The Elm Leaf Beetle

The Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola) is a representative of the Chrysomelid family of beetles.  This family includes other notable pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle.  Although the Xanthogaleruca species mentioned above is one of the high impact pest species listed (for the amount of damage it does to elms), there is also a […]

The California Red Scale

The California Red Scale is not technically a major pest in eastern North American forests, but it is worth describing here for several reasons.  1) We have been battling it for a long time, and have failed to eradicate it, which is a lesson.  2) It is a representative of a ubiquitous group of pests […]

The Asian Long-horned Beetle

The Asian Long-horned beetle is another boring beetle that contributes to the 3.5 billion dollars US worth of damages to trees every year (along with the Emerald Ash Borer and others).  It is one of the few economically important insect pests that is larger than a penny!  The size and dramatic colouration (i.e. all black […]

The Woolly Adelgid

Just to be up front about this, I have a personal sort of dislike for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae).  The Eastern Hemlock is my favourite eastern North American tree, and the Woolly Adelgid is its number one threat.  Most of the talks I have been to, which discuss the future of the Eastern […]

Ambrosia Beetles

Ambrosia beetles come from two weevil subfamilies (Scolytinae and Platypodinae) and, like all weevils, they are species-rich.  Among the high impact pest species list published by Aukema et al. 2010 (article here), there is only one ambrosia beetle species listed: the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). There are, however, 26 invasive ambrosia beetle species in […]

Introducing the “Insect Pests of the Northeastern US series”

I had my first “commission” for artwork recently.  A friend of mine, who works in forestry, wanted a field guide to common insect pests of the northeastern forests.  I’m happy to share it here, but I thought I’d do one insect at a time, as they are sort of information intensive (also this will help […]

On the biological and taxonomic inaccuracies of Homo reptilia

So a friend of mine has exposed me to the television show called “Doctor Who.”  Most people have heard of it; it is very popular and has been running for some ridiculous amount of time (i.e. fifty years). “It is a silly show and you are a bit silly yourself,” my friend said, “I think […]