Articles

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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Authors
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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Authors
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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Authors
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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Authors
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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Authors
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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Authors
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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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs

The Table is Set and the Birds are Feasting!

While spending some time earlier this week at Sharon Woods Metro Park, one of the Columbus and Franklin County's Metro Parks, I had the opportunity to capture some shots of a downy woodpecker flittering about in an small alder tree. I was playing around with a new camera and was 'zoomed' in rather far when as I took the pictures. It wasn't until I returned to the office that I realized the downy woodpecker was doing much more than 'flittering about". It was actually feasting on woolly alder aphids!

 

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Authors
Marne Titchenell

Got Bats in the Belfry? Here's What to Do!

March through September is the active time for bats in Ohio.  Ohio’s 11 species spend their summer hours like every other species in Ohio – feeding and reproducing.  There is no question Ohioans benefit from the feeding of bats – a single bat can consume over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. 

The reproduction side of things however, can sometimes cause an issue…especially if the result is a colony of bats in the home.  Two Ohio bat species will commonly share living space with humans; the little brown bat and the big brown bat.  The females of both of these species form...

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Authors
Marne Titchenell

Turkey Tales

My wife and I live in the country in Wayne County in northeast Ohio, and enjoy the sights and sounds of wild-life.  Coyotes provide their weird series of moans, whistles, yips, and howls – truly cool.  Equally cool we have a turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hen and two poults that waltz through our yard periodically this summer. This is much to our delight, except for areas of the lawn (such as it is with our dry period this summer) that they ruffle up, presumably in their omnivorous belief that “We Have The Meat” (insects and millipedes) and vegetables (acorns, roots, almost...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield