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:  What’s this egg on my woody plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 09/19/2018
Time: 07:32 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Harvest time is fast approaching, and I am inspecting my colas for dreaded Budworms, and I have learned to recognize their eggs, but I noticed a few different eggs I would like identified.  They are on a stalk.
Thanks for your time.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Lacewing Egg

Dear Constant Gardener,
We suspect we will get a few comments from our readers regarding the content of your image, but the stalked egg in the lower left corner was laid by a Green Lacewing.  Green Lacewings are predators, and their larvae are commonly called Aphid Wolves.

Mel Frank Comments
Yes, they are all over my plants, every year. It’s one of the reasons I have had only very minor insect infestations and is a main reason I don’t use insecticides–I don’t want to kill the biological helpers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Budworm Moth caught laying eggs on my woody plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 09/12/2018
Time: 07:32 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Yesterday I noticed the bane of all home Cannabis gardeners, about eight tiny Budworms, Chloridea virescens, crawling on the righteous colas of My Woody Plant as well as on Abel’s Indica #1.  They were tiny Budworms, probably just hatched, and they didn’t have time to bore into the buds where they begin eating, leaving a shit-filled shell of a bud as they grow.  This morning I found a few more tiny Budworms on the same two plants, and horror of horrors, two buds with signs of a feeding Budworm, the brown and dead florets, and sure enough, larger Budworms were feeding on some swelling buds.  I wrote to Mel Frank and he wrote back that it wasn’t too late to spray Bt, so I started spraying about 6:30 this evening.  It was a beautiful night sky with a sickle Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all visible just past sunset.  When I began spraying the Purple Fire clone, I saw a moth fly out of the interior of the plant and I missed it with my hand, and I watched it fly toward the plants I had just sprayed.  I had a second chance to catch it and missed, so I got a fish net and caught it on the third try.  I kind of mangled it in the process, but I am certain what I was watching was the Budworm Moth flying from cola to cola laying eggs, which probably explains why I would only find one Budworm per bud.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Tobacco Budworm Moth

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thank you ever so much for providing us with your harrowing gardening experience.  It sounds quite stressful.  BugGuide has no information on the Tobacco Budworm feeding on
Cannabis, but it does state the larval foods are “Cotton, tobacco, roses, ground cherries, soybean, and many others” and “Caterpillars feed on buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds, making them an agricultural crop pest.”  We did locate a Springer Link essay “Flight activity of Heliothis virescens (F.) females (Lepidoptera:  Noctuidae) with reference to host-plant volatiles” that states:  “Many phytophagous insects use airborne volatiles emitted from plants to locate their hosts.  The recent development of bioassay systems for studying host-plant finding and ovipositional behavior under controlled environmental conditions in the laboratory has intensified interest in characterization of the specific behaviors regulated by volatile emissions from plants and identification of the active compounds.”  Again, alas, Cannabis in not mentioned.  Do the plants in question produce odiferous airborne emissions?

Tobacco Budworm Moth

Dear Bugman,
Thanks for all that information.  The buds on my plants do smell quite dank.  I keep finding Budworm Eggs, but luckily, not much bud damage.  Here is an image of one of the dreaded Budworm Eggs.  Harvest is near.
Constant Gardener

Budworm Egg

Mel Frank Comments:
Tobacco budworm moth is brown with 3 Chevron markings on wings.i believe they are attracted by terpene fragrances which become prominent during flowering, increasing as they mature. Rarely see them in beginning flowering. Once flowers begin smelling you must spray more often than every two weeks.12 days early and once a week flowering.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect ID
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Massachusetts
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 05:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please ID this bug I found on my cannabis plant?
How you want your letter signed:  thanks, Hammer

Spined Soldier Bug Eggs

Dear Hammer,
These are Stink Bug eggs, and generally, if a gardener finds a cluster of Stink Bug eggs on a cherished plant, it would be a problem, but thank to this BugGuide image, we have identified the eggs you found as those of a predatory Spined Soldier Bug in the genus
Podisus.  If you have not destroyed the eggs, we would urge you to return them or allow them to hatch and return the nymphs back to the plant because according to BugGuide:  “preys on a wide variety of other arthropods, especially larval forms of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. Examples: known to eat Mexican bean beetles, European corn borers, diamondback moths, corn earworms, beet armyworms, fall armyworms, cabbage loopers, imported cabbageworms, Colorado potato beetles, and velvetbean caterpillars.”  We have learned that the Tobacco Budworm, Heliothis virescens, a species of Cutworm, can decimate a budding Cannabis plant that is close to harvest by burrowing into the center of the bud and feeding from the inside out without being detected until the entire bud turns brown. Here is a BugGuide image of the hatchling Spined Soldier Bugs so you can recognize them, and recognizing the adult Spined Soldier Bug will allow you to maintain the species in your garden so your crop will be more organic. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Mel Frank sent us this romantic couple of native Mantids in the genus Stagmomantis from his archives for your viewing pleasure.  We had been hearing about these images for some time and we are happy we are finally getting to post some Bug Love on a Woody Plant.  We are not sure if they are California Mantids or Bordered Mantids as both species are found in Southern California.

Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 09/16/2016
Time: Dusk
How you want your letter signed:  Mel Frank

Mating Mantids

Mating Mantids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identity
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 06:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this katydid nymph? (on Cannabis leaf).
How you want your letter signed:  Mel Frank

Leafhopper Assassin Bug nymph

Hi Mel,
This is much better than a Katydid nymph.  It is a predatory Assassin Bug nymph, and we identified it as a Leafhopper Assassin Bug nymph,
Zelus renardii, thanks to these images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Generalist predator (despite its common name suggesting host specificity).”  It is also pictured on the Natural History of Orange County site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s Hatching on my Super Lemon Haze?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/13/2018
Time: 09:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I’m sorry to trouble you again so soon, but because I am very nervous regarding Budworms, I am trying to inspect my plants carefully every day.  Today I noticed these creatures hatching from eggs laid on my Super Lemon Haze hybrid.  They were moving around the eggs quickly and appeared to be crawling on top of one another.  What’s going on here?  Do I have a need to worry?
The first photo was shot without a flash and the other two were shot with a flash.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

Dear Constant Gardener,
These appear to be Stink Bug Eggs, possibly from the Red Shouldered Stink Bug you submitted yesterday, but those are not Stink Bugs that are hatching.  We immediately suspected some Parasitoid Wasp, so we researched Parasitoids that attack Stink Bug eggs, and we found this image on BugGuide of a parasitoid in the genus
Telenomus that looks similar to your individuals and this image on BugGuide of another member of the genus.  We also located this image on BugGuide of a different parasitoid in the genus Trissolcus and this image on BugGuide of a member in that same genus, both of which have also parasitized Stink Bug eggs.  Of the latter genus, BugGuide indicates:  “parasitize eggs of Pentatomorpha.”  Your images lack critical sharpness due to soft focus, and the images taken with flash also have some “ghosting” from a slow shutter speed.  Additionally, we lack the necessary expertise to provide an accurate species or genus identification, but both genera are in the subfamily Telenominae in the family Platygastridae, and this represents a new subcategory for our site.  Furthermore, your images are excellent examples of how pests can be controlled with organic methods.

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination