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.

Subject:  What’s on my Woody Plant?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 20, 2017 12:30 pm
Dear Bugman,
I try to keep abreast of what I am finding on my woody plants, and you have provided such excellent information in the past.  Please help me identify this metallic green insect.  It moved about very warily, and getting a photo was not easy.  Thanks for any assistance you are able to provide.
Signature:  Constant Gardener

Long Legged Fly

Dear Constant Gardener,
This is a Long Legged Fly in the family Dolichopodidae, and based on the Natural History of Orange County site, we believe it is
Condylostylus longicornis.  The species is also pictured on BugGuide where it states the range is:  “California; North Carolina to Paraguay; Polyensia. Possibly the most widespread species of the genus.”  Of the family, BugGuide indicates:  “Mouthparts are for piercing (with a short proboscis). Adults and larvae prey on small insects.”  This is a beneficial predator that will help keep your plants free of Aphids and other small insects that are injurious to garden plants.

Subject: Neatly organized cluster…please help.
Location: Portland, Oregon
August 20, 2017 6:35 am
hello I am growing legal recreational cannabis in Portland Oregon and have been very careful to keep an eye on the plants for various caterpillar larvae and other pests, this morning I noticed something I’m fairly sure was not there yesterday and I could only find one example of this they are neatly clustered on the bottom of one leaf towards the top of the plant. Nice little perfectly round white eggs. Attached is a photo. I’m thinking Moth of some kind maybe? Biggest goal is to prevent these from investing my few plants. Any advice would b greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Signature: Casey Koelbl

Probably Moth Eggs on Cannabis Leaflet

Dear Casey,
Eggs can be very difficult to correctly identify, but we do agree with you that these appear to be Moth Eggs, but an exact identification my be impossible.  You can try isolating these eggs until they hatch, and then try raising them on fresh leaves until they get large enough to more accurately identify.  According to I Love Growing Marijuana:  “Caterpillars love marijuana plants! Corn Borer and Hemp Borer are the two most destructive caterpillars.”  Two sites with advice we would question are Alchimia because it pictures a Spurge Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hyles euphorbiae, NOT on Cannabis (see BugGuide for verification) and  Royal Queen Seeds because it pictures a Black Swallowtail Caterpillar that feeds on plants in the carrot family, not on hemp.  Dinafem advises:  “Look out for butterflies: If you see any butterflies resting on your plants, try to chase them away because they could be laying eggs. If you have seen butterflies on your plants, you should start to be suspicious and check for caterpillars.”  That sounds like ridiculous advice to us as we know of no butterflies with caterpillars that feed on Cannabis.  We would recommend keeping a close eye on your plants.  We recently created a new tag on our site What’s on my Woody Plant? so that we can address insects and other creatures found on Cannabis, and we hope to build this tag into a usable resource for growers so that they can distinguish between beneficial and problematic creatures they find on their crop.
P.S.  If you decide to try to hatch these eggs, please send a followup image or two our way.

Thank u so much for responding, I seriously appreciate it! I’ll do just that and I am going to grab a friend, sit down and give them a very thorough examination top to bottom to make sure they aren’t trying to start a city. Again thanks a ton for the help. Have a great day!

Subject:  Two Green Lynx Spider on my Woody Plant
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 14, 2017 7:30 PM
Just as the sun was setting, I discovered two Green Lynx Spiders where there used to be one.  Do you think they will mate?
Signature:  Constant Gardener

Two Male Green Lynx Spiders

Dear Constant Gardener,
While the pedipalps are not readily visible, it appears both of your individuals are males.  If this plant provides good hunting, there might be a “survival of the fittest” scenario that plays out here with one Green Lynx getting eaten by the other, or perhaps one will just move on.  Since Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs, they tend to move around a bit, though female Green Lynx Spiders will remain in one location to raise young.  At any rate, having these Green Lynx Spiders on your plants will help to keep unwanted, plant feeding species at bay.

Subject:  What’s on my Woody Plant?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Dear What’s That Bug?
I spotted a crazy bug eating a spider on my woody plant. I know this isn’t the best picture (attached), it was at dusk and I was using the light of a headlamp and an iPhone, but hopefully you can decipher what’s happening.
Stacked Up in Mt. Washington,
Max Yield

Immature Orthopteran eats Spider on Woody Plant

Dear Max Yield,
This is a Longhorned Orthopteran nymph from the suborder Ensifera, and having it living on your woody plant might not be the best long term plan.  You don’t want spiders getting eaten as they are predatory and beneficial, and the Orthopteran is likely an omnivore that will eventually eat leaves and possibly even buds.  We suspect this is some species of Katydid, and young nymphs like this can be difficult to correctly identify to the species level. In our own garden, we allow Katydids to eat rose blossoms, but you might not want anything to reduce your maximum yield.  We enjoy the sound of the Katydids at night in our garden, so we would not harm this very young, possibly second instar nymph, but we would not think twice about relocating it elsewhere in the garden as they are not especially particular about what plants they eat.  Since creating our What’s on my Woody Plant? tag, we have gotten some flack from our Facebook followers.  On August 8, Nancy Barlow wrote “Get some new material…. not funny any longer….”  Within an hour and a half, Amy Holder wrote:  “Yeah im over the woody plant coverage as well. There are other sites dude can post and show off all his weed. Gtfo.”  We didn’t know that “get the fuck out” had an acronym until we looked it up.  We can’t believe that people who follow us think that being funny is our prime objective or that we are interested in showing off weed.  We attempt to identify insects and things that crawl, and we occasionally devote tags to specific groups of plants with robust Arthropod populations, including the Milkweed Meadow and the Goldenrod Meadow.  Furthermore, we believe in the malleability of the English language, and using regional terms has a certain charm.  We would never disparage anyone who used the terms herb or mota.

