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Posts Tagged ‘Animalia’

Tomato Hornworm

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Tomato Hornworm

Common names: Tomato Hornworm

Scientific name: Manduca quinquemaculata

Region: This Caterpillar is found throughout North America.

Life cycle: This insect produces one to two generations each year.  The eggs are deposited singly and hatch within three to eight days.  The larvae reach full size in three to four weeks of steady eating.  Overwintering is done as hard-shelled pupae, three to four inches below the surface of the soil.  The moths appear in May or June.  One generation is common in the North, while the South may have to contend with two or more.

Physical Description: This 4-inch long caterpillar is green with seven or eight white stripes and a black horn sticking out from the rear.  A similar caterpillar is the tobacco hornworm.  The adult moth is gray or brown with white zigzags on the rear wings and orange or brown marks on the body, and has a wingspan of 4 to 5 inches.

Feeding characteristics: This pest attacks eggplant, pepper, potato, and tomato plants by chewing the leaves and fruits.

Controls: The Braconid Wasp lay eggs on Caterpillars, forming little white cocoons on the skin.  Trichogramma Wasps parasitize hornworms in the egg stage.

Most plants can tolerate some feeding, but if the caterpillars become a problem, handpicking is the best approach.

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Walkingstick

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Walkingstick

Common names: Walkingstick

Scientific name: Diapheromera femorata

Region: This insect is found in the eastern portion of the United States.

Life cycle: This insect produces just one generation each year and overwinters as an egg.

Physical Description: This 3-inch long insect is brown or dark green, very thin with a body like a stick, and can easily camouflage itself in trees and shrubs.  Its eggs are black and are deposited on the ground.

Feeding characteristics: The insect is common to the cherry tree and may feed extensively on the foliage, but damage is never serious.

Controls: None required, damage is never serious.

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Tiger Beetle

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Tiger Beetle

Common names: Tiger Beetle

Scientific name: Tetracha virginica

Region: This beetle is found in the western region of North America.  However, there are similar species found in the South and throughout North America.

Life cycle: This beetle overwinters in the soil as adults and larvae.  The entire life cycle of the this beetle takes two to three years to complete.

Physical Description: These 3/4 inch beetles are distinguished by their flashy, iridescent hues of blue, green, bronze, and purple.  They have long legs and are strong fliers.  The eggs are laid one at a time in burrows within the soil.  The larva is white and S-shaped with heavy spines and a hump in the middle of the body with curved hooks.

Feeding characteristics: Both the adult and the larvae feed during the day on many plant eating insects.  The larvae spend time at the bottom of tunnels, waiting for an insect to stumble in.

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