A Minor Leafminer with a Major History

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.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

An Odd Leaf Gall on Oaks

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.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Bulletgalls Targeting Oaks

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.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Oleander Aphids and Monarchs

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.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Be Alert to Grass Lace Bug

I was unaware of the existence of the Grass Lace Bug (Leptodictya plana, family Tingidae) until I found a damaging infestation late last week in southwest Ohio on ‘Little Bunny’ dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides, family Poaceae). The normally dark green blades had a bleached-out appearance with some blades turning brown.
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Authors
Joe Boggs