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Good Bug Corner - Good Bugs and Fungi (08/27/15)

This week’s Good Bug Corner features several good bugs and fungal pathogens.

Good Bug Corner

This week’s Good Bug Corner features several good bugs and fungal ent.knodel.1.beneficialspathogens. I’ve been getting many questions on what these insects or objects are out in field crops.  The white circle surrounds a harmful aphid infected with beneficial fungi, infections which are common when environmental conditions are damp and cool. Look for fuzzy and puffy aphid bodies which indicate that they are infected with naturally occurring fungi.  Unnecessary fungicide applications in field crops could destroy any beneficial fungi. The yellow circle highlights the voracious lady beetle larva predator, which can eat over 200-300 aphids a day. The lady beetle larvae are alligator-like with three pairs of legs and spines coming off of the body. Lady beetles are common in many field crops, especially in soybean aphid infested soybean fields in North Dakota. The red circle surrounds a dead parasitized aphid called a mummy (black body). A tiny wasp lays a single egg inside the aphid body, and the wasp larva will internally feed on the aphid, eventually killing it. These good bugs and parasitic fungi are examples of ‘biological control in action’ and can control aphid populations. Protecting beneficials is another good reason to scout and use Economic Thresholds for making pest management decisions!

 

Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

 

 

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