Eaters of thistles: Thistle tortoise beetle, Cassida rubiginosa, and Canada thistle bud weevil, Larinus planus

  It’s easy to see how the pretty thistle tortoise beetle gets its name.   Combined feeding of the tortoise beetle and weevil devastate thistle. Invasive thistles are a perennial problem for gardeners where they pop-up along the edges and sometimes in the middle of cultivated beds, especially this time of year when they grow […]

Eater of eaters of thistles and other plants: Spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris

  The piercing beak of the spined soldier bug brings the life of a thistle tortoise beetle to an end.   Last week we met two beetles intent on eating thistles in a community garden in central Maryland. While observing these exotic biological control agents, we encountered one of our potent native predators, the spined […]