Wooly Beech Aphid

I learned about Wooly Alder Aphids a long time ago and wrote about them here.  I learned this week that Alder is not the only tree that has its very own aphid.  Beech trees can play host, too, to another species of wooly aphid.

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Like all aphids, this variety has a piercing mouth part which it uses to get beneath the surface of the plant in order to suck juices.

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Like other woolies, this variety carries waxy threads on its body.

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According to one source, it is rare that an infestation is severe enough to do any real damage to the tree. I question that as it concerns our beech, already under attack by Beech Bark Disease (caused by a fungus introduced by a scale insect).

I’ve walked this woods frequently for a lot of years and never noticed this aphid before.  I will be curious to see what happens.

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Blacksnake Mountain

Closeup of the topo map at the trail head.

The topo calls the mountain “Blacksnake.”  The trail is labeled “Black Snake.”  One word or two?  I don’t know.  Either/or, I guess.  It’s in Allegany State Park in Western New York and it should be called Wildflower Mountain.  I hiked it on May 2, 2012 on a mostly cloudy day with temperatures in the 60s and black flies buzzing annoyingly in small clouds around me and the dogs.  I could picture my new bottle of insect repellent sitting on the shelf above my desk at work as I tied a scarf around my head like Aunt Jemima to try to keep them from biting along my hairline like they usually do.  I should put a second bottle in the car, I guess.

I was absolutely astounded at the number of species that I found in bloom and wished the puppy had less energy so I could put the macro lens on my camera and take each one’s picture.  But every time I bent to take a look at something, muddy paws and a curious nose came between me and the flower.  One of these days, I’ll hike the trail with camera only and get the shots I’m looking for.  Today was for the dogs.

Squirrel Corn

I made a few photos and a list.  (Full slideshow below.)

  • White Trillium
  • Red Trillium
  • Dwarf Ginseng
  • Trout Lily
  • Spring Beauty
  • Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Squirrel Corn
  • Water Carpet
  • Wild Oats
  • Solomon’s Seal
  • False Solomon’s Seal
  • Red Elder
  • Canada Violet
  • Common Violet
  • at least 2 kinds of yellow Violets
  • Sweet White Violet
  • Long-spurred Violet
  • Kidney-leafed Buttercup
  • Foamflower
  • Hepatica (I found one still blooming, and lots gone to seed)
  • Toothwort
  • Barren Strawberry
  • Swamp Buttercup
  • Ground Ivy

Clintonia (I think)

In addition to those which were all blooming, I also found leaves of the following:

  • Canada Mayflower
  • Clintonia
  • Mayapple
  • Leeks
  • False Hellabore
  • Wild Geranium
  • Virginia Waterleaf
  • Yellow Mandarin
  • Starflower
  • Sweet Cicely
  • Golden Ragwort
  • 2 or 3 different bellworts

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