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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous > Basswood/Linden > Holes in leaves or parts of leaves missing

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Basswood/Linden > Leaves > Holes in leaves/parts of leaves missing

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  • Image: Cankerworms 1
  • Image: Cankerworms 2
  • Image: Cankerworms 3

Alsophila pometaria (fall) and Paleacrita vernata (spring)

  • Larvae chew between the major veins at first, eventually chewing everything except midveins
  • Defoliation typically light to moderate, although it can be severe
  • Smooth-bodied, light green to brown, 2 inches long when fully grown; moves in characteristic looping motion
  • Damage occurs late April/early May until June
  • More information on Cankerworms
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  • Image: Forest tent caterpillar 1
  • Image: Forest tent caterpillar 2
  • Image: Forest tent caterpillar 3

Forest tent caterpillar
Malacosoma disstria

  • Larvae chew entire sections of leaves, sometimes leaving some major veins; defoliation can be severe when populations are high
  • Blue and black with characteristic footprint shaped white markings on top of body
  • Damage occurs May and June
  • More information on Forest tent caterpillar
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  • Image: Linden looper 1
  • Image: Linden looper 2
  • Image: Linden looper 3

Linden looper
Erannis tiliaria

  • Chews portions of leaves; defoliation typically is minor
  • Smooth-bodied with reddish brown head, it is patterned black, gray, yellow, with a light colored underside; moves in characteristic looping motion; 1 ½ inch long
  • Occurs May and June
  • More information on Linden looper
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  • Image: Whitemarked tussock moth 1
  • Image: Whitemarked tussock moth 2
  • Image: Whitemarked tussock moth 3

Whitemarked tussock moth
Orygia leucostigma

  • Young larvae windowpane feed (i.e. feed on one layer of leaf tissue between veins) giving them a lacelike appearance
  • Older larvae consume entire leaves except the midrib and large veins
  • Caterpillars have a red-orange head with two sets of black tufts near the head; yellowish hairy body with distinct tufts of hair resembling a toothbrush on top of the body
  • Full grown larvae are 1 ¼ inches long
  • Damage by 2 generations, first from May to June and a second one from August to September
  • More information on deer injury
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  • Image: Japanese beetle 1
  • Image: Japanese beetle 2
  • Image: Japanese beetle 3

Japanese beetle
Popillia japonica

  • Skeletonizes leaves, i.e. chews leaf tissue between the veins creating a lacelike appearance
  • Attacks are common in sunny locations starting at the top of the plant and working down as they feed
  • Adults are metallic green; bronze wings; white tufts of “hair” along their sides
  • Beetles present as early as late June and are active through September
  • More information on Japanese beetle
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  • Image: Polyphemus caterpillar 1
  • Image: Polyphemus caterpillar 2

Polyphemus caterpillar
Antheraea polyphemus

  • Chews entire sections of leaves; defoliation typically is minor
  • It is pale green with sparse long spines along top and sides of abdomen; grows up to 3 1/2 inches long
  • Becomes a large, attractive moth
  • Occurs in mid to late summer
  • More information on Polyphemus caterpillar
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  • Image: Cecropia caterpillar 1
  • Image: Cecropia caterpillar 2
  • Image: Cecropia caterpillar 3

Cecropia caterpillar
Hyalophora cecropia

  • Chews entire sections of leaves; defoliation typically is minor
  • Light green body with double row of reddish orange knobs on thorax behind head; also series of smaller yellow and blue knobs on abdomen; grows up to 4 inches long
  • Becomes a large, attractive moth
  • Occurs mid to late summer
  • More information on Cecropia caterpillar

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