Staining associated with Oxhorn bucida (“Black Olive”) trees (Bucida buceras): The caterpillar and eriophyid mite connection

Douglas L. Caldwell


Oxhorn bucida (Bucida buceras L.), also known as black olive, is used as a shade tree in southern Florida landscapes and street plantings. One negative aspect associated with this tree is a rusty staining of driveways and other objects beneath the canopy. This report documents that the objectionable staining is not caused so much by the normal fruit or foliage, but rather is the result of a series of arthropod infestations. Observations reveal the dark staining is associated with frass from a noctuid caterpillar, Characoma nilotica, which feeds on the foliage and flowers and also bores into the string bean-like galls caused by an eriophyid mite, Eriophyes buceras Cromroy.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283