Sunday, July 31, 2022

On the Grapevine


Behold my concord grapevine in its summer glory. When I planted it last year it was a leafless and unpromising looking stick. This year it reached the top of its trellis. 

And it's making grapes for the first time!

And word apparently got out to the insect community about it. This appeared. It's a native North American insect that's commonly called a grapevine beetle. Although grape leaves are its main food, it's not considered very damaging.

It has that classic scarab beetle look.

As does the Japanese beetle, famous for eating everything, including grapevines, and is a well-known plant destroyer.

Here's a gang of Japanese beetles having a party on what's left of a hibiscus flower. They remind me of orcs. Note the couple copulating in the lower center of the shot.

Last and worst, there are lanternflies, a newly introduced insect problem. There are a lot of them trying to eat our grapevine. We're controlling them with handheld spray bottles of insecticidal soap. 
All four nymphal stages showed up on the grapevine in successive waves and now lots of adults like the one pictured here. 

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reporting about homemade grape jelly in September.

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