the plum/exo-skelton thingies

Asked August 23, 2015, 8:24 PM EDT

I read your response to the lady concerning Italian plum maggot thingies, and the dried "shells" left on the outside her plums possibly from something else. I also have had many plums softened by the maggots, but I am not concerned. I cut out the soft parts as I am drying the plums in the oven and will be canning plum jellly soon, but I thought that you should consider the left "clothing" of the larvae on the plums: are they not the pupae of lady bugs going onto the adult stage of development?

Snohomish County Washington

3 Responses

I'm having trouble finding the plum question to see what I wrote. So I'm trying to surmise what was said.

Without seeing the "left clothing" it would be hard to tell for sure what they are. Ladybug pupae are a reasonably good guess especially if they are common elsewhere on the plant. The ladybug larvae would NOT go into the fruit but rather crawl about on the surface looking for aphids or other morsels. . If they larva in the fruit was lepidopterous (moth/caterpillar) in the plum, then it could be the pupal case remains from the caterpillar sticking out of a hole in the fruit. The moth pupa would wriggle to the surface and extend itself out of the plum to allow the moth to escape. The two pupae would look different.

Yes, there is the moth "worm" eating on the inside, and the ladybug pupes anchoring on the outside. Two different thingies: one an irritation and the other wanted for pest controll, although, we do tend to be irritated by thingies that we do not know well yet. Perhaps there is some blessing from the moth-plum-eaters that has not been brought to our understanding yet. Thanks and Goodbye.
Dont step on any gum,

You'll soon be a whiz and identifying beneficial insects and there's always help from Master Gardeners or at the Extension office 600 128th St. SE, Everett, WA for identifying pests. Good luck.