While you're sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic precautions, not too many people are aware of a new faculty member in the UC Davis...
These redhumped caterpillars, to become moths, Schizura concinna, family Notodontidae, are dining on the leaf of a Western redbud, (Cercis occidentalis) in Vacaville, Calif. Emily Meineke, newest faculty member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, studies how climate change and urban development affect insects, plants, and how they interact with one another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What's bugging you?
Group Hug ?!!!?
This true bug is about 1/2" inch long, somewhat flat, elongated oval, black with lateral red markings. The nymphs look similar and are typically red with black pronotum and wings. They do not sting, transmit diseases and seldom bite. When kill or crushed they do not emit a foul odor. They are often mistaken for the Boxelder bug.
They are not known to cause damage to plants or vegetables and are usually considered a beneficial insect. They eat fallen seeds, other dead bugs and leaking tree sap. Their fancy seeds from the Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculate). Using their beaks, nymphs and adults pierce the tough seed coats and probe the nutritious meat of the seed. Their digestive enzymes are pumped into the seed and break down the protein, fats and carbohydrates. Once liquified, these nutrients are sucked up their beak and into their gut, where it's converted into proteins. They can be seen year around in warm areas, such as California. They like to hang out in leaf piles, stacks of wood, rock piles and green plants.
They are known as the:
Red Shouldered / Soapberry / Golden Rain Tree Bug (Jadera haematoloma)
The event has been postponed until the fall. It will be an outdoor event if the weather cooperates.
Thank you for your support. Stay safe, stay well.
UC MASTER GARDENERS (7) POSTPONE
When you're sheltering in, you can still take the dog for a walk--and look for insects. We spotted this Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)...
A Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) flutters on ice plant in West Vacaville on March 20, 2020. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Stephen Cantu, a UC Master Gardener in San Diego County UC Cooperative Extension, is well aware of ways to improve accessibility and inclusiveness in gardening for people with mobility issues, reported Lisa Deaderick in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Cantu, who has used a wheelchair for 37 years due to a job site accident, identifies obstacles and solutions that help people of all abilities benefit from the joys of tending a home garden. He is active in the UCCE Master Gardener Association program that assists community members in designing garden spaces for maximum accessibility called Friendly Inclusive Gardening (FIG).
FIG teaches people how to implement the principles of universal design to make home, school and community gardens safer and more accessible to people with physical disabilities, seniors with mobility issues and young children. A workshop scheduled for March 21 had to be postponed in order to comply with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so Deaderick published a Q&A with Cantu to share how people can start a small garden at home while waiting out the coronavirus.
He said FIG is not just for wheelchair users. "In other words, a garden designed for the whole family to use, from young children to grandma and grandpa," Cantu said.
He recommends new gardeners start simple and build on success.
"Start out with a small kitchen garden of mostly herbs, something that is in small containers that you can grow next to your kitchen. . . Don't buy anything until you have an understanding of your needs. For a small garden, all you really need are your hands, a pair of gloves, some soil, and a few herbs," Cantu said.