ash trees are yummy: part 2

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Last week when I peeked out my window to check on the progress of the leaves on my twig, I noticed that several of them were curled and twisted.


It had been raining for days and the previous night's storm was pretty windy, so I thought maybe the leaves had just been blown out of place. I tried to flip one over, only to find that my fingers were covered with sticky stuff! The leaf had this thin layer of white sticky stuff that was causing it to curl.


I figured this was the work of some sort of bug, became totally grossed out and ran off to wash my hands thoroughly. Once I felt clean again, I did a little searching on the internet and determined that the buggies on my twig might have been aphids. Apparently the aphids suck plant juices (sap?) out of the leaf, which can cause the leaves to curl. While they're eating, the aphids kind of poop this white liquidy stuff called honeydew, which stays on the leaves making them sticky. This all seems very yucky (and has ruined honeydew melon for me forever), but apparently some other bugs love the honeydew. Some bees produce a special type of honey from it and some ants actually collect it directly from the aphids. Eww. Here's a gross picture of a couple of ants collecting honeydew from feeding aphids. You can see some honeydew bubbles on a few of the aphids.

picture from wikipedia

Luckily, I haven't seen any of these bugs on my tree and the curled leaves returned to normal by the next day.


But just this morning, I spotted another little patch of honeydew.



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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Alison published on May 29, 2011 11:53 AM.

field trip! was the previous entry in this blog.

gains and losses is the next entry in this blog.

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