Last week the question was: What is this?
This is a mud dauber nest. Mud daubers are wasps that make nests out of soil. There are several species that construct nests in a variety of shapes. This particular one is a pipe organ mud dauber. The adult female builds the nest which contains multiple sealed chambers packed full of spiders that have been stung and paralyzed. An egg is also laid in each chamber. Once the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the spiders as it develops. When mature, the wasp exits the nest by boring a hole through the mud.
Here is this week’s question: What is this insect?
Last week the question was: What is wrong with these peanuts?
These peanuts and the pegs have been damaged by root knot nematodes (RKN). Peanuts are just one of the many crops that can be damaged by RKN. They tend to a bigger problem in sandy soil. RKN are not a common problem in peanuts, but can build up to damaging levels, especially with poor rotation practices. Take a look at page 21 in the Clemson Peanut Money Maker Guide for more info.
Here is this week’s question: What is this?
Last week the question was: What is this growing on an old piece of wood?
This is a lichen. Lichens are made up of two different organisms: a fungus and an algae (or sometimes a cyanobacteria). The two organisms have a symbiotic relationship where the algae photosynthesizes and provides nutrition to the fungus while the fungus provides protection from the elements for the algae. Since the algal part of the lichen photosynthesizes, lichens do not take anything from from their hosts. In other words, they are completely harmless, though they are frequently blamed for declining plants. Here is a great page from Clemson Extension with more info.
Here is this week’s question: What is wrong with these peanuts?
Last week the question was: What is this weed?
This is Florida pusley. It is a summer annual with a spreading, prostrate growth habit. It is commonly found in lawns in the South. Seed production occurs quickly after the flowers appear. When found this time of year, the best thing to do is just let the winter kill it and use a pre-emergent broadleaf herbicide in the spring to kill the seedlings as they emerge. Here is a publication with more info.
Here is this week’s question: What is this growing on an old piece of wood?
Photo from William Hardee.