Aphids on dandelions?

While making rounds in the yard today I pulled up a dandelion seedhead with a profusion of small, dark spots on the stalk.
The spots turned out to be tiny insects, resembling aphids, but very dark in color and making a reddish stain when squashed.
This happened on only one of many (hundreds? thousands??) dandelion seedheads pulled in the last couple of years.
A fairly careful web search of "dandelion parasites" and related keyword combinations produced no hint of what bugs eat dandelions. Does anybody know? They seemed to be confined to the dandelion, with a preference for the seed stalk.
If they're not aphids they might be worth encouraging.
Thanks for reading,
bob prohaska
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On 4/26/2017 9:52 PM, bob prohaska wrote:

Maybe chiggers.
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bob prohaska wrote:

could be aphids. they can be many colors.
i like dandelions, the bunnies seem to like them too as they eat the leaves. Mum mows the flowers before they can set seeds and scatter more, but i think it is overall yet another one of those pointless lawn things that so many people worry about. you are not going to ever get rid of them. live and let live, eat them, make dandelion wine or just mow often enough that they don't set seeds.
the other day we drove by acres and acres of them in some fields in bloom, very pretty.
songbird
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And bees love them , they make an excellent honey .
--
Snag



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On 4/26/2017 9:52 PM, bob prohaska wrote:

The first thing that comes to mind when I read those words is 'red spider mites'. A bit of study with a good magnifier can resolve the problem -- aphids are clearly insects and have six legs while mites are arachnids and have eight legs. Either way, controlling them is difficult even under good conditions. I've had aphid infestations in Alaska that were killing full-grown birch trees and spider mites that attacked various indoor succulent plants. The former finally yielded to very toxic systemic poisons while the latter required repeated full immersions in milder control agents.
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On 4/27/2017 10:08 AM, John McGaw wrote:

Thread reminds me of a friend having trouble with biting insects in his lawn. He had a lawn maintenance contract and asked them for help to control them. They said, sorry we are only responsible for the health of your lawn.
OP can google up chiggers and spider mites. He should have posted and given url to picture.
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That is the best guess so far. I've seen them only once, on a single dandelion stalk. The novelty didn't dawn on me until considerably after the fact, so I didn't take any photos. If they turn up again I'll try to put an image on my server. At this point I hope they don't.
Thanks for a most informative reply!
bob prohaska
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bob prohaska wrote: ...

the diversity of mites is very interesting.
pesticides rarely are worth it with them either but you may need a more diverse population if you do have problems with them, because there are predatory mites which will feed on the others and keep a dynamic system functioning.
if you have a failure in diversity the answer is not to spray, but to increase diversity by finding a functional system and adopt a bit of it. :) often woodland detritus is a good source...
songbird
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Just to wrap things up, I got a better look today and it's fairly clear I'm seeing aphids. The color fooled me, every aphid I can remember before these was green; it never occured to me they could be any other color 8-)

I tend to agree. Over the past nine years I've owned the house, pests (apart from roof rats, snails and cockroaches) seem to be self-regulating. The cockroaches haven't gotten bad this year, but it's still early in the warmup cycle.

Alas, there's no escaping the effects of suburbia where I live. I can _try_ to discourage snails by watering less and more selectively, but the snails just become commuters from the adjacent yards.
Overall, it seems the best approach is to go with what works. The lawn is turning into a cover crop, comprised of what will grow readily and won't offend the neighbors or me. Citrus seems to work decently and I'm playing with avocados, which are a long shot. Mostly I have an orchard whose only product is shade....
Thanks for replying!
bob prohaska

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On Sat, 29 Apr 2017 01:59:23 +0000 (UTC), bob prohaska

Snails are very easy to be rid of, saucers of beer.

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bob prohaska wrote:
...

what little of the lawn here that is left has hardly ever been weeded and never fertilized. the bunnies seem to eat most of the weeds at times and we otherwise mow it frequently enough that it looks just fine to me. not that i care much. it has all sorts of stuff growing in it. i'd be perfectly happy if it contained no grass at all (i'm allergic to the pollen) i seem to spend a lot of time weeding grass sprouts out of the many gardens here.
avocado and mango would be nice but they'd never grow this far north. :)
songbird
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You should not be encountering grass pollen in a mowed lawn.
This is from Google:
Lawns are often blamed for causing allergies but the right lawn is actually a powerful allergy suppressor. The best lawn grasses either do not bloom at all or will not bloom (and produce pollen)...

A lawn full of mangos?
--
Dan Espen

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Dan Espen wrote:

...

no, but the roadsides are not mowed often nor the edges of the ditch nor the field out back nor ... pollen blows on the wind. when the dandelions bloom is when some of the grasses start to bloom and also when the maple trees are the worst and the lilacs come out. all of these are hell for me but luckily i get over them. if the breeze is the right direction i get all of them at once and carry a towel around with me to blow my noze.
when i come in from outside i wash my face and rinse out my eyes, nose and sinuses and that really helps. i don't take any meds.

some of the grass in our lawn (i don't know where it came from) blooms early and sets seed before the snows are even done.

mango mania! i love mango salsa.
songbird
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replying to bob prohaska, Rebby wrote: the aphids are black because they are parasitized by wasp larvae (i know, gross). normally they would be green, but the larvae inside their bodies turn them black.
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Am 27.04.2017 um 03:52 schrieb bob prohaska:

Maybe these aphids? (But there are no aphids) :-) :
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dldtbatc6pke5p6/Rasenl%C3%A4use%20am%20Ort.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1j6xpl9jnr3rtrh/Rasenl%C3%A4use%20Scan.jpg?dl=0
If so, under my microscope they looked like this:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wbk3qouyw5sdb3j/AABeGGLjxMIdo-M4dG7WlZX6a?dl=0
It is obviously slime fungi of the genus Badhamia, as the Google image search reveals:
https://www.google.de/search?q dhamia&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved hUKEwjuwfu4p_HTAhXCIMAKHWuzC_EQ_AUICigB&biw!44&bih66
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badhamia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badhamia
Which of the 30-31 species is involved, I do not want anymore know exactly, but Badhamia utricularis should be at least a close Being relatives:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badhamia_utricularis
Very interesting species that are neither animal nor plant and also no mushrooms!
--
Best regards from Muenster, Germany,
Kalle
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