Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: odd growth at base of tree
Location: Missouri
July 30, 2012 10:48 pm
I’ve noticed strange small round (pea-sized) white ”cells”, attached to each other in flat ”communities”. They are growing/collecting at the base of a ornamental white crab apple tree (only 2 years old). They are scatterd atop the mulch. Our average daytime temps have been 98-105 degrees for all of July. This area gets watered every other day for about an hour. The leaves of the tree don’t let a lot of water fall down onto the area where these are growing. Some ”cells” look like they have dried up.
Signature: Tobi’s Mom

Birds Nest Fungus

Dear Tobi’s Mom,
This phenomenon is not insect related.  This is a cluster of Birds Nest Fungus.  See Wayne’s World for an explanation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

August 26, 2011
Location:  Elyria Canyon Park, Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, California
Several of the Indian Milkweed Plants growing wild in Elyria Canyon Park have serious Milkweed Aphid infestations, and one especially hard hit group of plants is also covered in black Sooty Mold.  See the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resourceswebsite for more information on Sooty Mold.

Indian Milkweed with Sooty Mold

Convergent Lady Beetles, Hippodamia convergens,  have begun to feed off of the Milkweed Aphids, though it seems there are far too many Aphids for the few Lady Beetles that were observed.  Learn how to identify the Convergent Lady Beetle on BugGuide and read more about the benefits of the native Convergent Lady Beetle on the San Francisco State University Department of Geographywebsite.

Convergent Lady Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange Chute out of garden
Location: Pennsylvania – front flower bed
July 9, 2011 11:59 am
I have these pinkish/red chutes coming up out of my garden with a white bulb on the end in the ground and a black tip (looks like electrical tape) on the top.
I have never seen anything like this and cannot find any references on the net that sound like it.
I do know I found a lot of grub like larvae earlier this spring when I was planting flowers.
Any ideas?
Signature: Dave

Mushrooms we believe

Hi Dave,
We believe this is a fungus, just a fancy name for a mushroom.  Perhaps it is related to new much you put down.  We will try to contact Lisa at the Mycologista blog to see if she recognizes this organism.

Before I even see this, from the graphic description I bet it’s a Stinkhorn…but, let’s see.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
Location: Gwynn Oak, MD
March 17, 2011 9:01 am
I have 3 or 4 of these things in my juniper bush. I am not sure what it is and want to know if they are safe to have on the bush and at my front door.
Signature: M. Kelly

Cedar Apple Rust Gall on Juniper

Dear M. Kelly,
Abnormal Growths on plants are known as galls, and many are caused by insects and mites, though there are other additional causes for plants to produce galls.  We did a search for Galls on Juniper and we immediately discovered the Cedar Cedar Rust Gall on the University of Michigan Integrated Pest Management for Home Apple Growers web page.  You need to scroll down the page to get the information, which includes:  “Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae  Cedar-apple rust is a fungal disease that spends half of its life cycle infecting apple or crab apple trees, and the other half infecting Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) or other species of juniper (Juniperus sp.). This disease can cause damage to leaves and fruit of very susceptible apple varieties, but is only a minor problem on resistant or partially resistant trees.”  There is also a nice photo of the gall on FlickR.

Thank you very much for the information!!!!
I will cut them off and dispose of them and follow up and read the web pages you included in your response. Not that I like it, I can deal with a fungus better than bag worms or other insects.
I appreciate your quick response. 🙂
M Kelly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Story of the fungi, grasshopper and spider?
Location: Pratts Falls in Onondaga County NY
March 4, 2011 2:55 pm
Hi there. I am a photographer in NY. While out to photograph waterfalls (Pratts Falls in NY to be exact) I cam upon this incredibly impressive Bearded Tooth mushroom (Hericium erinaceus). My mom is into mycology so I thought she would find this fascinating. I was not equipped with macro gear so the images are not the best quality but we thought you may enjoy them. On this fungi was what we think is a grasshopper or cricket. We are not sure exactly what it is. But he even had a hitchhiker. A little tiny spider. Again we are not sure what type of spider this is. Perhaps you will have a little info to share on the types of insects they are and might enjoy the uniqueness of this photo. Thank you for any info.
Signature: Tristi

Cricket eats Fungus and transports Spider

Hi Tristi,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo.  The insect is a Cricket, and we do not recognize the hitchhiking Spider.  The image is so small, it may not be possible to correctly identify the spider.  Our research indicates that the Bearded Tooth Mushroom is edible.

Cricket eating Bearded Tooth Mushroom

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Jumping Beetle
Location: Hurricane, Utah
December 22, 2010 12:01 pm
I noticed this beetle on my kitchen table, and leaned closer to get a better look. It surprised me by hopping away, just like a flea-so I hunted it down hoping that wasn’t what it was. I found it, and it was not a flea, but a pretty coppery pink beetle. It is 2 mm long. I suspect it was brought in from the river near my house in Southern Utah. (I put it in a jar to get better looks in daylight but by morning it had died.)
Signature: Pam

Flea Beetle

Hi Pam,
This is a Flea Beetle, a member of a subfamily of Leaf Beetles, Chrysomelidae.  The fact that you have both a dorsal and quasilateral view aids in that identification because of the enlarged rear femurs are plainly evident.  We are currently in the kitchen trying to perfect a recipe for
Farfala con Fungi Porcini after consulting with renowned chef and photographer Luca Loffredo, otherwise we would take the time to try to identify your Flea Beetle to the species level based on its physical appearance and range information available online on BugGuide.  We did take the time to create a Flea Beetles subsubcategory because of your query.
P.S.  We will post the recipe for
Farfala con Fungi Porcini if it turns out well.

Flea Beetle

Update: We wonder if perhaps it might be a member of the genus Chaetocnema, based on images posted to BugGuide.

Recipe: Farfalla con Funghi Porcini

Update:  Promised recipe for Farfalla con Funghi Porcini.

Thank you for your quick reply, I’d never heard of flea beetles and had fun looking through the other posts. I am experimenting with fudge recipes myself, the Farfala looks tasty, we might give it a try!
Thanks again, and have a good holiday!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination