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Tanglewing Flies

Tanglewing Fly

Common names: Tanglewing Flies, Tangle-Veined Flies

Scientific name: Trichopsidea sp

Region: Throughout North America

Life cycle: One brood per year.  Emerges from the host and overwinters in the soil.  It pupates the following spring.

Physical Description: The adults are black, with dense yellow hair.  No distinct bands or marking on the abdomen.  They are .25 to .4 inches long.  The Eggs are laid in cracks in fence posts and other upright objects in huge numbers (up to 1000 in fifteen minutes).

Feeding characteristics: The adults are nectar and pollen feeders.  When the eggs hatch, they are scattered in the wind.

They attached themselves to the Grasshopper, and bore into the abdomen.  It forms a breathing tube attached to the host’s tracheal system.  Grasshopper populations have been observed to suffer drastic reduction after a severe attacking by these parasites.

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Tarnished Plant Bug

Tarnished Plant Bug

Common names: Tarnished Plant Bug

Scientific name: Lygus lineolaris

Region: This bug can be found throughout North America.

Life cycle: This insect produces three to five generations each year.  Overwintering occurs by the adult or nymph bug in garden debris, under leaf mold, stones, or tree bark, or in clover, and alfalfa.

Physical Description: This 1/4 inch long bug is green to brown with yellow, brown, and black markings, and a yellow triangle at the ends of the fore wings.  The curved, elongated eggs are laid or inserted in the stems, tips, and leaves of the host plants.  The nymphs are smaller, a pale yellow to green and bear black dots on the thorax and abdomen.

Feeding characteristics: This pest, adults and nymphs, attacks most fruits and vegetables by sucking on stem tips, buds, and fruits.  While feeding, the bugs apparently inject a poisonous substance into the plant that kills the surrounding tissue, deforms roots, blackens terminal leaves, dwarfs and pits fruits, and ruins flowers.  They appear in early spring and are most numerous toward the end of the summer.

Controls: Becautilize this bug is very active, sprays are limited in their effectiveness unless utilized early in the morning when the bug is sluggish due to the cold.  The best control is prevention through clean culture.  Dusting with sabadilla will take care of serious infestations.

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Tomato Hornworm

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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