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 kind of cocoon did I find on my Cannabis plant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/02/2019
Time: 5:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman.
My plants are growing taller and I have seen some tiny California Mantids and young Green Lynx Spiders prowling for prey.  It is funny how I watched the same predators on my plants last year.   There are also numerous immature hopping insects I know are not beneficial to my plants, so I have been squashing them instead of taking their picture, but today I found this very interesting cocoon thing on the leaf of a girl that grew from a seed that came from a Grand Daddy Purple X Blueberry Haze plant I grew last year.  Sorry, but I removed it before taking a photo, so I made a dramatic recreation of the way I found it on the underside of a leaf.  I hope you enjoy my still life.  Please tell me what it is.  I really want to know What’s That Bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Ichneumon Pupa

Dear Constant Gardener,
This is a very exciting posting for us.  We instantly recognized this Ichneumon cocoon in the genus
Charops from identification requests we have received from Taiwan and from South Africa.  Ichneumon Wasps are parasitoids, meaning the female wasp lays eggs on a larval host, and the larva that hatches then feeds on the internal organs of a host insect or arthropod, eventually killing the host as the larva nears maturity.  According to BugGuide:  “Known hosts include Tarachidia erastrioides (Grenee) and the green clover worm, Plathypena scabra (Fabricius), both noctuids. (Anonymous 1974)”.  You might need to add Ichneumon Wasps from the genus Charops to the list of patrolling predators in your garden.

Pupa of a Charops Ichneumon Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 05/17/2019
Time: 06:32 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
My Cannabis sprouts are growing, and I just found this tiny Mantis on one of the plants.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Mantis hatchling

Dear Constant Gardener,
We appreciate your first submission of 2019 and we eagerly await more documentation of the insects associated with your 2019 crop.

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