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Bottlebrush Grass

Elymus hystrix


The caterpillars of a butterfly, Enodia anthedon (Northern Pearly Eye), feed on foliage of Bottlebrush Grass, as do larvae of the leaf-mining moths Elachista epicmicta, Elachista illectella, Elachista leucofrons, Elachista orestella, and Elachista praelineata. Other insects that feed on this grass include the stem-boring larvae of Papaipema cerina (Golden Borer Moth), the leaf-mining larvae of a Scythrid moth, Asymmetrura graminivorella, the leaf-mining larvae of a leaf beetle, Chalepus walshii, and the leaf-mining larvae of a fly, Cerodontha angulata. Other insects that feed on Elymus spp. in shaded or partially shaded areas include two aphids, Carolinaia howardii and Carolinaia rhois, and two leafhoppers, Elymana acuma and Sorhoanus orientalis. These grasses are summer hosts of the aphids. Among vertebrate animals, the seeds of Elymus spp. are eaten by the White-footed Mouse, while the foliage, prior to the development of the seedheads, is edible to livestock. Because of their long awns, the seedheads of these grasses, including those of Bottlebrush Grass, can cause mechanical injury to livestock.

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Spotted by

Wisconsin, USA

Spotted on Sep 13, 2015
Submitted on Oct 19, 2016

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