You just found some odd worms eating holes in your maple tree leaves. How do you know what they are?
Until now, you could only search for an expert, visit the library or take a guess.
Now, though, you have the knowledge and photographs of the South's best experts at your fingertips -- if your fingertips rest on a computer keyboard.
The Southern Forest Insect Work Conference, a group of forest entomologists, has put 200 full-color images of forest insects and damage on two CD-ROM disks.
They added a full-color booklet that includes:
* Thumbnail photos of the images.
* Scientific and common names.
* Descriptions of the images.
* The photographers' names and affiliations.
The two-volume set is entitled 'Forest Insects and Their Damage.'
"This CD-ROM set is ... unique in the world as far as we know," said Keith Douce, a University of Georgia Extension Service entomologist.
Douce coordinated the 18-month project. He worked with Extension computer specialist B.T. Watson and forester David Moorhead. The project was supported by the conference and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Forest Health Unit, in Atlanta.
G.J. Lenhard, a Louisiana State University research entomologist and curator of the conference slide series, provided many slides.
Entomologists now have a quick, accurate resource to help identify insects. In fact, orders have already been shipped to New York, Canada, Vermont, Oregon and throughout the South.
But it isn't just for professional entomologists and foresters. Teachers, landowners, commercial pesticide applicators, journalists and others can use it, too.
The CD-ROM set can be used with any software that supports the Kodak Photo CD (.PCD) format. The Kodak Access software included with the CDs works with PC and Mac.
To order a set for $25, contact Douce at P.O. Box 1209, Tifton, GA 31793. Or phone (912) 386-3424. Or fax (912) 386-7133.
Georgia county Extension agents will also use the CD-ROM set as a quick teaching and identification aid for the public.
As for those odd worms on your maple tree? Check out slide number 15, showing the green-striped mapleworm larva.