joe Boggs