Mourning Cloak, Harbinger of Spring
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 29, 2015 8:50 AM
For the past few sunny days, we have observed Mourning Cloaks flying in the yard.  Just yesterday we watched two battling for territory.  This morning we were lucky to have a camera handy while walking into Elyria Canyon Park in Mount Washington.  We watched this freshly eclosed beauty soaking in the sun, but it flew as we approached.  We only got so close as it perched on the Wild Cucumber climbing a fence, but it soon alighted again on a nearby endangered California Black Walnut.  We knew this individual was probably a young specimen because those that hibernate through the winter often have tattered wings.

Mourning Cloak with Wild Cucumber

Mourning Cloak with Wild Cucumber

Mourning Cloak on California Black Walnut

Mourning Cloak on California Black Walnut

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange bug?
Location: CA
March 29, 2015 12:02 pm
my name is Lauren
as I was walk in home from church today I discovered an interesting bug. I was wondering if you could help on enlightening me? It looks like a nymph, but I know those are restricted to water.
thank you much,
Signature: Lauren Haldeman

Cicada Exuvia

Cicada Exuvia

Dear Lauren,
This is the exuvia or shed exoskeleton of a Cicada.  Immature Cicadas, known as nymphs, live underground and they dig to the surface just prior to the final molt, leaving behind the exuvia and flying off as winged adults.  All insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis have immature stages known as nymphs.  Naiad is a term specific for a water nymph.

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Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Granada hills
March 28, 2015 10:36 pm
Very fluffy, and about the length of my thumb ( 2 inches)
Signature: Any

Woolly Bears

Woolly Bears

Dear Any,
These are Woolly Bears, the caterpillars of Tiger Moths in the subfamily Arctiinae.  If Granada Hills is in California, the most likely candidates are Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillars,
Arachnis picta, which are pictured on the Victorian on the Move blog, but interestingly, not on BugGuide, except for newly hatched individuals.  Your individuals are getting ready to pupate based on the size you indicated.  We just encountered two in our own garden yesterday, and had we realized the dearth of images on the web, we would have pulled out the camera.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Art bug?
Location: Jordan Valley, Israel
March 29, 2015 12:30 am
Hi Bugman,
I found this beauty on the front fender of an ATV while ona jeep trip in the Jordan Valley yesterday.
I took a picture and then let him go (a safe distance from the ATV).
I didn’t find anything on my morning research session, but I’ll keep trying. My main source of Israel Insect information is the Israel Insect World website, but there are no photos of bug nymphs on it.
Any ideas?
Signature: Ben from Israel

Stink Bug Nymph

Stink Bug Nymph

Hi Ben,
This is an immature Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and based on its size, it is a very early instar.  It is possible that its markings and coloration may change during each of its five instar phases, and it is also possible that there is great variation within a species.  With all that said, we were unable to locate a species match during a quick internet search.

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Subject: what is this?
Location: Southern Illinois
March 28, 2015 6:48 pm
Went on a walk through a wooded area in southern Illinois and saw this insect. I’m not quite sure what it is and I’ve looked all over the internet. Picture taken 3/28/15.
Signature: Megan

Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Parasitic Wood Wasp Resembles Black and Red Horntail

Dear Megan,
Wow, this one has us confused.  It seems to resemble the Black and Red Horntail,
Urocerus cressoni, but there are too many inconsistencies for us to be sure.  The Black and Red Horntail is described on BugGuide as being:  “head, thorax and wings black, abdomen red (amount of red variable), two pale spots behind the eyes, antennae black with white tips.”  Additionally, the black and white legs are evident in images on BugGuide.  We cannot make out the “pale spots behind the eyes” in your image, and it also appears that the antennae are tipped in black.  There is no obvious ovipositor, so it could be a male of the species, however, March is many months earlier than all the sightings documented on BugGuide.  With all that said, we do not believe this is a Black and Red Horntail, but we cannot provide any other possibility at this time.  We are posting your image and we hope to get some input from our readership.

Eric Eaton Responds
This is a tough one.  Near as I can tell, though, it is a parasitic wood wasp in the family Orussidae:
They are common, but not seen very often.  They are related to sawflies, but instead of being vegetarians in the larval stage, they are parasites of wood-boring insects, especially beetles.  This one might be ovipositing.
The curly antennae are the best clue here, but the angle is awkward and I’d like to see other images, if there are any, before offering a definitive ID.  I’ll stand by Orussus sp. for now, though.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

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Subject: strange beetle
Location: southeastern Idaho
March 28, 2015 8:06 pm
I keep finding these beetles in my bathroom, and I’ve never seen them before.
Signature: mrs. Payne


White Marked Spider Beetles

Dear Mrs. Payne,
These are Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae, and they resemble the Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata, but they seem very small and Idaho is considerably west of their range as listed on BugGuide, so normally we would discount that as a possibility but for one bit of information posted on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Notorious for emerging from furniture after as many as 10-40 yrs.  Delayed emergence of E. quadrigeminata was discovered from a birch bookcase 40 years old (Jaques 1918).”  Larvae from this family are wood borers, often remaining in the larval stage feeding for several years.  If infested lumber is milled and turned into paneling or furniture, it is possible that the larvae might survive, and individuals in that situation may emerge many years later and they are often considerably smaller than individuals that develop in nature.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include a wide variety of hardwoods (oak, ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, maple, elm, beech, cherry); larvae bore in heartwood.”  It is possible that you bought a piece of furniture made from one of those trees that was milled in the normal range of the Ivory Spotted Beetle, and that could explain its presence in Idaho.  That is speculation on our part and the beetles you found might actually be a local species, but at this time, we have not been able to find a likely candidate.  We will seek a second opinion on this from Eric Eaton and our readers might also be able to provide some other information.


Whitemarked Spider Beetle

Eric Eaton Responds
Way too tiny for Ivory-marked Longhorn, but I see the resemblance otherwise.
These are spider beetles, family Ptinidae.  Probably the White-marked Spider Beetle, Ptinus fur.  Here’s the Bugguide page:
I rarely see these, but they are well-known “stored product pests.”
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

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