“Bagworm Season” is Wrapping Up but Bags Will Remain

Common bagworms (family Psychidae) are so-named because the native moth caterpillars live in silk bags festooned with plant debris. It’s the perfect camouflage allowing them to remain undetected until their damage is revealed by their voracious appetites. The “bagworm season” is ending with the caterpillars transitioning from life in a tote bag to life in a sleeping bag.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Nectar Robbing Criminal Activity

Larcenous bees chew holes at the base of tubular floral corollas to practice nectar robbery. Darwin wasn’t the first to write about it. According to the literature, this criminal behavior has been known since 1793 when the German naturalist Christian Sprengel first reported observing bumblebees (Bombus spp.) puncturing flowers with their mandibles.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

It’s Dogbane Webworm, Not Fall Webworm

When I first saw the webbed nests of the Dogbane Webworm (Saucrobotys futilalis, family Crambidae) on Hemp Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum, family Apocynaceae), I thought the culprits were fall webworms (Hyphantria cunea, family Erebidae). After all, this native moth has a very wide host range and it’s not uncommon to find their nests on herbaceous perennials.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Red-Barked Sycamores at 55 MPH

Recent trips on highways along the Ohio river revealed the so-called Red Bark Phenomenon (RBP) continues on American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). RBP appears as orangish-red to deep red staining on the bark. Vertical streaks are common making trees look like they’re oozing blood.
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Authors
Joe Boggs