Currently viewing the category: "Seed Pods"

Subject: Wings on front & back porches
Location: Florida panhandle
March 26, 2015 6:02 pm
We live in a brick home in the panhandle of Florida. We found a lot of wings on our front and back porches this morning. No bugs were present, only wings. Can you tell me what type of bugs these come from? Thank you!
Signature: Mystery Wings in FL

Maple "Helicopters"

Maple “Helicopters”

These are not insect wings.  They are seeds, and we believe they are the seeds of a maple tree.  We fondly remember playing with these seeds as children.  The twirl in the air and we called them “helicopters”.

Subject: Seed like things in drawer
Location: central MA
December 10, 2014 9:49 am
Recently I noticed the bottom drawer of my desk was sticking and little hard black seed like things were falling out to the floor when I opened it. Today I pulled the whole drawer out and found it was loaded with these seeds in the runner area of the drawer. They are black, hard, and fairly circular. They do not look like mouse droppings to me. Any ideas?
Signature: Danielle

Unknown Black Pellets

Unknown Black Pellets

Dear Danielle,
We do not believe these are mouse droppings, and interestingly, we just posted a nearly identical identification request from Connecticut
We do not believe they are either eggs or seeds.  Our best guess is Termite Pellets at this time, but the black coloration is unlike any Termite Pellets we have seen.  We will continue to research this matter and perhaps one of our readers has a better suggestion.

Unknown Black Pellets

Unknown Black Pellets

Update:  April 12, 2015
Thanks to a comment from Teri on a different posting, we believe this is a Rodent’s stash of Pokeweed seeds which are pictured on the Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide.

Subject: unknown bug eggs
Location: Portland, Ct.
December 7, 2014 7:23 pm
for the past few years I have discovered piles (100+) of these tiny bead sized, black, shiny, hard shelled eggs. There only found in my basement. two piles were found in my garage. One was in a drawer of a RubberMaid rolling cart and the other large pile was on a open cabinet shelf piled high in a corner. when I touched the pile they all collapsed as if they were wet at one point. the other piles were in the cellar in a large plastic storage bin and also in my storage bag for my Christmas tree.
I took a picture with a microscope app the magnified 8xs and I will also include a few in my hand for a prospective.
Signature: Susan Popielaski

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Dear Susan,
These look more like seeds than bug eggs to us, but we have no explanation regarding why you found them or what they might be.
  Interestingly, we just received another nearly identical identification request from Massachusetts, so we feel compelled to research this more.  Termite Pellets also come to mind, but they look different from Termite Pellets we have seen in the past.

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Thanks for replying. We don’t have termites..we did have a ant problem that we eradicated. I’ve done research as well and found that some insects eggs are seed imposters,?
The piles are sort of glued together in a type of thin transparent sac. As soon as you touch them with slight pressure they break free and the tidy pile collapses.
Keep me posted, my FB friends are as curious as I.

Some ants may stockpile seeds, but we believe that is a very remote possibility.

Update:  April 12, 2015
Thanks to a comment from Teri, we believe this is a Rodent’s stash of Pokeweed seeds which are pictured on the Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide.

Subject: Iowa Gall found under Honey Locust
Location: Des Moines IA
July 31, 2014 5:10 pm
This morning I found this growth on the ground below a honey locust tree. It was under a suburban tree in the Grandview park area of Des Moines with no other trees very close.
I don’t take very good pictures, but the growths appear to underlie some sort of scaled leaves, as each is covered by a tissue with a midline, and there are scale-type structures further down the stem. The stem is woody and it appears some rodent has been gnawing at the base.
It weighs about an ounce and is roughly 6″ long, with 6-10 nodules the size of marbles.
Beyond my curiosity, I’d like to know if this is something we should be concerned about controlling in the trees around where I found it.
Thank you for your time. I can try for better pictures if you need or want them.
Signature: Ash

Seed Pod, we believe

Deformed Magnolia Seed Pod

Dear Ash,
We do not believe this is a Gall.  In our opinion, it is a Seed Pod.  You observation that it was gnawed by a rodent is further evidence that perhaps a squirrel transported it from another tree.  If you open it, we believe you will find seeds beneath what you have called the “nodules the size of marbles.”

I don’t want to disagree, but it is not at all symmetrical, and I’ve been familiar with the native brush and weeds for 50+ years. It might be viral. I’ve been an outdoors-woman and hunter all my life. I’m not saying I’ve seen everything, and I am still surprised but mostly it’s been insects I overlooked or invasive species.
I have asked the state entomologist and agronomist and will let you know what they say. If it were a normal plant structure, I would anticipate more symmetry. Also squirrels are almost as opportunistic as rats.
I’ll pass on their feedback.
Thanks for your time!

Please let us know what you learn.

Update:  Deformed Magnolia Seed Pod
Please see this deformed Magnolia Seed Pod on the Missouri Botanical Garden website where it states:  “This magnolia seed pod is deformed due to poor pollination

Very cool! We do have several magnolia species in the area. The scaled structure is very close. I’ll read more, but that looks like a win.

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Wisconsin
May 9, 2014 8:21 pm
I was cleaning my bed yesterday and found these on my mattress but under my fitted sheet. But here’s the kicker, they were only in ONE spot and about a hand full of them. I’ve been searching endless hours as to what these are. It is hard and ‘sturdy’, It was not moving it anything like that. Not sure if they are seeds or what they are. I have 2 cats and one of my cat cuddles with me every night under the covers. So pretty sure it’s not a rodent. And my cats are strictly indoor cats, they are NOT allowed in the basement or outside…
Signature: Christina

Our Automated Response:
Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

I really hope you can tell me what it is. I’m really creeped out and ready to call an exterminator, found 2 centipedes in my living room tonight.

Beggar Ticks

Beggar Ticks

Hi Christina,
Though they are called Beggar Ticks, there is no need to call the exterminator.  Beggar Ticks are seeds of the composite wildflowers in the genus
Bidens  that have a very unique means of being transported.  According to Brian Johnson on Microscopy UK:  “The seed of a Beggar-Tick may not be beautiful, but I can attest from personal experience that it is very efficient.  Considerable force is required to remove one from a sock or pant leg.  Even shoe-laces are not immune! “.   There is a very nice image of Beggar Ticks on the Field Guide to Noxious and other Selected Weeds of British Columbia.

Thank you very much! I still don’t know how they got under my sheet. But I feel much better now. Thank you again!! There is a water retention pond in our back yard, so unfortunately we do get some creepy crawlers but I try to keep the house closed up as best as I can. But they do on occasion come up from basement (house is from 1907 but everything BUT the basement has been gutted and redone).
Thanks again and have a great day!

Subject: Found this In my garage
Location: Connecticut
January 10, 2014 4:04 pm
After googling everything I could possibly think of to figure this out, no prevail. Hope your guys will know what it is. It would move but as soon as I got close to it it would stop.
Signature: Help me haha

Thing isn't Bug

Thing isn’t Bug

We cannot say for certain what this thing is, but we are very confident it is NOT a bug.  It looks like a seedhead or other part of a plant.  Perhaps the wind was moving it.