The summer rains have finally started in the Sonoran Desert. With the rain comes new plant growth and with new plant growth comes insects.
Studying the desert willow this morning, I noticed these small tears in the wood of some twigs. Any idea what caused it?
Then I found these on a nearby desert willow leaf. Can you tell what they are?
The splinters in the twig were caused by a cicada laying its eggs under the bark. The cicada nymphs will hatch out, fall to the ground, and feed underground on the roots until next summer.
The white eggs on the leaf are likely to be moth eggs. I will be watching the tree closely for the next few days to see if any caterpillars develop. We already have giant swallowtail caterpillars on the citrus, queen caterpillars on the rush milkweeds and tobacco hornworms on the datura.
Do you see more insects in rainy years than dry years where you live?