Thursday, August 30, 2007

Locust Borer

Locust Borer
Megacyllene robiniae

We haven’t had a bug post here for awhile so here we go.

I hadn’t seen one of these bugs before and now I have seen three in two weeks. I probably just haven’t noticed it in the past. A little detective work was all it took to figure out what it was. My heart sank when I found out that that it attacks Locust trees but was lifted when I found out that it doesn’t affect Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). I have a couple of nice specimens of Honey Locust on the Estate (including one of the unusual ‘Halka’ type) and they have really turned into nice trees. This insect primarily attacks Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and its relatives. Those are mostly ‘junk’ trees in my mind, so they can eat all they want. Maybe the increased number of Robinia trees I saw this year is coinciding with having more borers around. It is a colorful fella that didn’t seem to mind being photographed. The emergence of the adults coincides with the Goldenrod bloom and they are right on schedule. Borers in general are a real pain in the butt. The get into everything from the Rhododendrons to the Roses and are usually hard to detect until it is too late.

Here is another view:

I also saw this colorful spider and found out it is an Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta). I am posting this picture, not because it is the best I have ever taken but to show the colorful back. The macro lens was having a little focusing on this as it was kind of hanging out in the middle of nowhere. One end of its web was attached to the Sequoia (S. giganteum 'Hazel Smith') and a Swamp Maple that is pretty far away. I thought it was funny it was an Orchard Spider because the Orchard at the Estate was removed about 15 years ago to make way for some more garden. It was in the right area, though, very close to where the fruit trees used to be. I don’t care too much for Spiders but I am not totally creeped out by them. They have a role in the garden and this one was particularly nice looking with a weird flat web.


Jeremy Lowe said...

Cool shots, welcom to ww

Jean M Fogle said...

I love the borers, my husband is an entomologist and so many of the borers are beautiful!

dot said...

Nice pictures! Seems for everything you can grow there is some kind of insect waiting to destroy it.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Thanks for leaving comments.

jean, I am not sure about the Borers they raise havoc in the garden sometimes.

dot, thanks. It is a constant battle. Hey, I guess they gotta eat too.

Ki said...

Stunning photos of the borer. I agree that the honey locust is a great looking airy tree especially if they are the podless kind. We we all set to buy and plant one but a friend advised not to get one. He said the leaves were impossible to rake or sweep and he had his tree cut down. I think it was a mistake not to have gotten one as you could probably just mow over the leaves and mulch them.

Oh well, it would have been a much better tree than either the golden rain tree or golden chain tree we bought instead.

Digital Flower Pictures said...


Thanks for stopping in. The Honey Locust has a bad rep for the pods but I think the horticultural selections are better about that. Gleditsia is a much stronger tree than either of the ones you mentioned. I wouldn't recommend 'Ruby Lace' (even though it looks good) but do love the golden ones. They are fantastic when the new foliage emerges.

PS I like your 'oh, well' attitude. It will serve very well as a gardener.