Robber Fly Born Identities

I posted an Alert over the weekend about robber flies (family Asilidae). This family of highly proficient predatory flies includes so-called "giant robber flies" (genus Promachus). I had the mistaken belief that the most common member of the giant robber fly genus found in Ohio is P. rufipes (Fabricius), the so-called Red-Footed Cannibalfly. However, thanks to BYGL-reader Tim Turner, I learned that we have another giant in our midst that we must consider when snapping pictures for BYGL Alerts.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Spotted Lanternfly Update

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive planthopper first detected in eastern Pennsylvania in Berks County in 2014, and has since been detected in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The map below was updated on August 14, 2020 and includes both individual finds of SLF with no infestation present (purple dots), and where SLF infestations are present (blue areas) - which means a reproducing population had been detected and multiple life-stages of the insect has been detected and confirmed. 
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Authors
Amy Stone

Ohio Victory Gardens - Let's Grow Ohio

Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. People were encouraged to find any usable space, plop in some seeds and contribute homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs to the effort. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism.
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Amy Stone
Pam Bennett

Spectacular Fall Webworm Nests

Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea) has two overlapping generations per season in Ohio. The "fall" in the webworm's common name is based on large second-generation nests normally appearing late in the season. However, we are receiving reports that where localized webworm populations are high, the caterpillars are already producing some truly spectacular nests sometimes enveloping entire trees.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Ambush Bugs: A Pollinator Peril

Sometimes, the common names of insects clearly describe what the insects do for a living. Insects that belong to the Hemipteran family Reduviidae are collectively called assassin bugs; they hunt down and kill other insects. Look closely at flowers to observe another type of assassin bug that practices an entirely different type of predatory behavior
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Is It Oak Wilt, Or Not?

Oak wilt is a very serious and often deadly disease of oaks, specifically the oaks in the red or black oak group. The actual pathogen (Bretziella fagacearum) that causes the disease has been known to be in Ohio for many decades. Some years, it is worse than others. Oak wilt is not like the emerald ash borer that spreads rapidly, almost like a tidal wave moving in one direction. Oak wilt builds in a way that it can radiate out to other like trees, but advances at a slower pace, but even then, can cause tree death in a single season, and often in a matter of weeks
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Authors
Amy Stone