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Old 2021-09-16, 01:46   #78
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Invasive insect spotted in 4-H entry at Kansas State Fair
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HUTCHINSTON, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State Fair officials judging the 4-H entomology entries last week discovered an invasive insect that prompted quarantines elsewhere.

Fair Board member Gregg Hadley the student who caught the bug didn't know it had prompted quarantines in at least 45 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to try to stop its spread.

Hadley, who is Director for Extension at Kansas State's Research and Extension said it's not clear how the invasive bug make it to Kansas but it may have hitched a ride on a camper.

The insect that was first found in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago feeds on some 70 different plant species and can cause plants to die by depositing excretions on them that can grow mold and block photosynthesis.

One of the fair's entomology judges was familiar with the insect and a requirement that it be reported to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Federal officials are expected to try and learn how the insect reached Kansas.
Yes, especially since the furthest west this pest had previously been found in the US was in eastern Indiana. Its sudden appearance 850 miles further west has probably thrown some USDA entomologists into the early stages of cardiac arrest.

Other stories about this find say the specimen's condition indicates it may have died last year where it was found. Let's hope it was a lone hitchhiker...

The Spotted Lanternfly Lycorma delicatula is a large plant hopper. It sucks the juices out of plants, weakening them. Its secretions are sugary, and support sooty mildew. Although its "preferred" host is the "tree-of-heaven" Ailanthus altissima, an introduced invasive tree species, it attacks many species of plant, including such commercially valuable ones as grape, hop, apple, stone fruit, maple, poplar, walnut, and willow. The insects may not kill the host plants, but they can ruin their economic value.

Besides individuals "hitchhiking" on vehicles, the insect can be spread through infested nursery stock, and also by transportation of egg masses, which can be attached to vehicles, as well as pavers, boards, and many other items that can be transported. The egg masses are usually laid on flat surfaces and are around 1" by 3/4" (2.54 cm x 1.9 cm). They look like smears or splotches of gray mud.

Last fiddled with by axn on 2021-09-16 at 07:03 Reason: Fix link
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Old 2021-09-16, 03:57   #79
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Your links shows a "page not found". Maybe it was retracted, or you deleted too much from the "random" tracking numbers there?
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Old 2021-09-16, 07:02   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Your links shows a "page not found". Maybe it was retracted, or you deleted too much from the "random" tracking numbers there?
Removed the excess / from the link.
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Old 2021-09-16, 11:44   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axn View Post
Removed the excess / from the link.
Thanks!

Wow, I really outdid myself - I have no idea how I managed to insert an extra / into the link! Must have been after the copy-paste. The degree of my Black Belt in making typos just went up.

But dagnabbit, my SOP is to check the links in Preview before posting. I know I checked the link to the bugguide page. But I must have neglected to check the link to the news story, otherwise I would have caught the error myself.

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Old 2021-09-26, 15:12   #82
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It's been a sparse year for butterflies where I live. On the bright side, there have been plenty of Monarch butterflies, perhaps in part due to my plantings of the caterpillar host plants Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), as well as flowers on which the adults nectar.

Also, in an April trip to a forest preserve area, I saw a butterfly that I'm pretty sure was a Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus). It was too far away for a positive ID, but the large size and generally grayish appearance ruled out any other suspects I cold find. I hadn't seen one of those since I was in Tennessee.

April also brought the Eastern Comma (Polygonal comma) in somewhat larger numbers than I remember seeing in previous years.

In addition, early this summer I saw a Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus AKA Pterourus troilus) for the first time since I was a kid.

And in early August, I saw, for the first time ever, a Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis).

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) made a respectable showing, though in noticeably smaller than usual numbers.

However, most of the normally common butterflies were either sparse or missing in action. I saw just one Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) in April, and just one more near the end of August. They are normally very common, and usually show up in hordes on late-blooming flowers. It is a migratory species which does not overwinter where I live. They migrate south when the cool weather moves in, and their progeny come north when the warmer weather returns. My theory is that during this past February's Arctic Invasion, winter caught up with the population that would normally produce this year's visitors to my area. There were also very few of its cousin the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). I did not see even one specimen of the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), which is normally quite common around here. I suspect that winter caught up with their southern populations, too.

The large swallowtails other than the Tiger Swallowtail were a much rarer sight this year than other years.
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Old 2021-10-08, 11:16   #83
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Do you know that honey bee has 5 eyes? And not only the bee.

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There are two large compound and three simple eyes on the head.
The very first protobee found in Burmese amber is about 70 million years old.
And the number of these beautiful insects is rapidly declining.
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Old 2021-10-08, 11:57   #84
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More about bee eyes at many web sites, e.g. Why Do Bees Have 5 Eyes?

The simple eyes ("ocelli," "little eyes") help bees navigate WRT the position of the sun in the sky.

As indicated in the last post, many other insects also have ocelli. (So do many other arthropods. Spiders in particular have 3 or more pairs of simple eyes, but no compound eyes.)

Bees don't see red very well, but unlike us, they can see ultraviolet. Some flowers have "nectar guides" we can't see but bees can.

It's not just European honeybees that are declining here in the US. Their decline is very noticeable because they are raised commercially and used to pollinate commercially raised crops. Ironically, one factor working against them is the fact that honeybees used commercially as pollinators are trucked around, which puts a great deal of stress on the insects, making them less able to deal with other stresses like parasitic mites.

Native bees are also declining. Habitat loss and pesticides are among the factors driving the decline.
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Old 2021-10-08, 12:12   #85
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Yes, I know a little about it.

I noticed for a long time that some of my flowers, which at first glance look dark purple or even maroon in bright white hallogenic light, start to glow with a bright violet color.
I guess insects see this part of the spectrum better, which is why flowers flirt with them like that.

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Old 2021-10-08, 13:28   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Bees don't see red very well, but unlike us, they can see ultraviolet. Some flowers have "nectar guides" we can't see but bees can.
Who is this "we" Kemosabe?

A fair fraction of people can see a little way into the uv, far enough to see the uv-coloured tips on daisy petals for instance. To me they are far from obvious but visible under careful examination when they appear as a very faint lavender-grey colour.
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Old 2021-10-08, 14:43   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Who is this "we" Kemosabe?

A fair fraction of people can see a little way into the uv, far enough to see the uv-coloured tips on daisy petals for instance. To me they are far from obvious but visible under careful examination when they appear as a very faint lavender-grey colour.
Hello! :)

Try this color perception test and put here your results.
https://www.xrite.com/hue-test

Of course, those with a good monitor are likely to get a higher score :)
I have a link to Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test somewhere, but can't find it right now.

That is it:
https://www.color-blindness.com/farn...r-vision-test/

Last fiddled with by Uncwilly on 2021-10-08 at 14:48
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Old 2021-10-08, 15:22   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Who is this "we" Kemosabe?

A fair fraction of people can see a little way into the uv, far enough to see the uv-coloured tips on daisy petals for instance. To me they are far from obvious but visible under careful examination when they appear as a very faint lavender-grey colour.
I did not know that! Lucky for me, I'm not too old to learn.

Botanists use the term "rays" for what the rest of us call "petals" on composite flowers like daisies. The actual flowers are in the "eye" or "button" in the center.

Some of the composites I grow attract fairly large numbers of small bees I haven't identified for sure, but which I think may be colletid bees. They're not sweat bees. They are fairly drab, black and light gray, but gather a large amount of bright yellow pollen in their leg "baskets" which makes them quite conspicuous. They go straight to the true flowers.

Carpenter bees on my volunteer petunias do something I find interesting. They are large bees, about the size of bumblebees. (They somewhat resemble bumblebees, but their abdomens are all black and somewhat shiny, whereas bumblebees have "fur" on their abdomens.)

The flowers are "trumpet shaped" with a narrow throat. No way is a big, fat carpenter bee going to get far enough into a petunia to get its proboscis down the flower's throat to where the nectar is. Instead, it crawls along the outside of the flower to the bottom of the throat where it meets the green base, and sticks its proboscis in from the outside!

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-10-08 at 15:24 Reason: xigfin topsy
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