Living With Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Many gardeners are familiar with the squash vine borer caterpillars Melittia cucurbitae. The caterpillars bore into the stem just above the soil line. Surprisingly, the squash plant can survive substantial stem damage and continue to produce fruit. Eventually the damage can become extensive enough that the plant dies.

The day flying adults are often mistaken for wasps and avoided by avian predators and gardeners alike. The moth looks dangerous but is harmless. The moth is quite handsome with a brilliant red aposematic abdomen which is exposed both in flight and at rest.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

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