Insect and Bug ID forum: Who is skilled at bug ID?

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 9:20 AM CST
First, carrots. I've posted this here before but I've got a better picture now and I'm not sure the last answer was correct. Out of ALL my garden plants, these worms are only on the carrots. They've even infected the carrots on two totally different sides of the garden but still, only carrots. They kill the leaves around them and make this silky web stuff but they don't seem to encase themselves in it. They aren't hurting the roots, but I'd like to leave some carrots to seed next year so I would like to get rid of them. I was just going to pull all the carrots on the one side of the garden where they have been but today I noticed some on the other side as well so that's no longer an option.
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Next raspberries. These little hoppy things move FAST. They make a gross white stuff on the branches like mealy bugs but they aren't mealy bugs, I don't think. I don't see them eating the branches or leaves so maybe I don't care if they are there? They are getting pretty prolific though as there are now far more than there had been last week. They stick exclusively to the raspberry bushes - not even venturing over to the gooseberries. Actually, I don't tend to even see them on the thorny raspberry bush, which is right next to the thornless one they are on. (Sorry the picture is a little blurry. I fight with my phone often about putting the auto focus on the correct object. I wish I could turn auto-focus off!)
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This .... thing... was on my tomato plant. No idea what it is at all. My instinct is to ignore it.
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This is not a bug picture, but something is eating my chard. Whatever it is, it only likes chard. It doesn't like arugula or kohlrabi or broccoli or beans or peas or lettuce or spinach or beet greens or anything else. Only chard. And it is eating it on the sly. I've never once seen a bug of any kind on the chard. I just come out and suddenly there are more holes or whole leaves gone. Suggestions on how to make it stop?
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thank you!
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 10:32 AM CST
Well, based on web searches, the raspberry ones are flatid planthoppers - and drink the sap of the plant but according to the U of MN "rarely are ever injurious to the plant."

The one on the tomato is a mayfly which is weird because there's no water nearby but it didn't seem very healthy so maybe the storm brought it in? Who knows. So that's two, anyway.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 10:44 AM CST
The chard is probably slug damage. Ugh. Well.. maybe my resident gopher has already eaten the slugs? Maybe? I might try laying out some yeast water cups to see if I catch any more. Also the damage seemed worst when the nets were up so maybe the nets coming down let the birds catch slugs. Here's hoping!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 21, 2016 10:54 AM CST
The holes in the chard don't look like slug damage to me. Besides, slugs are not picky eaters and you'd be seeing holes in all those other plants, too. Slugs mainly eat starting at the edges of the leaves, not in the middle like that.

Take out a flashlight at night and look at the backs of the leaves. I'll bet you find some little greenish caterpillars. That's what I find when I get damage to my greens like that. Just pick them off by hand.

Be careful, on the carrots - those little wormy things might be butterfly caterpillars. There's at least one type of butterfly that lays eggs on carrot foliage. Also, carrots are biennials so you won't get seed heads on them this fall, I don't think. You'll have to leave some roots in the ground, mulch them and let them grow next spring to make flowers and seeds for next year. Meaning, of course you'll have to plant more seeds next spring for a crop next summer, but then if you just routinely leave a few each year, you'll have a continuous supply.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 11:16 AM CST
Hmmm - interesting. Thank you! I'll have to go check on them with the flashlight! I have no problem picking off caterpillars, I've been doing it for the kohlrabi for some times now. Though.. those little cabbage worms have done a serious number on the kohlrabi leaves and I'm thankful it isn't the leaves I want with those! The chard damage is something I care more about.

Yep, carrots will seed next year, not this year. The kohlrabi is the same. I need to leave one to over winter and then bolt in the spring next year. I know the carrots can make it through a MN winter.. not so sure about the kohlrabi. They might do better if I dig them up and store them in a damp sand bucket in the garage or something so they don't get as cold. I'll find out! This winter will be an experiment!

What do you mean by 'be careful' if they are butterfly worms? As in, I shouldn't kill them if they are?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 21, 2016 11:54 AM CST
Well, all I mean is identify them first so you can make a decision - if you can find out what kind of caterpillar they are, maybe you can relocate a few to another host plant so they can live, and you can keep your carrots going.

I can't see well enough in your picture to make a guess on what kind they are. Your first split picture is a little confusing to me as the carrot foliage on the left doesn't appear to have any worms or caterpillars on it, and the foliage to the right with the caterpillar is not carrot, is it? There are a lot of caterpillars that look like that one, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 12:02 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Well, all I mean is identify them first so you can make a decision - if you can find out what kind of caterpillar they are, maybe you can relocate a few to another host plant so they can live, and you can keep your carrots going.

