Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
What's on my fennel?

Posted by docmom z5 MI (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 19, 11 at 10:41

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.

Martha


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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.


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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.


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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.

Martha


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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.


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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


 o
RE: What's on my fennel?

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.


 o
I'll try

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.

Martha


 o
No luck.

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.

Martha


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here