The Ins and Outs of Bagworms chatfield.1 Wed, 07/27/2016 - 17:49

  The title of this bygl-alert is actually a bit disingenuous, since Dave Shetlar, Joe Boggs, and Curtis Young, entomologists all, are better equipped on the ins and outs of Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, the common bagworm, compared to me, a plant pathologist. The Latin binomial itself makes me a bit crazy, which I guess makes sense, since the family (group of related genera) for the common bagworm is – Psychidae. The actual ins and outs in this case actually refers to what my wife and I saw at a central Pennsylvania rest area this weekend.  There were numerous...

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Jim Chatfield
Keep a Lookout for Porcelain-Berry crook.46 Wed, 07/27/2016 - 15:15

Porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine native to Northeast Asia. The leaves are alternate, simple 2 ½ to 5" long and wide with a heart-shaped base and 3 to 5 palmate lobes.  The inconspicuous flowers are green-white and appear in June through August.  The colorful grape-like fruits mature from September to October changing from pale lilac, to green to a bright blue.  

Porcelain-berry grows and spreads quickly in partial to full sunlight.  This vigorous invader grows well in moist soils and can often be found along ponds, stream banks and...

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Julie Crook
Mighty Mites Fell High Tunnel Tomatoes draper.15 Tue, 07/26/2016 - 20:13
This week I had calls from two high tunnel tomato growers asking what would cause tomato plants to turn yellow and then that affected foliage to dry up completely. Of course that intrigued me and I had to go see what was going on with the tomatoes.
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Erik Draper
Squiggly Lines on Magnolia Leaves boggs.47 Tue, 07/26/2016 - 16:37

The highly visible handiwork of the magnolia serpentine leafmining caterpillar (Phyllocnistis magnoliella) is becoming evident magnolias in nurseries and landscapes in southern Ohio.  The moth belongs to the leafmining family Gracillariidae.  The tiny caterpillars of this aptly named moth feed close to the upper leaf epidermis, producing long, thin, serpentine mines that appear as silvery tracks snaking across the leaf surface.

 

Hosts for this leafminer include bigleaf, cucumber, southern, star, sweet bay, and umbrella magnolias.  Large numbers of mines on a...

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Joe Boggs
Big Friendly Giant Caterpillars boggs.47 Tue, 07/26/2016 - 16:31

Finding giant silkworm caterpillars (family Saturniidae) or observing the resulting giant moths was once a common occurrence.  Notable members of this moth family include Cecropia (Hyalophora Cecropia); Luna (Actias luna); Polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus); Promethia (Callosamia promethean); and the impressively named Hickory Horned Devil (Citheronia regalis).

 

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Joe Boggs

Hidden Hornworms

While watering the two tomato plants in my great expectations garden, I noticed a few missing leaves and some black, barrel-shaped frass (insect excrement) beneath the plants. Certain I'd quickly find the hornworm culprits, I looked, and looked, and … I'm always amazed at how well these large caterpillars can remain hidden from our probing eyes!
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Joe Boggs
Cockscomb Galls on Elm boggs.47 Sun, 07/24/2016 - 17:09

Look closely at the leaves of slippery elm (= red elm) (Ulmus rubra); you may be lucky enough to spot the unusual looking elm cockscomb galls produced by the so-called elm cockscomb aphid, Colopha ulmicola.  Although these galls are commonly mentioned in the literature, I've rarely seen them in southwest Ohio where elm sack galls produced by the aphid, Tetraneura ulmi, are the dominant aphid gall found on slippery elm.

 

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Joe Boggs
Wasp Pottery boggs.47 Sat, 07/23/2016 - 18:31

I didn't need to travel far today to discover an entomological wonder.  Attached to my porch railing was a tiny, clay pot; the handiwork of a Potter Wasp (Eumenes sp.).   As their common name describes, potter wasps fashion small rounded jug-like nests out of clay, and they attach the nests to leaves, twigs, or to structures such as window seals or in my case, a porch railing.

 

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Joe Boggs

Liriodendron Leaf Yellowing

During the hot, dry conditions of summer, numerous trees will shed some of their leaves. A good example is tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera). I (think) I remember flying in from the Pacific Northwest in August one dry year and as we got close to landing, was able to pick out the tuliptrees due to their earlier than fall color yellow leaves interspersed on the tree among the more prevalent green.  

Today, I was walking in Wooster in northeast Ohio, and the ground was littered with fallen leaves of tuliptree.  It even seemed like some of them were sweating in the 90+...

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Jim Chatfield

Hot, Dry Conditions Reveal Fairy Rings

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued an Excessive Heat Warning today for Greater Cincinnati. This is the highest alert based on the NWS Heat Index. I believe anything higher would cause spontaneous human combustion. I made a quick BYGL Alert! photo trek and found that fairy rings are now being revealed by the current hot/dry conditions in southwest Ohio.
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Joe Boggs