What's on my fennel?

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)June 19, 2011

Sorry, no picture, but I have multiple long (3/4 inch), thin, pale green, worm-like creatures that make little nests at the tip of the branches of my fennel. They then lay on the branch just below their nest and scurry amazingly fast back into the nest if disturbed. I brought one inside and it squiggled wildly when it couldn't get into its nest. Any ideas? I've also got scatted aphids and I've brought in 10 BST eggs/cats so far. Just curious if anyone knows what these are. I'll leave them be, since I'm a fan of diversity.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

I think I've got some of those too, on the Bronze fennel. They make kind of a foamy nest? I am curious too and whether they're a threat to BST caterpillars.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The foamy nest thing is from spittle bugs. Yep, it looks like spit, so what an appropriate name! LOL. I had a few of those earlier in the season. Inside the "spit," there were small yellow bugs, so I don't think that's what docmom was talking about.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I don't think they're spittle bugs. The "nest" is made of mostly leaves of the fennel plant with a bit of webbing holding them together. And the creature is definitely a squishy, wormy, caterpillar-type.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

They are most likely a worm from the Family Psychidae - Bagworm Moths. I found one too. :)
The link below is directly to their family and subfamilies. This website often helps me identify insect species, often with only a rough ID and no photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bugnet.com

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Doesn't sound like a bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) to me. Bagworms carry their little 'nests' around with them at all times, until ready to pupate or overwinter, when they secure them to a stem. The bags are not located at the tips of their host plant, either, as described by Martha. They are dark and squat, quite homely creatures, rarely seen outside of their homes, unless they are physically pulled out with tweezers.

Any chance of a photograph of the nest, Martha? I can picture several insects that stitch together leaves to make a protective little tent for themselves. An image of the actual nest would be helpful for us.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Notice I said 'family' There are many subfamilies within that it might belong to. It's hard to tell without a photo. ;)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I know, Msmorningsong...there's not a large number of members within that family; I've simply emphasized the one that is most common. None of the member of the family fit the description given us by Martha.

Hopefully, we'll see some images 'cause I know that we are all curious.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I'm terrible at using a camera. I just have too much fun to take time out to take a picture of anything. I barely have pictures of my kids. But, I'll try this weekend. I hope there are still some of the critters hanging around.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I went out to see if I could get a picture of these guys, but I couldn't find one. Sorry. There was some evidence of old "nests", but none of the squiggly guys.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 7:02PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
They're back
Here in Central Florida we are at mid spring. I have...
We need Monarch wings to help injured Monarchs!
We are looking for Monarch wings anyone has saved from...
Forum changes due to Houzz
I'm never happy when somebody buys up a website I use...
KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH
Milkweed germination times and rates
Someone was kind enough to send me all sorts of seeds...
kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)
Butterflies in my house - what should I do?
I found a cabbage white fluttering between the inner...
Sponsored Products
Beckwith Ceiling Fan by Fanimation Fans
$499.00 | Lumens
Justice Design Group GLA-8771 - Dakota 1 Light Wall Sconce - Cylinder with Rippl
$198.00 | Hayneedle
Wescott Body Sheet - LAGOON BLUE (BATH SHEET)
$30.00 | Horchow
Glass Note ENERGY STAR 14" Wide Bathroom Light
Lamps Plus
Rubbed Bronze Outdoor Wall 3-Light
'Don't Go Bacon My Heart' Print
$14.99 | zulily
Kubik Rectangular Wall Sconce by Zaneen
$355.68 | Lumens
Hopson Leather Armless Chair - Brighton Aubergine Purple
Joybird Furniture
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™