Friend or foe?

vettin(z6b Northern VA)April 29, 2011

So maybe not so much friend, but if this guy will become a beautiful butterfly, I guess I can be ok with it eating a couple of rose buds. If just a rose slug though - will be moved were the birds can get to it a bit easier!

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vettin(z6b Northern VA)

Forgot photos:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 8:48PM
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bellegallica_zone9(9)

Future butterfly or not, when I see these munching on buds, I usually pull them off and toss them into the ligustrum a few feet away. They can eat the ligustrum to the ground for all I care, but I want all the roses for myself.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 2:28PM
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onederw

A question for you, Vettin: Do you feel the same way about brown moths that you do about butterflies?
Because this looks very much like your garden variety (pardon the expression) cabbage looper, the same villain who munches out petunias and geraniums and snapdragons and, well, cabbages if you've got 'em.
I haven't seen a lot of them on rose buds. Usually they choose softer targets. Could something else have damaged the bud first?

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabbage looper pix

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 3:10PM
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collinw(7b)

Most butterflies have specific larval food plants, I don't know of a butterfly that uses roses. Maybe a moth?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 3:10PM
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vettin(z6b Northern VA)

Bleh, bird food it is. Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 3:18PM
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organic_tosca(9/Sunset 14)

I agree with the "enemy" classification, but thought I would mention a similar larva that is definitely a "good guy": the Syrphid Fly larva, which will vacuum up aphids really, really well. This little green Syrphid Fly larva ( apparently he can appear in other colors, such as brown or yellow), has no legs - a way to tell which larva is on your roses. The one in your picture is NOT a Syrphid Fly larva, as it clearly has legs. I look really carefully now before I pluck a little green worm-like critter off the bush, because if it's Mr. Good Guy I need him - I have a real aphid problem here, and this little thing works at least as well as a Lady Beetle larva, if not better.

Laura

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:25PM
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sherryocala

Vettin, what a great photo that first one is. I see the holes left in my buds, but I've never seen the culprit caught in the act. Thank you! I will be looking for those guys. Smush!

onederw, thanks for putting a name to it and for the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 9:00PM
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onederw

Sherry and Vettin --
If you have just a few, a hand removal/ligustrum relocation program should work. If you are dealing with a major infestation, however, it may be time to break out the Bt -- bacillus thuringiensis. Not a pesticide, it works, I believe, by "freezing" the digestive process of the caterpillar. Couldn't happen to a better bunch of bozos.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:30AM
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