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Thread: mystery bug

  1. #1

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    I am trying to identify the soldiers of a recent invasion of one of my plants. There has been a discussion on this in the past, but no light was shed on the subject. People just kept on saying "oh it's prolly thrips." Well these are NOT thrips, so don't even bother.

    The pests look like big fleas with long bodies. They are on average about the size of a hyphen -> - .These are not worms. They appear to jump from place to place on the surface of the 9inch pot. No damage is visible, but the main plant is RAPIDLY loosing steam and appears to be nearing it's last days. I'm not too concerned because I have heard that P.primuliflora has a tendency to be short-lived. The mother plant in question has produced and is still producing large amounts of plantlets. As a matter of fact, the surface of the pot is covered with replanted plantlets of the mother plant, which, in turn, are producing their OWN plantlets now. The new plants are vigorous and happy looking.

    At first I spotted one on a ping leaf, and one or two walking around on the soil. However, it has been a couple weeks and the bugs are all over the place (no noticeable invasions into other pots yet). I guess the invaders lack common sense, or have terrible aim, because they are peppering the leaves of the P.primuliflora that lives in the pot. Normally I would not have a problem with this, but I don't know anything about the bugs. I don't know what they eat, or if they pose a potential threat to the plant.
    In addition: I have had these pests on many of my CP's in the past, so I'm sure some of you would recognize them.

    Thanks in advance
    -Trevor

  2. #2

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    any photo could help ?
    Eric Partrat
    epbb@club-internet.fr

    A WORLD OF PINGUICULA
    www.pinguicula.org

  3. #3

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    No photos, but it has been brought to my attention that the pests are almost certainly springtails.

  4. #4
    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Springtails are not pests really. They inhabit the pots and eat detritus but I have never had them go after anything living. And Pings seem to enjoy eating them (in my collection at least.)
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

    See You Space Cowboy

    actagggcagtgatatcccattggtacatggcaaattagcctcatgat
    Hagerstown, Maryland

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  5. #5

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    ah, springtails! you're so lucky to have them! they make excellent frog food and they wont hurt your plant... they just feed on decaying plant matter (ie, a ping leaf that died, or peat)

  6. #6

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    Well, i guess "pests" is a realative term.

    As long as they do no harm to the plant, I am overjoyed to have them choose one of my plants as a suitable host Boy are those pings ever happy (a little messy looking with hundreds of dead springtails littering the leaves, but what can you do).

    One intereting thing is where the little morsels choose to hang out. The surface of the pot is covered with a mixture of sand and chunks of lava rock. The springtails seem to flock to the chunks of lava rock (small rocks, about the size of a pea, or a peanut -but they must seem like giant boulders to the bugs). I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe they feed on something in the pores of the lava rock. It may also be that they simply do not like hangin' out on damp silica sand, and perfer the more dry chunks of rock.
    Who knows.

    -trev

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