I can't see well enough in your picture to make a guess on what kind they are. Your first split picture is a little confusing to me as the carrot foliage on the left doesn't appear to have any worms or caterpillars on it, and the foliage to the right with the caterpillar is not carrot, is it? There are a lot of caterpillars that look like that one, too.


Ah, that split photo is two pictures of the same two leaves. It shows you what it looks like as a whole - with the browned damaged leaf sections, and then zooms in so you can see the itty bitty TINY worms and the threads they make. Yeah, they are carrots leaves. I've seen a lot that look like them, but they are so specific to the carrots. They look a lot like the asparagus larva, but I have asparagus and they are leaving that alone. Plus the asparagus ones don't make that web stuff and aren't quite that little.

yeah, if I could figure out what they are, that would be good. I've submitted it to the U of MN master site so I'm hoping someone there can ID them.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 21, 2016 12:34 PM CST
Oh, wow they really are very tiny aren't they! Do they get a lot bigger than that? If not I wouldn't think they could cause enough damage to worry about, either.

If you want a good, organic control for leaf-feeding caterpillars, Bt is your answer. It's available as a concentrate at any garden center, and can be sprayed on right up to day of harvest. Non-toxic except to a caterpillar that actually eats a treated leaf.

edited to add: I asked on the Butterfly forum which ones use carrot as a host plant. Will get back to you on this.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 21, 2016 12:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 12:40 PM CST
Yep, tiny. They don't get bigger but they've taken out TONS of leaves already. I had at one point removed every leaf that had any damage and thought I got them all but a couple weeks later, here they are again.

Thanks, I may have to do that. I was just really hoping to find out what they are. Partly to know, and partly because of the mystery now. The internet has been woefully unhelpful in finding a tiny silk worm that only eats carrots.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jul 21, 2016 12:45 PM CST
In case it helps, this is the earlier thread. The picture of the larva is better on here because it shows spots which may help with the ID.

The thread "Strange worm on my carrot leaves" in Ask a Question forum

A spotted caterpillar that resembles this is the carrot seed moth, Sitochroa palealis, and it does make webbing. As Robyn said, it isn't listed as eating leaves though. I went through the book Caterpillars of Eastern North America and nothing resembling Robyn's picture was listed on carrot.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 12:59 PM CST
Thanks! Yeah, also those in the pictures from google anyway are a LOT bigger.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 21, 2016 1:10 PM CST
Black swallowtail butterflies use carrot and their relatives as host plants, Robyn. Their caterpillars don't look at all like that one you have. They're striped black, yellow and green as I recall. Even when they're very small they would have stripes.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 21, 2016 1:18 PM CST
The size would depend on the age. A fairly "old" looking carrot seed moth caterpillar on Bugguide was around half an inch. Newly hatched would be much smaller. How long are they currently? The markings and colours can change on caterpillars at different stages too which can make it difficult to identify if you can't find a picture taken at that exact stage (instar). This is also assuming they are caterpillars and not sawflies although so far I haven't found a sawfly that comes close. The pictures don't show enough detail to differentiate, we'd need a proleg count or a pic of one showing all the legs.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 1:33 PM CST
lol, my phone camera is good but I'm not sure what I can get. I was thinking age might have something to do with it too though.. those ones from the earlier post are older as I hadn't noticed them until significant damage was done that first time. This time I've been periodically checking to see if they'd come back and this is the first sign of them. These have to be pretty young.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 21, 2016 1:47 PM CST
Looking at more pics of Sitochroa in some it has the black band behind the head as in one of your pics, also the black front legs, makes silky webbing and has similar spots. What I'm wondering is if the eggs were laid on your carrots in anticipation of there being flowers and seed heads (one reference says they eat flowers as well) because wild carrot aka Queen Anne's Lace is flowering around here right now. Insects do make mistakes and so maybe all they can do in this case is eat the leaves because that's all there is. Do you have any Queen Anne's Lace around there? If you do maybe you could look and see if they are on there too, or put yours on some QAL and see what they do. Hopefully though the U of MN will come up with an ID.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 21, 2016 2:13 PM CST
I haven't seen any Queen Anne's Lace - but that doesn't mean there isn't any. I live in a pretty rural area once you get away from my house by a mile or so. I suppose it is possible, once laid there.. there's not much the little things can do. Also, from what I've read, those moths are new and VERY invasive to the area and moving like a freight train north so it is very likely that they are a bit clueless about what is what here. OK, so... invasive moth.. I'm OK with taking those out. I've never used BT before. That could be an adventure. I wish Neem did the trick.

Thank You!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 21, 2016 2:29 PM CST
You might want to wait for U of MN though, in case it's not that. Assuming they get back to you fairly quickly.

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