Posts Tagged ‘invasive species’

Crazier and Hairier

They’re crazy and hairy and they’ve received a lot of press lately in the news and the blogosphere… ANTS!  These ones, Nylanderia pubens, seem to be quite a nuisance to those living in the southern parts of the United States.  They’re, well, crazy, and hairy.

As you can see in the video above, they move very quickly and can deliver a nasty bite.  They exhibit super colony characteristics (like the Argentine ant), meaning they are not aggressive toward other colonies.  If there’s a silver lining this the dark cloud, it’s that they may outcompete fireants.  Oh yeah, and they tend membracids!

Photo Courtesy of Mississippi Entomological Museum

Leek Moth

The best part about an online magazine, is that they send you emails only if you want them.  And in the case of Saveur, I get tasty recipes to try on a regular basis.  Last week, a number of recipes for a Summer Vegetarian Feast filled my email inbox.  One was a delicious leek and zucchini galette, combining great flavor and seasonality.

There are leeks growing alongside my onions in some fields.  Some of the growers I work with have a few different Allium species growing including garlic and leek.  These crops could be subject to leek moth infestation, but leek moth is currently only known in certain areas of New York and Canada (in North America).  An invasive species from Europe, leek moth,  Acrolepiopsis assectella, is a small, brown to black moth with yellow-green caterpillars.  The pupae are small cocoons with a distinct lacy casing.

Adult Leek Moth courtesy of AgroAtlas

Leek moth pupal casing

Leek moth damage include mining and perforations in the leaf, with window-paning damage where the caterpillar has not eaten all the way through all layers of the leaf tissue.

Leek moth damage

While there are no chemical treatments yet in New York, cultural treatments such as crop rotation, row covers, and removing vegetative debris at the end of the season are recommended.  In Canada, a parasitoid wasp  Diadromus pulchellus was released as a biological control agent as part of an integrated pest management approach to control leek moth.  Perhaps that may be an option for leek moth control here as well.


Ashes to Ashes

Emerald Ash Borer is now in Western New York!  If you remember my first Who’s Who post, the Emerald Ash Borer is a new invasive species that infests ash trees.  This is what the insect looks like:

Read more about the recent infestation here.  And remember:

Who’s Who #1

For those of you who can’t make it through the whole post, the answer is… Insect 2- the Emerald Ash Borer!  If you see this little beetle crawling around, please see this site to report your sighting to the appropriate contact.  Now, on to the other critters!

Insect 1

Photo courtesy of Philip Rose

This particular specimen from Thailand is commonly known as the Jewel Beetle, in the family Buprestidae. Individuals in this family are commonly known as the metallic wood borers and are known for their iridescent color.  The coloration is not pigment, but rather structural coloration that will not fade with time.  As such, they are often used as adornments and frequently collected.  There are 53 genera of Buprestidae in North America, but not all shiny green buprestids are of concern!

Insect 2

Photo courtesy of Insect Images

This is who you should be looking for!  If you see this critter running around, head the other way!  No, not really.  Make sure to report your suspicion to the appropriate Cooperative Extension office found here under “Contact Info.”

This is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire.  Like Insect 1, this is another beetle (order Coleoptera) in the Buprestidae family.  One of the distinguishing characteristics of the EAB is its elongate and cylindrical shape, unlike the other Buprestids.  They are bright metallic green, occasionally with reddish or bronze tones as well.  They are usually around 10mm in size.

This particular species is a concern because it is an introduced species from Asia causing damage to ash trees in Eastern North America.  Severe infestations cause branch dieback and can eventually kill the tree in just a few years. Biological control agents have been explored, concentrating primarily on parasitoid wasps.  Research is currently still being conducted and these biological control agents are still being evaluated for efficacy.  For more information about the state of native bio control agents see here.  For bio control agents native to Asia see here.  Pathogenic fungi and nematodes are also being considered.  Currently, the best preventative measure is to reduce the movement of infested material, including moving firewood.

Insect 3

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Butterflies

The six spotted tiger beetle Cincindela sexguttata is a beetle in the family Cicindelidae and are found all over the world.  These beetles are aggressive predators that run really really fast.  One of their identifying characteristics is their protruding eyes, that classic “bug-eyed” look.  While found in similar regions as the EAB, it’s long legs and protruding eyes help to identify it is not of concern.

Insect 4

Photo Courtesy of Flicker

This is the red-legged buprestid beetle, Buprestis rufipes. While in the same family of beetles as the EAB, the yellow markings are a good way to distinguish between the two species.

Long post after a long onion-planting day…whoo! More on that later.  Thanks for sticking around!