Subject: White, Black and Orange Butterfly, Helena National Forest, Montana
Location: Helena National Forest, MT
August 8, 2017 4:22 pm
Hello bugman!
I saw this butterfly in Montana back in July and haven’t been able to “pin” down what type it is. The color brings up too wide of a search result, and most of them more black and orange than white. I’ve seen swallowtails with similar coloring, but this doesn’t seem to be a swallowtail by shape. Birds are usually my target, but I do try to ID the butterflies as well, and this one is flummoxing me!
Thank you!
Signature: Tina Toth

Gorgeous image of a Weidemeyer’s Admiral

OK Tina,
Please forgive us for bypassing your question to tell you this is just about the most beautiful image we have seen in a long time of a butterfly.  With such shallow depth of field, you were quite lucky this perfect specimen decided to pose with its wings parallel to the film plane.  As you can see by this BugGuide posting, this is a Weidemeyer’s Admiral,
Limenitis weidemeyerii.  What was the environment like?  According to BugGuide:  “Found around wet places where its host plants grow” and “Larvae feed on Poplar (Populus spp.), Willow (Salix spp.) and perhaps other woody plants.”  Woody plants have sparked quite a dialog on our site and its Facebook page of late. 

Thank you for the glowing compliment! I blush! I think my experience trying to capture birds has helped with be more patient with setting up a butterfly shot, but I always consider myself lucky either way. I have a lot of pictures of empty branches!
This is where I found it, and your comments about environment are spot on. There is a creek that runs through the area, and the woods are fairly old and dense. A lot of pine, but also a lot of shrubs because of the creek, such as willow.
I’ve stopped here twice going to and from vacation spots in Montana. It’s a good spot, but small, to find a thrushes, flycatchers and a yellow warbler or two while you stretch your legs a bit.
Thank you for the ID, I would’ve never ever figured out the type from the underside of the wings, compared to the pictures of the topside I see with the name look up! Even worse, I have what I think is a White Admiral from 2012, and didn’t make the connection. There was also another butterfly from the same place and date I haven’t had the time to ID either, though it looks like checkerspot or frittilary. Attached, just for fun.
I started bird watching in 2013, when I got sick, and 10 months later had brain surgery (long story) but it’s taken us some amazing places, and we love to see all the wildlife along the way. Below is a link to my better shots from as far back as 2010, and if you click on the “i” it tells you when, what and where, though please don’t think you have to ID them. I am pretty OCD about IDing birds and trying to not let it get too deep into other things I see, haha! Anyway, just enjoy if you have the time. And yes, you helped me ID the Police Car moth a couple of years ago! 🙂

Ed. Note August 7, 2017
Recently we have been receiving requests to identify creatures on Woody Plants, so we decided to create a new tag:  What’s on my Woody Plant? to cover insects found on
Our Facebook followers are clamoring for more coverage of Woody Plants.

Female Green Lynx Spider on Woody Plant

Jeff Lanterman wrote on August 4:  “Please more Woody Plant bug submissions!

Judith Barnard Smith wrote on August 5:  “wish there were a way to actually subscribe because I could become a bug addict…..”

Ed. Note August 8, 2017
And in the interest of balanced posting, there are some detractors.

Michael Steele wrote on August 8:  “Stop with the ‘woody plant’ shit man. You do that every time someone sends you a pot photo. Nobody here is stupid. Just say cannabis.” and “People aren’t requesting it that way, you are posting it as it being requested that way. Get off the gas. Again, nobody is buying your story.”

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider on my other Woody Plant
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 7, 2017 9:22 pm
Dear Bugman,
You have already identified one male Green Lynx Spider on my woody plant, but now this Green Lynx Spider is on my other woody plant in a different part of the garden.  This is my first time growing woody plants, which are really nothing more than weeds with benefits, and I am surprised at how easy they are to grow.  All they need is sun and water.  I am really fascinated with the ecosystem that exists on an individual plant and I love learning about beneficial creatures in the garden like this Green Lynx Spider.  What more can you tell me about Green Lynx Spiders?
Signature:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider on Woody Plant

Dear Constant Gardener,
Your submission is perfectly timed to launch our newest tag:  What’s on my Woody Plant?  With more and more people growing legally at home, and with organic, pesticide free cultivation critical, we hope to educate the web browsing public of the importance of natural predators.  This is a female Green Lynx Spider.  She has smaller pedipalps and she is more robust physically than is the male.  She is probably much more likely to remain on a plant where there is good hunting and she may eventually lay eggs that she will guard with her life.  Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs to hunt but they do build a messy web to protect the eggs.  Green Lynx Spiders pounce on their prey from some distance and they are able to take down large prey.  They frequently perch on the tips of branches, especially those with blossoms or those that attract insects.  They have excellent eyesight and they can catch winged prey.  When he first moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, Daniel once watched a Green Lynx Spider leap from a rose to just nearly miss a Cabbage White that was flying about a foot away.  The spider missed but returned to its branch thanks to a silken anchor line.  We believe your “Woody Plant” is pollinated by the wind and not by insects, but if your plant is attracting phytophagous species like Hemipterans and Grasshoppers, they will likely become food for this beautiful Green Lynx Spider.  Please continue to send us images of creatures you find on your “Woody Plant”.