From the monthly archives: "July 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange, Large, Winged Bug
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 27, 2013 1:07 pm
Hey Bugman!
We spotted this interesting bug on our large ash tree today. We also found two old exoskeleton skins on the tree. This bugs wings are still crinkled so we suspect it recently shed it’s skin. It seems to have a strange pocket of aqua coloured liquid within one wing, not sure what that’s about. The bug is large, measuring about 1.5 inches (see ruler in the photo). Anyhow, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life and am very curious to know what it is. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Thanks!!
Signature: Nat + Kris

Newly Metamorphosed Cicada

Newly Metamorphosed Cicada

Dear Nat + Chris,
Your photos are related as you suspected.  The insect is a newly metamorphosed Annual Cicada, sometimes called a Dogday Harvestfly, and the exoskeleton is the exuvia or cast off skin left after the nymph metamorphosed into a winged adult.  Cicada nymphs live underground for several years taking nourishment from the roots of trees and shrubs.  Adult Cicadas create quite a din when they call to mates from the treetops.  The Cicada call is a nostalgic summer sound for our editorial staff who now resides in Los Angeles.  The pocket of aqua liquid does not look normal.  Perhaps a wing vein was damaged, releasing fluids.

Cicada Exuvia

Cicada Exuvia

Thanks so much for the quick reply! We have often heard cicadas but never knew what they looked like. Cool!
Nat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange looking bug!
Location: Outdoors
July 27, 2013 8:02 pm
Just wondering what type of big this is. Some friends came across it by their home!
Signature: Thanks

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Eastern Hercules Beetle

The great outdoors is such a big place.  This is an Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus, the heaviest beetle in North America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found it on my pillow
Location: Anaheim, CA
July 27, 2013 12:56 pm
Last night (7/26/13) I was getting ready for bed and went to fluff my pillow. Under the pillow I noticed some specks on the mattress that looked almost like lint. And then a bug crawled out from under the pillow. I caught it and tossed it in a ziploc bag. I did squish it and blood came out. For the past few weeks I have been finding unexplained bites all over my arms and back. I have nee outside a lot and attributed the bites to mosquitoes. Now I am wondering, is this a bed bug?
Signature: Sarah Beth

Bed Bug

Bed Bug

Dear Sarah,
Most requests we get to identify alleged Bed Bugs are for Carpet Beetles or other creatures.  Sadly, this is not the case for you.  This is certainly a Bed Bug and based on the number of bites you have, we fear it is not alone in your bed.  You should seek professional assistance with this situation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: found this
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
July 27, 2013 6:56 pm
I found this in Mexico and would like to know the type of bug this is.
Signature: Dario

Mating Treehoppers

Mating Horseshoe-Shaped  Treehoppers

Dear Dario,
These are Treehoppers in the family Membracidae, and according to BugGuide, they: “differ from related families in having a large pronotum that extends back over the abdomen and (often) covers the head; many species appear humpbacked or thorn-like; others have spines, horns or keels.”  Your individuals are among the most strangely shaped we have seen photos of.  It appears you have also photographed a mating pair.  We found it identified as a Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper,
Sphongophorus ballista, on The Featured Creature

Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper

Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

July 29, 2013
We must be away from the office for several weeks and we will not be checking our mail nor responding to any identification requests or comments.  Please forgive the inconvenience.  We have postdated several submissions to go live each day during our absence so our faithful readers will continue to get new content on a daily basis.  We will return in mid August.  Maybe we will be lucky enough to see a Luna Moth while we are back east.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Update:  18 August, 2013
We’re back, and we are sad to report that we did not see any Luna Moths, however, we did see Fireflies, Tiger Swallowtails and numerous other insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2nd Annual Moth Night
July 27, 2013
Location:  Elyria Canyon Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California

Moth Night Crowd

Moth Night Crowd

The Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance partnered with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and What’s That Bug? on the second annual Moth Night on the evening of Saturday, July 27 in Elyria Canyon Park.  Julian Donahue, retired lepidopterist from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance President Daniel Marlos co-hosted the evening.  The night began with Julian giving a crowd of approximately 50 excited participants some scientific background on moths and their place in the complex ecosystem of plants and animals, including significant predators.  Julian also explained why moths are attracted to lights and discussed the black light and mercury vapor lights being used to attract the moths.

Once the sun set and darkness descended, the creatures of the night began to emerge, and the crowd was thrilled as the sighting of a pair of Great Horned Owls perched in a dead walnut tree and the crowd was mesmerized by the nighttime web building activities of a large nocturnal orb weaving spider.  Then the artificial lights began to attract a variety of small moths and other insects, and excited began to mount among the dozen youngsters, their parents and other adults present at the event.

Though the larger moths that were hoped for including Sphinxes and the Black Witch never materialized, a wealth of small and colorful moths representing the families Tineidae, Tortricidae, Pyralidae, Noctuidae, Acrolophidae and Geometridae.  Of especial note was a beautiful tortricid moth with the metallic band across the forewing, the Filbertworm Moth (Cydia latiferreana). The larvae feed inside acorns (small holes in hollow acorns are where the adults emerged), Catalina Cherries (present in Elyria Canyon) and quite possibly on SoCal black walnut nuts, although this may not have been documented yet.  Another tiny gem was a small pyralid, Dicymolomia metalliferalis, that held its wings with their double staggered row of silver-crowned black spots in a tent-like manner over the body.  The larvae are reported to feed in the seedpods of lupines.

Julian and Daniel look forward to hosting additional nighttime events in Elyria Canyon Park to further expose the curious public to the wealth of life that abounds in one of our local open, natural habitats.

Crowd Gathers around a Mercury Vapor Lamp

Crowd Gathers around a Mercury Vapor Lamp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination