Black tupelo (a.k.a. black gum, sour gum) (Nyssa sylvatica) is one of my favorite native trees. The straight species has horizontal branches sculpted into an attractive pyramidal canopy. Lustrous elliptical dark green leaves display a spectacular range of eye-popping colors in the fall, from orangish-yellow to deep red. The many cultivars offer variations on these themes.
The tiny moth, Ectoedemia platanella (Family Nepticulidae), is generally called the Sycamore Leaf Blotch Miner for the lifestyle of the caterpillars on their namesake host, American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). Although various online references indicate the caterpillar’s host range includes other members of the Platanus genus, I’ve only ever found them on American sycamore.
So-called “Oak Flake Galls” are produced under the direction of a tiny wasp with a big scientific name, Neuroterus quercusverrucarum (syn. N. floccosus, family Cynipidae). The wasp’s host range appears to be confined to oaks belonging to the white oak group.
Several stem galls on oaks (Quercus spp.) that are produced under the direction of gall wasps (family Cynipidae) are called “bulletgalls” owing to their bullet-like shapes. Two of the most common found in Ohio are Rough Oak Bulletgalls induced by the cynipid wasp, Disholcaspis quercusmamma, and Round Oak Bulletgalls induced by D. quercusglobulus.
Devotees of Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) commonly view Oleander Aphids (Aphis nerii) with disdain. After all, this is the time of the season when we see hordes of the non-native yellow aphids on milkweed (Asclepias spp.) plants "reserved" for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Of course, Mother Nature takes no reservations, even for royalty.