Fuzzy White Planthopper Nymphs

I recently came across clumps of intensely white cottony material at eye level on the stems of a red elm (= slippery elm, Ulmus rubra) along a forest trail in southwest Ohio. A close examination revealed the insects beneath the white fluff to be nymphs (immatures) of fulgoroid planthoppers (order Hemiptera, superfamily Fulgoroidea).
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Assassins are on the Loose!

It’s common for people to call all insects bugs. However, entomologists reserve the bug name for a specific group of insects that belong to the suborder Heteroptera (order Hemiptera). To emphasize the point, entomologists refer to these heteropteran insects as the true bugs which may imply we consider all other insects to be false bugs but that’s not true.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Asian Giant Hornet (a.k.a. "Murder Hornet"): It’s Not in Ohio, but Remain Vigilant

A recent announcement by the Washington Department of Agriculture has put the Asian Giant Hornet (AGH) (Vespa mandarinia) back in the news. A dead male hornet was submitted by a homeowner located in the state of Washington just outside the geographical locations of the original detections in 2019 and 2020.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Fall Webworm Nests

Overwintered fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) eggs have hatched in southwest Ohio and first-generation nests are becoming noticeable. Look for these hairy caterpillars inside small silk nests enveloping just a few leaves. The nests will rapidly expand over the next few weeks to include more leaves and become far more evident.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Olethreutes has Left the Building

The Hydrangea Leaftier Moth (Olethreutes ferriferana, family Tortricidae) is so-named because the caterpillars tie together developing leaves on wild and cultivated hydrangeas to produce oddball “leaf-purse” structures. The caterpillars have completed their development in southwest Ohio but their handiwork remains.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Yucca (Yucky?) Bugs and Beetles

I've long admired yucca (Yucca spp., family Asparagaceae) but realize many do not share my enthusiasm for these agave cousins. Indeed, searching the web using "yucca" as the keyword yields almost as many websites offering advice on how to kill it as how to grow it. Perhaps the developing interest in landscape plants that require little watering will influence the point of view.
Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs