From the monthly archives: "August 2009"

Unidentified Rosemary Bug
July 31, 2009
I found this bug all over my rosemary plant. It doesn’t appear to be harming the plant yet. Could you identify this bug? How would you suggest ridding the plant of this bug?
Best Regards, Brian Jennings
Fraser, Mi, USA

Mealybugs

Mealybugs

Hi Brian,
This is a Mealybug, and it is a common plant pest related to Scale Insects found in the garden, in the greenhouse, and on houseplants.  There are several genera and species of Mealybugs, and we believe you may have the Citrus Mealybug, Planococcus citri, a common species known to infest rosemary.  Now that you know what you have, you should be able to locate numerous online sources to help you control the Mealybugs.  We have been unable to log onto BugGuide since yesterday, but we found a University of Wisconsin Master Gardener page on Mealybugs with much helpful information.

Black Beetle
July 26, 2009
I’m wondering if you can help me identify this. It was probably a little over an inch long. It was in my driveway, I live in Southern New Jersey not too far from the coast.
Suzann
New Jersey

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

Dear Suzann,
Congratulations on being selected Bug of the Month for August 2009, though your letter will not be posted live until August 1.  This is an Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus
, a large distinctive species of Click Beetle.  Click Beetles get their name from their ability, when they find themselves on their back, to snap their body at the joint, propelling themselves into the air sometimes for quite a distance, and flipping around to land on their feet.  According to BugGuide, the Eyed Elater is found in “Eastern and central North America–widespread. South Dakota east to Quebec, south to Texas, Florida.”  BugGuide also indicates that “Adults may take some nectar and plant juices. Larvae are predatory, eating grubs of wood-boring beetles like cerambycids (longhorns)” and “Eggs are laid in soil. Larvae predators of beetle larvae in decaying wood, especially hardwoods. Pupation is in unlined cell underground or in rotting wood. Adults come to lights.”  The eyespots of the Eyed Elater act as a protection against predators like birds which may think the beetle is actually a snake.  We have been getting numerous requests for the identification of Eyed Elaters this summer.