Monday, June 3, 2013

Pests and Poxes

A good rain for Colorado Beetle.  And really rather amazing to think of their species in terms of their having developed a resistance to so wide a range of pesticides.  Resistance to  DDT was an early victory in their battle for dominance over Potato and Eggplant crops. A Colorado Beetle has two other enemies.  One is a Beetle that eats Colorado Beetle eggs and Colorado Beetle hatchlings. The other is a white fungus that also does damage to Termite, White Fly, Thrips and Aphids, to name just a few. This white fungus has no resistance to fungicide.

 The white fungus is called Beauveria Bassiana.  Which is classic, because no one this side of a science museum can pronounce or remember Beauveria Bassiana.  The disease in insects Beauveria Bassiana causes is called White Muscardine Disease. If you see a Grasshopper corpse on a hot day and it  looks frosted that's White Muscardine.  Which sounds like a wine, but which helps my memory not in the least.  I prefer "The White Pox of Insect."  Which is distinct from "The White Pox of Plants."  The Beetle that feeds on the eggs and hatchlings of Colorado Beetle, has shiny Eggplant black wing case, orange front parts and black beady eyes. It's name is Lebia Grandis, which might be easier to remember.  It's a quick moving Beetle and it's about the size of a Bomber Beetle, which is that brown Beetle that thinks beating it's head against the electric light is an Olympic sport.

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