Redbud Community

The redbud sapling that John Hart gave me about 25 years ago is now a good-sized tree. It is responsible for quite a number of species I've seen near it. It actually hangs slightly over the pond. Under it are a few New England Asters, and some other plants. Two years ago when I saw the first one (I was so excited), I watched it like a hawk. Finally I found a few more, and last year (2015) there were a plethora of them in the spring. These treehoppers communicate (including finding a mate) by vibrations through the stems. Although they feed on redbud sap, they don't seem to hurt the tree much.

Here's the colony in 2015.

On the asters beneath the redbud, I found this long-horned beetle whose larvae are said to "feed on dead bits of redbud, while the adults frequent flowers." (from And on the ground cover, here is a redbud bruchid, a kind of legume weevil that feeds on seeds inside pods. (This is the first I knew that a redbud is a legume.) These little guys will be found on goldenrod later. Here is what I used to think was a kind of gall underneath a redbud leaf. But it turns out to be an egg mass for Assassin Bugs, genus Zelus!

A few other insects that I first saw on or under the redbud but don't know of any firm connection: This differently shaped treehopper, a Telamona, is not a redbud specialist, so is probably just visiting; This spittlebug is very much like the alder spittlebug; This tiny moth is Palthis angulalis, the Dark-spotted Palthis. It feeds on woody shrubs(maybe redbud?), asters and goldenrod. So it may actually overlap several communities.

In the summer of 2020, I was visiting Kathleen Seidl and admiring her lovely garden, when suddenly we spied a pile of Stink Bug eggs on a leaf of her Redbud tree. Picture 1 shows them with their newly hatched nymphs at 11 am; picture 2 at about 4 pm, when one has already shed its first skin. Picture 3 shows one of the babies moulting its first skin.

Here they are, climbing up a stem. And last, the adult Green Stink Bug!

I want to go back to one of these examples to show you how a certain community may attract all your attention for a block of time.

Redbud Treehoppers
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