Currently viewing the tag: "What’s on my Woody Plant?"
Gardeners are frequent contributors to our site because of concerns they have differentiating beneficial insects from injurious species. With more and more gardeners attempting to cultivate Cannabis, we started noticing more identification requests from growers. We hope we are offering a public service by responding to our readers’ questions without sensationalizing or taking sides surrounding the legalization of marijuana.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Looking for love in Los Angeles
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington
Date: 09/15/2019
Time: 02:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I was visiting a dear friend in Mount Washington and spotted this male praying mantis perched on a woody plant.
It appears he is searching for a female.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Male California Mantis

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
We agree that this is a male Mantis and that he is likely patrolling for a mate.  This is a California Mantis, a native species in the genus
Stagmomantis. Last year Daniel documented the mating of a pair of California Mantids that ended with him becoming a sacrificial meal to help nourish the female who promptly bit off the head of her paramour.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I found evidence of a Budworm on My Woody Plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 4:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I was inspecting the nugs of My Woody Plant when I discovered evidence of Budworms on two colas.  I’ve learned so much since I submitted an image of a Budworm two years ago.  I immediately harvested both and set up a three bowl wash of first hydrogen peroxide in water, second lemon juice & baking soda in water, and finally a water rinse.  While trimming the cola, I discovered a silken chamber with a .3 inch bronze-backed Jumping Spider that I carried back to the garden to the plant I just trimmed, talking to it as it jumped from one hand to the next, back and forth.  Sorry, I didn’t have a camera at the time, so no photo of the spider.  I finished cutting out all the caterpillar fouled portions of two buds, but I never found the caterpillar.  Do you think the caterpillar moved from one cola to the next where it encountered the lair of the Jumping Spider that promptly ate it?  I didn’t want to count on predators to control these dreaded Budworms, so I followed the advice of Mel Frank and promptly sprayed my plants with Bt, a naturally occurring bacteria that causes the caterpillars to stop eating so they eventually die, and it is not a pesticide so it doesn’t harm my predators, like spiders and mantids.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Budworm damage on Cannabis

Dear Constant Gardener,
We will probably catch some flack from some Facebook followers for highlighting another Cannabis posting.  Thank you for sharing your organic Caterpillar prevention strategy as well as your saving a tainted crop strategy.  We found information on The Cannabis Grower that states the Budworm will “burrow into your buds and eat them from the inside. You’ll have no idea they’re even there until you see a bud that looks a little off…one leaf is dying, or the bud looks dried out, somewhat similar to the symptoms of bud rot. If you see this, you must inspect the bud. Take the leaf or bud and pull it away from the plant until you can see all around it. Look for sand-grain sized balls that are black or brown. That’s caterpillar poop, and you have a problem. The good news is that you can usually find the worm by following the poop around the buds until you find the worm or the hole he’s in. The bad news is you MUST find that worm, otherwise he’ll just keep eating and eating into your buds.”  Regarding the possibility that the Jumping Spider ate the Budworm, we suppose that is entirely possible, especially since you did not fine the culprit.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I finally got a photo of this fly on my Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 08:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have been seeing this small yellow fly with very pretty wings, about a quarter of an inch long, resting on the leaves of my medical marijuana plants for the past two years, but this is the first time I was able to get some photos.  Please identify this fly and let me know if it will harm my medication.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Dear Constant Gardener,
This identification proved challenging for us.  We had no luck searching Fruit Flies in the family Tephritidae on Natural History of Orange County, so we browsed through BugGuide where we located
Paracantha cultaris.  According to BugGuide, the hosts are “on Cirsium (Asteraceae)”, so your medical Cannabis should be safe.  According to iNaturalist:  “The adult is mainly orange-brown in color. The maggots can be found inside sunflowers and the adult flies are usually nearby the sunflowers.”

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Thanks Bugman,
That makes sense because I also have sunflowers growing nearby.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is living on my marijuana plant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/25/2019
Time: 09:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
In addition to the predatory Green Lynx Spiders and California Mantids I have living on my pot plants, I now found this impressive guy.  So, is this a friend or foe in my garden?  Right after I took the photos, it flew away.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Leaf Footed Bug: Leptoglossus zonatus

Dear Constant Gardener,
This big True Bug is one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the genus
Leptoglossus.  Based on BugGuide, where it states “Two yellowish spots on the forward part of the pronotum are distinctive.  Also has a zigzagging white band across the wings (like some other species).  Expansions of the hind tibiae are also much larger and more jagged than most other species.”, it is Leptoglossus zonatus.  This is a plant feeding species, and it has a proboscis designed to pierce the plant and suck its juices.  BugGuide also states:  “Highly polyphagous” which is an indication that if it was on your Cannabis, it was probably feeding.

