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:  Green Lynx Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/14/2018
Time: 08:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
While tending to my plants, I searched for the small California Mantis that had been there several weeks, but couldn’t find it.  I did notice what appeared to be the same Green Lynx Spider I saw earlier in the month had returned.  It is really shy and as I moved in with the camera, it hid under the leaves.  It is really difficult to find it when it is hiding.  I observed it eating a small fly and I noticed a second Green Lynx nearby on another branch.  It is so fascinating that the same predators are appearing again this year.  I had several Green Lynx Spiders on my plants last summer.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Constant Gardener,
Green Lynx Spiders are frequently found on blossoms where they capture pollinating insects.  Hopefully these predators will keep your plants free from marauding insects.

Green Lynx Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  The Mantis on my Woody Plant is growing
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  7/10/2018
Time:  6:46 AM
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I thought you might be interested in a follow-up on the Mantis on my woody plant I wrote about three weeks ago.  Last week I saw a shed exoskeleton (sorry no photo) and after disappearing for the day I made that discovery, the Mantis returned and has been back living on my Sweet Sarah clone ever since.  The Mantis has gotten bigger.  A Green Lynx Spider shared the plant for about a week, but today the Mantis is where the Green Lynx used to be and the Green Lynx is gone.  I have not seen this Mantis eat.  Both the Mantis and my plants survived the heat wave last weekend.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Immature California Mantis on Sweet Sarah clone

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for the update on the immature California Mantis you found on your Woody Plant.  We suspect it is the product of the female California Mantis you documented last year.

Update:  July 11, 2018
After noticing a Facebook posting by Jason RE who wrote:  “‘woody plant’ silly rabbit that is marijuana, not seeing any buds” we decided we needed to crop the image so the well camouflaged mantis is more noticeable.

Immature California Mantis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mantis on my Woody Plant
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  6/21/2018
Time:  10:01 AM
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
It is another year and another growing season.  I am growing more woody plants this year than I grew last year and I observed my first young Mantis today.  Hopefully it will eat grasshoppers and other insects that might negatively affect my crop this year.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Immature California Mantis

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for the update on your gardening exploits.  We looked at some of your postings from last year and we see you did have California Mantids in your garden.  It seems they reproduced and have progeny to take up the job of patrolling your Woody Plants.  Please keep submitting images.  Many of our readers may benefit from what you are learning.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  On my woody plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 05/13/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What’s That Bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Max Yield

Aphid

Dear Max Yield,
This is an Aphid that feeds by piercing the soft membranes of new shoots of plants and sucking the fluids.  Aphids will quickly multiply.  Ants have a symbiotic relationship with Aphids, caring for them and moving them to new plants, spreading the infestations.  Ants benefit by feeding off the honeydew excreted by Aphids and Aphids benefit from the protection.  An Aphid infestation will compromise the health of your plant and tender shoots will sometimes wither when there are large numbers of Aphids. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Subject:  What are these Assassin Bug nymphs doing?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 04/20/2018
Time: 04:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  That’s definitive, but what are they doing rolling around those sacks, and some of the sacks have been hung up?
Thanks for identifying.
How do you want your letter signed:  Mel Frank

Immature Leaf Footed Bugs with “Pod”

Ed. Note:  We met recently with noted author Mel Frank (see Amazon) and we correctly identified what he thought were Assassin Bug nymphs found on Cannabis as Leaf Footed Bug nymphs, probably in the genus Leptoglossus, based on BugGuide images as well as images from our own archives, and he wrote back wondering about this unusual activity.

“Pods” hung by immature Leaf Footed Bugs

Hi again Mel,
As we stated earlier, these Leaf Footed Bug nymphs are phytophagous, meaning they feed on plants.  Like other members of the True Bug suborder Heteroptera, they have mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids, and members of this genus are frequently found on plants like tomatoes, pomegranate and citrus, and they damage fruit.  BugGuide notes:  “some are extremely polyphagous” indicating that they will feed from many types of plants.  Some typically plant feeding True Bugs are known to feed on dead and dying insects, including members of their own species, but that is opportunistic behavior and not true predatory behavior.  What you witnessed and observed over time, the nymphs “rolling around those sacks” and then hanging them up, sounds like the behavior of a predator storing food the way spiders wrap up prey with silk.  We wonder, perhaps, if while feeding by sucking the fluids from your
Cannabis, these Leaf Footed Bugs ingested cannabinoids resulting in altered “mindbending” behavior similar to experiments on a Spider’s ability to spin a web after exposure to drugs (see Priceonomics).  We have not clue at this time exactly what is in that sack these nymphs were rolling around, or why they were rolling them around and hanging them up.  It is a mystery.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he knows anything about this type of behavior in Leaf Footed Bugs from the family Coreidae.  We can’t help but be reminded of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the aliens using pods to generate simulacra of humans. 

Update April 25, 2018:  Eric Eaton provides information.
Daniel:
So the plant they are on is marijuana?  In any event, yes, these are Leptoglossus nymphs, which typically feed on seeds or seed pods, and that is what the “sacs” are.  I’m a bit perplexed by the “webbing” around them.  The nymphs may be maneuvering the seeds to find a good place to pierce them so they can suck out the juicy contents.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

The mystery is the sacs. The only plant nearby was the pomegranate tree with lots of pomegranates. Also, some of the sacs have been hung.
Thanks for clearing this up.

Pomegranate is one of the primary host plants for Leaf Footed Bugs in the Los Angeles area.  You frequently find numerous individuals feeding on a single pomegranate.  The “sacs” look somewhat like unripe pomegranate seeds.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Type of bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles
Date: 10/18/2017
Time: 06:04 PM EDT
Found this bug on the main stem of my woody plant. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Abel Z.

African Painted Bug

Dear Abel,
This is
Bagrada hilaris, the African Painted Bug, a recently introduced, invasive Stink Bug that is normally found on plants in the cabbage family, including wild mustard.  Daniel first found African Painted Bugs in his own vegetable garden in 2009, a year after they were first reported as an Invasive Species.  According to BugGuide:  “2008 – CA – earliest NA record: Los Angeles Co., CA 2008” and “hosts on members of the mustard, nightshade, mallow, legume, sunflower and grain families, causes substantial damage to cruciferous crops such as broccoli, cabbage, mustards, and cauliflower, as well as infests a wide range of other crops and weeds species (Palumbo and Natwick 2010). It has become a serious agricultural pest in the sw US.”  It seems the hemp family Cannabaceae can be added to the list of plant families affected by this “serious agricultural pest.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination