Japanese Beetle Centennial

  Japanese beetles on a linden leaf or on a rose leaf or flower - to this we are accustomed. On certain plants though, such as cut-leaf rhamnus or as shown here from Wooster, Ohio on dawnredwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides); somehow it seems like they do not have enough of a perch or dining area.  Perhaps it is the small-plates phenomenon. At any rate, the chewing-mouthparts damage here is quite familiar and Popillia japonica damage to the turf and ornamental industry is huge. In fact, a 2002 paper by Dan Potter and David Held of the University of Kentucky (Annu. Rev....

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Jim Chatfield

Petunias, Part Deux

Two weeks ago, I wrote a paean to petunias and how they liven up the street scene in Wooster Ohio. This week, I got a second dose while traversing the trade show floor at Cultivate’16, the summer festival of flowers and floricultural and all horticultural education put on by American Hort at the Columbus Convention Center.  There were of course many more attractions as well as petunias. Yet, this among many, all my life I have waited for flowers such as these. Below are just a few to whet your petunia palette with what is here now and with what is to come of new varieties.  Get thee to...

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Jim Chatfield

Queendom of the Spiders

The 1977 sci-fi movie, Kingdom of the Spiders, that stared William Shatner got it wrong.  Not with tapping Captain Kirk for the lead role, but with the movie's title:  with rare exceptions, only female spiders spin species-typical webs.  It's still a pretty good movie even with the 1970s era special effects.

 

Of course, the downside with such arachnophobic movies is what happens when movie viewers venture forth in the morning.  Ohioans may be surprised at the large number of spiders living near at hand when heavy morning dews accentuate their gossamer creations. ...

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Joe Boggs

Cypress Twig Galls Adorn Baldcypress

I came across the galling handiwork of the cypress twig gall midge fly (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa) on baldcypress while on a photo-trek in southwest Ohio on Thursday.  These spongy, white galls were something of an oddity when I started with Extension 25 years ago.  However, for some reason that has changed with these galls becoming a common adornment on baldcypress.
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Joe Boggs

Walnut Caterpillars on the Prowl

Walnut caterpillars (Datana integerrima) are native insects meaning that year-to-year population densities are usually kept in check by predators, parasitoids, and pathogens (the 3-Ps).  However, we occasionally see "outbreak years" when caterpillar numbers surge ahead of the combined natural suppression provided by the 3-Ps.  I'm not suggesting we are experiencing an outbreak season, but walnut caterpillars are certainly not hard to find!  In fact, I've come across the characteristic patchy defoliation produced by colonies of these caterpillars on their namesake host in two...

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Joe Boggs

Elongate Hemlock Scale

The non-native Elongate Hemlock Scale (Fiorinia externa), which is sometimes called "Fiornia scale," occurs on the underside of needles and on cones.  It may infest its namesake host as well as on other conifers including firs, Douglas-fir, spruces, cedars, pines, and yews.  The scale was accidently introduced to the U.S. from Japan and was first found in New York, NY, in 1908.  Currently, it's found in much of the native range for eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana).  Where it overlaps with the non-native Hemlock Woolly...

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Joe Boggs

Yellowpoplar Weevil Damage on Magnolia

Yellowpoplar weevil adults  (Odontopus calceatus) causes feeding damage on tuliptree (yellow-poplar, tulip-poplar, tuliptree), magnolia and sassafras, resulting in holes in leaves, aptly described as resembling “curved rice grains” by many fact sheets, including an excellent one by the University of Kentucky. After adults mate in late spring, eggs hatch and larvae “mine” areas of the leaves, resulting in a scorched appearance of the new growth of the tree or shrub (certain magnolias). Although this damage is not considered important to plant health, it may significantly affect the...

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Jim Chatfield

Bloodsucking Conenose Found: Don't Panic!

I met Cindy Meyer at her OSU Extension, Butler County, office yesterday to take pictures of a bloodsucking conenose (Triatoma sanguisuga) that had been collected by a concerned homeowner.  This is the second time I've taken pictures of this "kissing bug" species in Ohio.  The first time was in 2010 when I found a specimen crawling on the outside of my home in Butler County.  According to a paper published in the Ohio Journal of Science in 1960 titled, "Arthropods of Medical Importance in Ohio," the bloodsucking conenose is found in southern Ohio.  So, finding the...

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Joe Boggs
Cindy Meyer

Diagnostic Walk-About Highlight: Mystery Solved

A mystery that has bedeviled me for several years was finally solved this past Monday thanks to participants in the Southwest Ohio BYGLive! Diagnostic Walk-About and my Walk-About partner, Julie Crook.  As I reported in my July 1, 2016, BYGL Alert! (Coneflower Calamities:  Round 1), Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil (Haplorhynchites aeneus) females clip the flowers of coneflowers as well as members of the Silphium genus.  Indeed, the weevil is sometimes called the "Silphium weevil" owing to its strong association with plants in this genus.

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Joe Boggs

Dueling Insects on Oak Leaf

One of the challenges of plant problem diagnostics is that Nature is sometimes less tidy than we might wish. Pests do not confine their damage to plants one at a time, and also the different stages of an insect may cause different types of damage (symptoms).  Oak shothole leafminer (Agromyza viridula) adult flies damage oak leaf buds with their ovipositors. The holes from this damage expand as the leaf expands, causing the characteristically parallel holes on either side of the unfolding leaf.  Later larvae of this insect cause leaf-mining damage shown as browned areas in the...

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Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs