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Garden Pests and Diseases: Tiny translucent worms ate my hibiscus seeds inside out!!!

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Forum: Garden Pests and DiseasesReplies: 6, Views: 39
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birke
Broward County, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 10, 2012
4:17 PM

Post #9237121

Buried the seeds 2 weeks ago with a new opened MG seed starting mix and new opened bag of perlite, mixed equal parts. Within 7 days 2 sprouted and today I got suspicious because none followed. All the other seeds have little holes in them and the ones which weren't totally hollow yet, had 2 or 3 tiny skinny translucent worms in them. In the picture you can see the worm and another in the seed.
Now what happened? Were they in the soil and went in the seeds? That's what I'm thinking and I'm quite angry because those were valuable seeds.

Thumbnail by birke
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9237143

There's a weevil that likes to eat out the innards of hibiscus seeds...here's one thread from the Hibiscus forum that talks about it but I think there have been others a few years ago if you want to go over there and browse around.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1139393/
birke
Broward County, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 10, 2012
7:11 PM

Post #9237279

Thanks for the link, browsed the net as well for those weevils. I'm having doubts though, since I had worms in the seeds, not insect/beetle larvae.
Tryin' to figure out if this was inside the seed or in the soil.
For better views here are the worms blown up and cropped:

Thumbnail by birke   Thumbnail by birke
Click an image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9237284

It's hard to be sure whether the worm is really the culprit in destroying your seeds--could be the worms were just in the soil and the seeds had already been destroyed by the weevils and you just didn't realize it when you planted them?
birke
Broward County, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 11, 2012
8:15 AM

Post #9237684

Could be. The seeds are by the way hibiscus rosa sinensis, not the hibiscus moscheutos, which they other threads were about. And the weevils are predators for those other seeds. If it were the moscheutos seeds, I wouldn't have been so bad, just get new ones and try again. But the tropical hibiscus were special crosses and now they are gone. So I need to find out what those worms are and especially were they came from. Or if it was something else, like you suggested.
birke
Broward County, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 12, 2012
1:02 PM

Post #9239036

Could these be fungus gnats larvae by any chance? I don't have any flying around though...
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 12, 2012
1:21 PM

Post #9239070

How large are your worms? I don't know for sure, but I would expect fungus gnat larvae to be quite tiny & hard to see/photograph, smaller than I think yours probably are. But I really don't know that for sure, it's just a guess.

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