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Last updated on February 11, 2013
Welcome to PlumeriaTC.org.
It is back again and this time very abundant in the greenhouse. I wish I could say that blooms were the item to be discussed but unfortunately the only thing blooming is a gray fungi that under the microscope appears to be a species of Botrytis. Check out the stem rot page for more images, including one taken via microscopy showing fruiting bodies.
Image 07-29-12 TC plant in bloom (Delfel parentage)
Although not new, this is the another year running where Monomorium minimum (little black ant) demonstrates how effective they are at defending these plants against mite incursions. Although all the plumerias were treated with soap upon moving out from the greenhouse this year, beyond the first initial treatments (two in total) no further spraying has been necessary upon those plants which the little black ants reside. So far this season only one plants appears to be suffering the black tip syndrome, and it is not the Australian one mentioned below which finally grew past the mites with the help of soap treatments.
If you have been looking for an alternative to the $$$ spent upon insecticidal soap, then check out the soap page for more info on that. It works and saves a bundle.
The above are adult common yellow clones which are continuing to produce rather large leaves rather quickly for their size. See update page and information plus image lower on this page for further details.
It all started in 2004. If you don't know what I am talking about, just check this page out and then, from there, explore through the various other pages to see how this understanding has been arrived at. See this page for a snapshot of this winter's destruction upon species from my yard that directly relates to 2004. That year was a confounding one, as 2012 is turning out to be too. There was a centipede lurking around in the mite tent, not discovered until now, and to join it, malfunctioning meters, each presents a confound (updated 03-20-12). On 02-06-12 more arthropods were observed in the mite vessel/"tent" which has forced a revision of the experiment. However, for those who still wish to find a way to clean up a plumeria without having to treat either with insecticidal soap or a chemical solution, nature has provided for this. While this appears to work rather well under these ideal conditions, those are never the case for the yard or house here and apparently no matter how hard I try to isolate things for easier observations, unexpected surprises always await, even if they are sometimes unwelcome. See this page for a comparison of climates presented to the mites this year, each contemporaneous with the other. See P. x stenopetala mite page for cleanup results.
As part of the New Year, some changes have been made to the site. As part of those, the previous home page for the site has been archived and can be found here. However, as has occurred in the past, the previous home/index page will be eventually parted up and content placed into other pages on the site.
If you are curious as to the pathways these mites might utilize in the destruction of plant tissues, see this page. As well, if you thought it was hard to detect the webbing from these creatures, here is why, and it is because they are only tens of nanometers (billionth of a meter) thick, at least for another family member.
Close up clear images of a female mite, looking from the underside up, and she has some interesting features, plus the page now contains images of both ocelli, as they should be, and scale measurements of that mite plus two others. They are smaller than I had thought, yet the ones in the images are still not fully matured either, except perhaps the male.
Found on Friday the 13th and now has an update page (images added 03-03-12 - the mites won the battle, but lost the war to soap - see update page for image) so the dying tip (or just a side of it?) tissues and their shrinkage/progress can be observed. This Plumeria rubra (grown from seed given to me by a friend who received it from Australia) is entering what I would term the second stage of the tip getting ready to abscise off. It has already gone through the deep anthocyan stage and is now demonstrating dying tissues. This plant was treated with insecticidal soap approximately 5 days prior to the image date and is the first plant in the greenhouse to loose all of its leaves, which leaves it very susceptible to damage, as the above shows. At the time of soap treatment, the tissues at the tip still appeared somewhat viable, and I do apologize for the camera angle, although it does somewhat signify the mites' feelings about the plants. No blooms from this plant for a few years at least, which last year went through stem rot too, and although the effects may be similar, the results are just the same. No blooms.
Growth this year from the "stop" point of last winter which the vascular system, in almost all of the P. rubra plants I have seen suffering from it, halts the spread of the stem rot organism and terminates the damage at that point. P. x stenopetala does the same too, although e2 clones are, from data so far, the ones susceptible to the organism causing the rot. The plants do the same in response to the mites, creating a termination point whereby axillary buds then push. In left untreated, and if defoliated, further growth will be easily harmed as well. It should be noted that a week prior to the insecticidal soap treatment, a solution of chlorothalonil was applied as prophylaxis against the stem rot organism. Whether this affected the generation interval of the mites is uncertain.
Added 12-28-11 plant host list for the sixspotted spider web-spinning spider mite. 01-08-12 two additional plant species have been added to the host lists. Hyperlinks are included for those which I have been able to visually inspect for evidence of these mites, including eggs and silk threads. 01-13-12 another plant added to the list, downy jasmine. Another plant has been added as of 02-10-12.
