Currently viewing the category: "Curious World of Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Why not consider a book?

The Curious World of Bugs

It has been ten months since Daniel’s book, The Curious World of Bugs was released by Penguin/Perigee, and sadly, it never hit #1 on any best sellers lists despite the numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon (honestly, none of our friends wrote them).  If you know someone who is interested in things that crawl, consider this as a gift idea and get a copy for your own bookshelf as well.  If you have read the book, consider posting a review on Amazon.  We can’t understand why Martha has still not booked an appearance.
Interestingly, our crack technical staff just informed us that in the past month, nearly 60% of the copies of The Curious World of Bugs that were ordered through our website links came from the Denver, Colorado area.  Can it really be that Denver is ground zero for entomophiles?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Why not consider a book?

The Curious World of Bugs

It has been nine months since Daniel’s book, The Curious World of Bugs was released by Penguin/Perigee, and sadly, it never hit #1 on any best sellers lists despite the numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon (honestly, none of our friends wrote them).  If you know someone who is interested in things that crawl, consider this as a gift idea and get a copy for your own bookshelf as well.  If you have read the book, consider posting a review on Amazon.  We can’t understand why Martha has still not booked an appearance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thanks to John at Alberini’s Restaurant in Niles Ohio, we have decided that The Curious World of Bugs children’s version needs to have full page or even double truck illustrations that may be colored to approximate the coloration and markings of the actual insects in much the same way that Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Books were all hand colored.  Daniel is pitching the idea to his editor Maria Gagliano at Penguin/Perigee.  The coloring book will include 18 pages of identical illustrations of a Cicada with a brief paragraph on each of the 18 Australian Cicadas with names like Yellow Monday, Blue Moon, Green Grocer, Chocolate Soldier and Double Drummer.  See pages 22-25 in The Curious World of Bugs.  Young readers may with adult supervision if necessary, locate images online of the various Cicadas so they might have an original to replicate, or they may just choose to be more creative with the interpretation of the name.  How would you color the Green Grocer Cicada if you had never seen a photograph of one?

Cicada Drawing

We couldn’t resist demonstrating that we are able to color digitally.  And now, The Green Grocer.

The Green Grocer, an Australian Cicada

Daniel Marlos writes in The Curious World of Bugs:  The Bugman’s Guide to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl:  “Green Grocer, Cylochila australasiae: This highly variable cicada has a different common name for each of its color variations, with green being the most common color morph.  The Green Grocer is a reference to the vegetable venders of yore and might refer to the bright color of the insect, which is similar to the color of lightly blanched greens (as opposed to when they’re overcooked.“  Here is a photo of a Green Grocer from our archives and our Bug of the Month posting from December 2010.

Green Grocer Cicada from Australia. Photo by LC

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

If you ever consider writing a children’s book…
June 6, 2011 10:03 pm
I just bought your “Curious World” book in Boston.  Love it.  I am a backyard  organic gardener, bug aficionado, and illustrator of 25 books.  And I live on Santa Monica.  I think you should write a picture book celebrating bugs and I could illustrate it.
Signature: Kathryn Hewitt

Hi Kathryn,
Thanks so much for the compliment.  The circumstances that lead to my writing The Curious World of Bugs was very atypical, and you may read about it here on the Perigee Bookmarks site.  The thought of writing a children’s book is tempting.  I just might consider it.  Perhaps we should continue this dialog offline upon my return from visiting my mother in Ohio for a week.
Daniel

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

digger be mating?
Location: Superior, Az.
March 31, 2011 10:55 pm
Here is a photo I took today (March 31, 2011) in Superior, Az.
To me this looks like a digger bee mating with or riding around on a carpenter bee. They were connected the entire time they flew around the flowers in my yard.
Sexual dimorphism? What do you think?
Signature: T. Stone

Mating Valley Carpenter Bees

Dear T. Stone,
We are positively thrilled to receive your photograph that documents mating Valley Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa varipuncta.  The species does exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism.  The larger black female bee has a much longer lifespan because she must provision the nest with pollen and nectar.  The smaller golden male is quite territorial and aggressive, though he is incapable of stinging.  Females sting reluctantly.  Just yesterday, while working in the garden, we observed a male Valley Carpenter Bee defending his territory near the blossoming sweet peas.  The female Valley Carpenter Bees visit the sweet peas, stealing the nectar, an action described by BugGuide:  “Due to their large size, carpenter bees cannot enter tubelike blossoms such as sage, so they slit the base of corolla, a practice known as ‘stealing the nectar’ (without pollinating the flower). (UC, Davis)”  BugGuide also notes:  “Their eggs are the largest of all insect eggs. The Valley carpenter bee egg can be 15mm long. (UC, Davis)”

Update: April 2, 2011
Since Spring is in the air, we thought we would post this little excerpt from Daniel’s book, The Curious World of Bugs:  “One can’t help but be amused at the certain awkwardness that parents might encounter when using the proverbial bees to explain the facts of life to youngsters.  Most female honeybees are sterile workers that do not mate, the male drones are lazy freeloaders whose sole purpose is to fertilize the queen, and the queen loses her virginity to multiple partners in a short period of time in an insect orgy.  These are hardly the values that responsible parents would want to teach to their impressionable children.”
Ed. Note:  It should be noted that the above description is for the domestic Honey Bee.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees do not need to take multiple mates.  A single insemination is sufficient for her to produce her significantly smaller brood.


Question about Carpenter Bee nests
Male and female  valley carpenter bees
December 10, 2011 1:47 am
I live in highland park, CA.  And after very high winds here recently our tree in the backyard lost some large branches.  I started sawing the branches manually when I heard a distant buzzing sound and when I looked at the other end of the branch about a dozen male and female of these
bees had burrowed into this branch.  I’m wondering if their presence in the tree is killing the tree which helps us all breathe.   I dont want to harm them in any way. How can I gently have them depart the tree so that they may make their home elsewhere? Thank you kindly
Signature: Rey

Greetings Rey,
Our offices are in nearby Mt. Washington.  While we are not debating what you saw, we will challenge your interpretation of what you saw.  Valley Carpenter Bees are solitary bees.  After mating, the female excavates a tunnel in usually dead or dying wood, and then proceeds to construct a number of nursery chambers that each houses a solitary larva.  What you encountered is most likely a recently metamorphosed brood or broods that were uncovered when the tree was damaged.  These bees are not interested in returning to any nest, though a mated female may construct a new nest in the same tree.  Any Valley Carpenter Bee colony would have to be very extensive to kill a tree, however, weakened branches may snap in another wind storm if there is a significant amount of nest excavation.

Update:  March 16, 2014
We learned today that the Valley Carpenter Bee has the largest of all insect eggs that we know about.  According to BugGuide:  “18-26 mm (Largest bees in CA)  Their eggs are the largest of all insect eggs. The Valley carpenter bee egg can be 15mm long. (UC, Davis)”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Daniel Marlos lectures at Theodore Payne Foundation
The Curious World of Bugs with Daniel Marlos
Saturday, May 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
A special lecture on those wondrous creatures called bugs – including native
species that pollinate, predate and mate in the most curious ways, and
exotic species that can wreak havoc in our gardens. Daniel is an artist and
photographer and the author of The Curious World of Bugs: The Bugman’s Guide
to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl
. The program
includes an exploration of Daniel’s popular website, whatsthatbug.com, and
ends with a book-signing.

The Curious World of Bugs

Register early as space is limited.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination