Euphoria and home grown tomatoes

This summer we grew a bunch of tomatoes in the garden. Kelly made bunches of tomato 2013-09-09 17.09.00-1sauce (via the Steve Bouffard secret recipe), and we generally enjoyed the heck out of fresh tomatoes. An unknown someone else was enjoying the tomatoes too. The tomatoes would be partially chewed and left on the vine. At first I blamed those darn birds, but the damage didn’t look beak inflicted. Then I blamed the squirrels, but we don’t ever see squirrels in the back yard. The lack of frass was ruling out the usual insect culprits, and there were quite a few damaged tomatoes. In July Kelly found one Euphoria sepulcralis in a tomato, but who would blame Euphoria? Well, then we found more and as they say in crime novels: “the jig is up, see”.

Why were these beautiful flower scarabs molesting our tomatoes? University of Florida lists a Solanum species as a host for Euphoria sepulcralis and in general shows them to be quite naughty and pestiferous. Luckily we planted enough tomatoes to share a few. Perhaps feeding on our tomatoes made them a little more fecund, and 2014 will have even more Euphoria for us to enjoy!

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