The above image shows another inchworm which appears to be the very same species that infested the Plumeria x stenopetala clones earlier in 2011. It was discovered on 01-07-12 upon a honeysuckle vine which is adjacent to the area where these clones were maintained during the summer of 2011. The image shows it just after it was placed upon an e1 clone of P. x stenopetala in the greenhouse which unfortunately also has the sixspotted web-spinning spider mite. This image shows the larva past the green stage with all its colors showing and hopefully this image will help further identify these creatures. On the 11th of January, 2012 another larva of these was found, this time upon a rose, a Mr. Lincoln in fact who at the time was surrounded by Peace, and upon which a battle was about to ensue. Click here to see these addtional host images.
In regards to all these mites. Although the little black ants sure did a great job of keeping them fairly clean during the growing season, once indoors or into the greenhouse the populations of whatever creatures are still left then emerge and now having a baseline (for untreated plants during the growing season) to go from and further understanding, this helps buttress the need to absolutely "clean the plants up" prior to taking them indoors for the winter.
The above image shows a mite captured using a white chin hair
dragged through webbing containing the mite so they aren't squished which is
what results when directly touched. Check out the mites
on Plumeria x stenopetala page to see images of plant and mite, plus
a bit more. [Added 02-11-12 an update on how P. x stenopetala
respond to treatment for the mites.]
curiosity the above image presented to me is an eyestalk with red globe, similar
to a capitate trichome on a plant or to compare to another arthropod, the
eye/stalk of a fiddler crab? (Which it sure isn't... and my mind is
now at peace. See the top of the page regarding interesting features. If
memory serves me correctly I've chased my tail on this before.)
An adult Plumeria rubra (common yellow) clone. Top off and doing fine. Note the still covered clone upper left of image. It had fungal gnats (hence sticky trap far right) and being little, as is the other right next to it, was very easily damaged by them. As the moist soil was baked to help clear it of unwanted organisms, it is doubtful that they originated from it, as the other clones show no signs of them. However, because of other plants in the house and the potting mixes used in them, these little flying creatures are something of an omnipresent nuisance. As part of the research in 2012 a series of tests/observations will be conducted to ascertain exactly which of the various "seed starting" mixes are less likely to contain these nasty pests, as well as other unwanted organisms which accompany them. If damp down fungi appears, how in the heck a seed, let alone an ex vitro tissue culture plant, is to survive and compete against these unwanted things, is a curiosity. And yes the plant is a bit funky with deformed growth and no, this isn't from mites, but rather harsh treatment of the peripheral tissues.
Click here for an update page (more images added 02-10-13) on adult P. rubra tissue, going from multiplication, to rooting, to placement ex-vitro, which has been a troublesome area for some. Since I am a curious person, I have been attempting to see if there was anything I could do with the protocol I use that would help "speed it up". So far, it still appears necessary to maintain an aseptic condition for the plantlets during placement ex-vitro until the literal cover "comes off". Any deviation from this has only met with failure and rotted plants.
This mite and egg were captured with this chin hair (dark filament). Although still somewhat blurry, even the older c-mount USB camera is still easier than using the old Canon 5mp hooked up to the trinoc port of the microscope via an assembly of adapters, which in turn was easier than holding an even older digital camera (original images) up to the eye lens on the microscope and using a hand lens to boost, plus focal zoom, arrived at some really nice images, but were very hard to get. To see additional up-to-date findings on these little creatures check out the mite trap plant in mite tent page (images added 01-27-12) dealing with the 2011-2012 winter pest season. This experiment has been modified. See the confound page for more information.
The below is retained on this page so as to encourage others to keep an eye out for these.
Creativity, forethought, and determination. If you are thinking that those words are used to describe human beings, you would be correct. But, those terms can also be applied to arthropods. See the inchworm page for more details. On the 5th of December 2011 the larva in the house went into the pupa stage and on the 19th of December was transferred into a glass terrarium, along with the leaves housing it, so as to disturb it as little as possible. This did allow for clear images to be obtained. Although identification has been made to family, Geometridae, the adult moth, which did emerge, should help point to the particular species that passed through the yard this year and left a generation behind to feed. The moth emerged and this occurred either late 12-21-11 or early 12-22-11, see the above linked page for images. Additional images were added 12-26-11 including one showing the moth resting upon the embryo 2 clone which the initial larva (within webbing and at the bottom of the inchworm page) was also on earlier this year. It is anticipated that no additional images will be added to the page (unless as indicated below) and I hope that the information provided on the page, which is in chronological order (latest items are on the top of the page, the oldest on the bottom), will be useful for those who may also find these visiting and munching upon their plants and perhaps they too will save a few and allow them the ability to also go through metamorphosis to allow for id, although do please leave enough alive for proper id, at least six, as I unfortunately did not. Next year, if these pass through again, more images will be added, hopefully with egg casings added to the list, and of course with enough specimens for an authoritative id to be made.
After reviewing many images online and referring to page 206, figure 255, of the book California Insects (Powell and Hogue, 1979), and although I am not a trained lepidopterist, it would most definitely appear that the species which was reared out is Sabulodes aegrotata. However, because I am not an authority on these, this id is still tentative and the question marks surrounding the common and scientific names on the inchworm page remain.