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:  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
Subject:  LobsterWasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Oregon
Date: 07/03/2019
Time: 11:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found on several cannabis leaves and neighboring foliage.
How you want your letter signed:  DB

Strawberry Crown Moth on Cannabis

Dear DB,
This is one of the Wasp Mimic Moths or Clearwing Moths in the family Sesiidae.  We believe we have identified it as a Strawberry Crown Moth,
Synanthedon bibionipennis, thanks to images on BugGuide.  Were there strawberry plants nearby?  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae bore in the roots near the crown or in the stems near the base of various species in the Rose family (Fragaria, Rosa, Rubus, Potentilla). Considered to be a pest of strawberries. Adults take nectar from many different flowers.”  Since Cannabis is not in the Rose family Rosaceae, we suspect your plant is safe from this Strawberry Crown Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Help identifying insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario Canada
Date: 06/26/2019
Time: 05:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this insect on my marijuana plant and wondering if it’s harmful .
How you want your letter signed:  Email

Buffalo Treehopper nymph

This spiny guy is a Treehopper nymph, and based on this Jungle Dragon posting and this BugGuide posting, we believe it is a Buffalo Treehopper in the genus Stictocephala.  Treehoppers and Planthoppers have mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids, and they rob the plant upon which they are feeding of valuable fluids.  A single individual might not cause much damage, but when they are feeding in groups, significant damage might occur.  We would not consider this Buffalo Treehopper nymph to be a beneficial species on your marijuana plant.  According to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee:  “In their adult and immature stages, buffalo treehoppers feed on plant sap that they get by puncturing the stems of woody and non-woody plants with their strong “beaks” (and they can do minor damage to both in the process). They may begin their lives on woody plants, where Mom uses her sharp ovipositor to make shallow slits in twigs and to deposit her eggs. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs find their way to more succulent, herbaceous vegetation.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination