Name that (apple eating) bug!

sam_ny(5)September 23, 2012

One of my young trees trees was just devoured this summer by a series of worms, but I wasn't able to definitively ID the culprits. The only thing I know to try is BT next year, which I'll do, but it'd be nice if someone could tell me what these are.

First in early August I found these guys:

They were busy skeletonizing every leaf. I found one pic in a book that looked similar: red-humped caterpillars. But the pictures I found through Google didn't always look right.

Anyway, they left about half the leaves before I pulled them off, which then these guys ate:

Found them in mid Sept. and truly have no idea what they are. There was also one green guy that didn't seem to be doing much.

Maybe he was full.

Any ideas, apple gurus?

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marknmt

Not sure what they are but I am pretty sure they aren't the red-humped, because I've had those and they are bigger, and red-humped. They'll defoliate a branch in hours!

But it doesn't matter what they are. Bt at the right time will work, but maybe not quickly enough. I picked off my reddies since there weren't many.

Spinosad should do it quickly, triazacide will, sevin will, but watch the pre-harvest interval on of them.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:36PM
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sam_ny(5)

Thanks marknmt. Yeah, I sort of decided they weren't red-humped based on the pics. Whatever they are, they did damage. I had these same worms last year and they took off almost every leaf before I found them. This year I dusted with BT around the same time. They still showed up but there were far fewer. Maybe I need to dust more often and be more vigilant after rains, etc.

Anyway, those brown-green caterpillars finished the job.

I'll consider the other options. I mean to read up on Spinosad especially.

Interestingly, one tree (a MacFree) seems to get caterpillars far more than the others. I've only found stray ones of any variety on the other trees but this one has gotten hammered two years in a row.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:06AM
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sam_ny(5)

For what it's worth:

From pictures, I still think the first is red-humped, but maybe in an earlier stage. Here's a picture:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/435653/bgpage

The brown-green is maybe a unicorn moth caterpillar?

http://bugguide.net/node/view/31097

But more interesting than that: note what appears to be parasitic wasp larvae on the caterpillar in the middle picture (those little white things). Right?

Okay, that's all with the bug pictures I guess.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 3:00PM
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mjmarco(Zone 6 Upstate NY)

Sam, not sure what they are either but look on the branches in the spring and summer for the egg sacks that the moths lay they blend in but running your hand on the branch will help and remove them. It helped me with a tree that they kept eating the leaves. Once I found them I had no caterpillars that summer...hope it helps.
md

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:34PM
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marknmt

Sam, I do hope you're right about the parasitics, and if you are it argues against spraying spinosad and the others if hand-picking or mjmarco's branch-rubbing approach do the trick.

Although I am willing to resort to those dreaded "chemicals", and have done and will do, it's not my first choice all of the time and I love it when things work out without them.

Good luck,

M

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:33PM
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marknmt

Sam, I do hope you're right about the parasitics, and if you are it argues against spraying spinosad and the others if hand-picking or mjmarco's branch-rubbing approach do the trick.

Although I am willing to resort to those dreaded "chemicals", and have done and will do, it's not my first choice all of the time and I love it when things work out without them.

Good luck,

M

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:53PM
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daemon2525(5)
    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:05AM
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