Nectar Robbing Criminal Activity

Larcenous bees chew holes at the base of tubular floral corollas to practice nectar robbery. Darwin wasn’t the first to write about it. According to the literature, this criminal behavior has been known since 1793 when the German naturalist Christian Sprengel first reported observing bumblebees (Bombus spp.) puncturing flowers with their mandibles.
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Joe Boggs

It’s Dogbane Webworm, Not Fall Webworm

When I first saw the webbed nests of the Dogbane Webworm (Saucrobotys futilalis, family Crambidae) on Hemp Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum, family Apocynaceae), I thought the culprits were fall webworms (Hyphantria cunea, family Erebidae). After all, this native moth has a very wide host range and it’s not uncommon to find their nests on herbaceous perennials.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Red-Barked Sycamores at 55 MPH

Recent trips on highways along the Ohio river revealed the so-called Red Bark Phenomenon (RBP) continues on American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). RBP appears as orangish-red to deep red staining on the bark. Vertical streaks are common making trees look like they’re oozing blood.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Fall Webworm Update

This is the second posting on Fall Webworm this season. The first Alert posted on July 27 noted that fall webworm nests are late, but on the rise. However, several significant developments have occurred since that time.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Frilled Leaves Add Aesthetic Value to Black Tupelo

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.
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Authors
Joe Boggs