Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Wildlife Gardeners of North America Unite > Insects, Arachnids, & Gastropods

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-03-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
Fox
 
Bulucanagria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S. Grafton, Massachusetts
Default Once again, what are these things?

On a walk along the shore of a local reservoir, I noticed this white, fungus-like growth on a small tree. I believe it was a Mulberry although I could be wrong. I took several close-up pictures and went on my way.
As you can see, the close-ups revealed quite an interesting structure to this "fungus". What's more, it revealed a blurry image of some sort of insect around it, one which I hadn't noticed at the time. Figuring this could be a clue, I stopped back a few times to see if I could get a picture of the bug and finally, with the warm sunny weather, I found that they were ants. It looks like they may have been feeding off of the structures but I know way too little about ants or this white stuff to say for sure. I was able to get several pictures of the ants before they took the evasive action of simply falling off the tree.
So, once again, what are these things?
FYI the first four pictures were taken this afternoon while the last one was taken last week.

Once again, what are these things?-spider-076.jpgOnce again, what are these things?-spider-077a.jpgOnce again, what are these things?-spider-079a.jpgOnce again, what are these things?-spider-081a.jpgOnce again, what are these things?-destroyer-042.jpg
__________________
BULUCANAGRIA'S FLICKR
Bulucanagria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 07:23 AM   #2
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

1st photo looked like cottony maple scale to me. 2nd photo looked like calico scale to me. 3rd photo looked like beech scale to me and…. the last photo looked like an orgy of mealybugs….just kidding but you know what I mean. I enlarged all your photos…. then knocked out mealybugs… beech and calico scale because that 4th photo really started looking like cottony maple scale to me. I’m leaning toward it being a maple scale even though you said it’s on a Mulberry which isn’t the hardwood they prefer to suck the life out of. I’m pretty sure that’s a soft scale insect but…. which one>>>>? If the big bug kahuna says I’m way off base and it’s Gossyparia spuria… could you like donate that photo here, EOL: Gossyparia spuria - Encyclopedia of Life Whatever it is.... it’s producing honeydew that the ants are grazing on. Really really really great photos!!!
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 07:30 AM   #3
The Bug Whisperer
 
suunto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulucanagria View Post
On a walk along the shore of a local reservoir, I noticed this white, fungus-like growth on a small tree. I believe it was a Mulberry although I could be wrong. I took several close-up pictures and went on my way.
As you can see, the close-ups revealed quite an interesting structure to this "fungus". What's more, it revealed a blurry image of some sort of insect around it, one which I hadn't noticed at the time. Figuring this could be a clue, I stopped back a few times to see if I could get a picture of the bug and finally, with the warm sunny weather, I found that they were ants. It looks like they may have been feeding off of the structures but I know way too little about ants or this white stuff to say for sure. I was able to get several pictures of the ants before they took the evasive action of simply falling off the tree.
So, once again, what are these things?
FYI the first four pictures were taken this afternoon while the last one was taken last week.

Attachment 27388Attachment 27389Attachment 27390Attachment 27391Attachment 27392
These are woolly aphids (Hemiptera/Sternorrhyncha: Eriosomatidae); sometimes considered a subfamily (Eriosomatinae) of the Aphididae - see http://www.edupic.net/Images/Insects..._aphids194.JPG and UC IPM Photo for representative images. The 'fungus-like' material consists of waxy filaments produced by these insects as they fed on the sap of their plant hosts; it is thought that this may provide some protection from predation. They also secrete a nectar-like substance ('honeydew') as they feed, and this is what attracts the ants. See Woolly Aphid for more detailed information.
__________________
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher
suunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Way to go suunto!!! You rock!!! I looked up photos of wooly aphid and looks like you.... the big bug kahuna... got a dead match to his photos!!! So much for being pretty sure it was a scale!!! We've got a lot of scale around here but I haven't seen any of those around me.... do I want to>? Just kidding.
--
Quick question for you on potatoes.... I bought seed potatoes from that place you recommended and I remember you saying they could stay in the ground for quite a while and I think I remember you saying you you were digging your potatoes out in fall or maybe even after it snowed. I never could find an old frig at the curb to bring home and use as like a root cellar so I left ALL my potatoes in the ground. I think I should start thinking about digging em up before the ground freezes. There's no benefit to keeping em in the ground anymore is there?
--
Bulu> you should submit that 4th photo to photo of the month. I don't know what species the ant is but that close up is fantastic!!!
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #5
Fox
 
Bulucanagria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S. Grafton, Massachusetts
Default

Thank you suunto. I thought these looked insectish but I've been wrong before. I felt safe posting the pictures here, though, as there were ants involved.
Equil, every now and then I check my recent identified images against the Encyclopedia of Life database to see if I can fill any gaps or improve on the image they have. I've submitted about a dozen or so images, one of which has become "trusted" (an Eastern Gray Squirrel swimming).
BTW, here's a picture of the leaves of the affected plant. Maybe it's enough for you to ID it. I really should know more tree ID's but my brain gets so very crowded sometimes.
Once again, what are these things?-destroyer-039.jpg
__________________
BULUCANAGRIA'S FLICKR
Bulucanagria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
1st Place Winner Winner Butterfly/Moth Contest & Official Ant Man
 
MrILoveTheAnts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Default

Your ant in the 3rd and 4th pictures look like Camponotus pennsylvanicus.
MrILoveTheAnts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
Fox
 
Bulucanagria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S. Grafton, Massachusetts
Default

Thank you, MrILoveTheAnts. I thought we might be hearing from you on this one. I don't know why...
__________________
BULUCANAGRIA'S FLICKR
Bulucanagria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 05:46 AM   #8
The Bug Whisperer
 
suunto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Quick question for you on potatoes.... I bought seed potatoes from that place you recommended and I remember you saying they could stay in the ground for quite a while and I think I remember you saying you you were digging your potatoes out in fall or maybe even after it snowed. I never could find an old frig at the curb to bring home and use as like a root cellar so I left ALL my potatoes in the ground. I think I should start thinking about digging em up before the ground freezes. There's no benefit to keeping em in the ground anymore is there?
They can stay in the ground as long as they can be kept from freezing. In our area, a foot of soil cover with black plastic over that usually suffices, and I successfully overwinter them in the garden that way. As the ground likely freezes quite a bit deeper in your area, this may not be practical for you, and you may want to dig yours and bring them indoors to a cool storage place before the weather turns seriously cold.
__________________
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher
suunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Our freeze line is 42" I think. At least when we're pouring concrete for anything the footers have to be that deep. I'll get em out of the ground this weekend.... we've had a little bit of Indian summer but that's not gonna last forever. For some reason I thought I could leave em in the ground and just dig em up when I needed them. Too bad I can't leave em a little longer.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 03:23 AM   #10
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

OMG... sorry Bulu... I had chicken on the brain... your photo blew by me. That looks like a hazelnut to me. Probably Corylus americana but could be C. cornuta. It's the veining. Not too many leaves look like it. Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and Ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana) are similar. I'll get you a photo of Morus rubra leaves. I know there's still some clinging to my trees so you can see what I mean about the veins. My hophornbeam and ironwoods already dropped. Come to think of it... so did my American hazelnuts so no go on photos from those this year.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ants, aphid, aphididae, aphids, attract ants, bugs, camponotus, camponotus pennsylvanicus, eriosomatinae, filaments, hemiptera, honeydew, identify, insect identification, insects, nectar, pennsylvanicus, sap, sternorrhyncha, things, tree, woolly aphids

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2