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Re: CULT: stem borers


While surfing the web, I also read up on stem borers (<not> iris
borers).  It turns out that both the wiggley caterpillars I found are
the same thing, the Common Stalk Borer.  The young ones have the
chocolate 'belt' in the middle, with dark stripes on either end.  As
they mature, the older ones gradually become more solid colored, winding
up dirty white or tan, with intermediate stages having spots or broken
lines.

The wiggleyness is characteristic of this critter - they apparently not
only move up and down the hollowed out stalk, they also will leave and
crawl to another stalk, sometimes damaging many stalks as they go. Bit,
thick stalks can often live in spite of these attacks, but here, the
iris stalks that are hollowed out are usually hit by soft rot, plus I'm
finding an occasional maggot (fly larvae) in the glop they leave behind.

I tried to take a photo, but my camera isn't up to such small targets.
--
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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