Entomology (Study of Bugs)/egg mass


egg mass
egg mass  
I found this egg mass on the upper surface of a Spicebush
( lindera benzoin ) leaf on 8-22-13. Barry County, Mich.

Dear Joyce - This egg mass appears to be that of a moth of some kind, but not one of the commoner pests of spicebush. They certainly did not come from a spicebush butterfly, which usually lays its eggs single (see http://tinyurl.com/me4x9up for an image) or the Promethea silkmoth (Callosamia promethea), which lays its eggs in small clumps - see http://tinyurl.com/lk7v9sk for an image. Fall webworm moths lay egg masses similar to yours, but spicebush would be an unusual choice for them, and their egg mass usually has a thin covering of fine hairs - see http://tinyurl.com/lkn2w6x for an image. If you still have the leaf, you might keep it in a lidded container with a little moisture to prevent desiccation, and see what emerges.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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