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How many critters do you see?

Posted by taz6122 N.W. AR.6b (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 9, 10 at 2:16

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I see 3 possibly 4 types of bugs in many stages of life. Can anyone ID them all? I didn't see the adults until I cut the limbs off and threw them in a bucket of soapy water. The adult mealys were 3 times the size of any pictured here.


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RE: How many critters do you see?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 9, 10 at 13:14

They're all one kind of critter. But different developmental stages.

They're aphids, not mealybugs. And yes, some have a waxy covering, even more so than those on your leaves.

What plant are they on?


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RE: How many critters do you see?

It's a small elm tree and there are mealybugs on the tree as well. I watched adult mealybugs almost 1/4" long crawl out of that mess when I tapped it with a stick.


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RE: How many critters do you see?

Wooly elm aphids in various stages of life. That's all I see. It could be easy to mistake a mature wooly elm aphid for a mealybug.

There are lots of species of wooly aphids, by the way. This seems to be the time of year when we see a lot of them.


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RE: How many critters do you see?

Upon further inspection you may be right about the pictures above but this is not a wooly elm aphid. 4-5 of these were also found on the tree.
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I also found many leaf galls which could be from beneficials.
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RE: How many critters do you see?

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 9, 10 at 19:45

After a rather tedious count, I came up with 3,427 give or take a hundred! Last picture looks like some type of elm pocket gall. If so, from a type of mite that causes little damage to the tree.
hortster


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RE: How many critters do you see?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 9, 10 at 19:50

The critter on the blue background is a beneficial insect. Likely a syrphid fly larvae; They kill aphids. The aults are also called flower flies or hover flies and, because of their markings, resemble bees.

You said you " watched adult mealybugs almost 1/4" long crawl out of that mess"
If that critter had a shaggy white waxy covering, they were most likely a coccinelid larva- in the same family as ladybugs you see every day. One kind we have around here is Cryptolaemus.

The leaf galls are one of those things that nature does. Seldom if ever damaging to the tree's health.


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RE: How many critters do you see?

No jean it was not a mealybug destroyer/wooly lady beetle. If you'll remember I posted a picture of such last year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mealybug or predator


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