Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wheel bug egg mass

    The sun shine felt good today after last weekend's winter cold snap. In fact, all the snow has melted and we could get back to collecting pecan scionwood. While we were cutting scions we discovered a large egg mass (photo at right) on a pecan branch. The eggs are lined up in neat rows, are black in color, and topped with a white cap. Later this spring, these eggs will hatch and dozens of wheel bugs will emerge to start searching of other insects to feed on.

     The wheel bug is one of the most common insect predators found in pecan tree canopies. These insects will grow quite large and are easily recognized by the red antennae and  prominent cogged "wheel" on their backs (photo at left).  So if you are out pruning pecan trees make sure to leave the egg masses of these beneficial insects in place.