Leaf Footed Bug? Leptoglossus zonatus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Strange fly with funky antenna and cricket legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 10:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this little bug?
Can’t identify it in any list of insects in southern California
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Mirid Plant Bug on Cannabis

This is not a Fly. It is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae, but we are not certain of the species. We are currently having problems searching BugGuide, our go-to site for North American sightings, but we know from the past that many members of this family are predators and some feed on plants.  There many species of Mirid Plant Bugs pictured on The Natural History of Orange County, and the one that looks most like your individual to us is Dicyphus hesperus, and according to the Natural History of Orange County:  “Dicyphus hesperus is widely distributed over North America. It is a predator on pest insects including many species of whitefly, aphids, lepidopterans and mites. It is therefore used all over the world for control of pests on greenhouse and field vegetable crops. It has been especially successful for control of whitefly on greenhouse tomato crops.”  We also did a web search with the key words “Miridae” and “Cannabis” and we located this Wikipedia page on the Potato Capsid, Closterotomus norvegicus, which states:  “It can be found feeding on nettle, clover, and cannabis, as well as Compositae, potatoes, carrots and chrysanthemums. They prefer to feed on the flowers, buds and unripe fruit.”  The same claim about the Potato Capsid and Cannabis is also posted on Photos of Insects in Cambridge.  According to Cannabis Pests by J.M. McPartland:  ” True bugs, like the Homopterans (aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies), have piercing-sucking mouthparts and feed on plant sap.   They feed predominately on leaves, but also suck on stems, flowering tops, and unripe seeds.  Bugs, unlike most Homopterans, are outdoor problems.  The southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula) feeds on marijuana in India (Cherian 1932), hemp leaves in Europe (Sorauer 1958) and hemp seeds in the USA (Hartowicz et al. 1971).  Other examples include the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris), false chinch bug (Nysius ericae), and potato bug (Calocoris norvegicus). Liocoris tripustulatus has become an emergent pest in the Netherlands, where it feeds on pollen.”  It is our observation that plant feeding True Bugs tend to aggregate while predators tend to hunt solo.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm this identification.  We are sorry we cannot say for certain if this is a predator or a plant feeding species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Hopper on my Cannabis?
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 8, 2019 7:51 am
Subject:  Hi Bugman,
As my Cannabis plants grow larger, I’ve noticed that many of the plants have predators on them.  In addition to the Mantid I submitted earlier this year, I am happy to report that four of my plants have mantids on them and several have Green Lynx Spiders as well.  Can you please identify the hopping insect that I have found on my plants this year.  One of the images of the Green Lynx Spiders I am sending has it eating an immature hopping insect, though it is difficult to see.  The other image is of a winged adult.
Thanks
Signature: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats (presumably) Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter nymph

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks so much for keeping our readers informed about your thriving
Cannabis ecosystem.  The adult hopping insect is a Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, and according to BugGuide:  “The biggest problem is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium Xylella fastidiosa.  The most important biocontrols are egg-parasite wasps in the genus Gonatocerus. Spiders, assassin bugs, and praying mantis prey on the mobile forms.”  Several years ago, we received a report of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooters, Homalodisca vitripennis, on marijuana.  According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program site:  “The glassy-winged sharpshooter is found in many habitats, including agricultural crops, urban landscapes, native woodlands, and riparian vegetation. It feeds on hundreds of plant species across dozens of plant families. Hosts include numerous common woody plants as well as annual and perennial herbaceous plants. It is common to find this insect on acacia, avocado, eucalyptus, citrus, crepe myrtle, heavenly bamboo, grape, photinia, pittosporum, hibiscus, periwinkle, xylosma, some roses, and many others. Host preference changes throughout the year, depending on the availability and nutritional value of host plants. Some hosts are preferred for feeding while others are preferred for reproduction. Irrigation level and fertilizer additions can also impact the attractiveness of hosts for sharpshooters.”  There is no mention of Cannabis.  We presume the nymph being eaten by the Green Lynx Spider is a member of the same species.

Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

Green Lynx Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination