Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Mt. Washington"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The Figeater and the California Mantis:  Drama on the Butterfly Bush
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 17, 2015, 6:30 PM
It has been a hot couple of days in Los Angeles, and our editorial staff has been staying indoors to beat the heat, and we have been reserving the late afternoon and twilight hours for doing yardwork.  A Figeater was noisily circling the yard and it landed on a magenta
Buddleia, so we moved in closer to see if it was eating nectar, and as its bulky weight caused the flower stalk to bob up and down, we spotted a stick moving and we couldn’t help but to wonder what a Walkingstick was doing on the plant.  A closer inspection revealed an immature green California Mantis almost three inches long carefully scrutinizing the Figeater, trying to determine if it would be a good meal.  We knew immediately that the Mantis would not be able to capture the large, heavy beetle, but we thought it was photo worthy anyways, with the two pretty green insects on the magenta blossom, but alas, when we tried to download the images, the card was blank, mysteriously erased, possibly through a camera malfunction or perhaps a computer glitch.  So while you won’t be seeing the image, we thought you might enjoy the account of the sighting.

Figeater (from our archives)

Figeater (from our archives)

Yesterday we trimmed the guajes trees because we didn’t want all the dried seed pods to drop to the ground and we found two immature California Mantids, just under two inches long, one green and one brown, living in the branches.  We relocated them and we noticed that they had grown considerably larger than the little guy we took some images of last month.  We have seen more little mantids this year than we ever remember seeing, so our Southern California drought is not negatively affecting the population in our garden.  After trimming the branches we placed them in the green bin with the lid open in the event any other Mantids were camouflaged among the leaves so that they can find their way to freedom.

Female California Mantis eats Honey Bee (from our archives)

Female California Mantis eats Honey Bee (from our archives)

Subject: Your lost image
Location: South Pasadena
August 17, 2015 10:55 pm
I saw your post about your lost image, and it reminded me of this picture I got in 2011. They seemed not to notice one another. It was a big rose.
Signature: Barbara

Figeater and California Mantis

Figeater and California Mantis

Dear Barbara,
Thanks so much for sending in your image to replace our own lost image.  You mentioned they did not seem to notice one another.  In our case, the Mantis appeared to be stalking the Figeater, but it never struck, perhaps sensing that the Figeater was too large.  We have added your letter and image to the original posting we made rather than to make a unique posting.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 31, 2015 9:46 AM
Several years ago we lamented that we were not able to capture any images of the Western Tiger Swallowtails that fly around the garden.  Today we got some early morning images of this individual.  The morning haze cleared and the sun had just begun to shine.  The Swallowtail was warming in the sun on the cypress, and it appears that it had narrowly escaped at least one predator since not only the swallowtail, but fully half of each of the hind wings is missing.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Sue Dougherty, Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Underwing on the Welcome Mat

Underwing on the Welcome Mat

Subject:  Walnut Underwing visits WTB?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 26, 2015 9:29 PM
We never tire of visits from Walnut Underwings, and we have had more sightings this year than we can ever remember in a season.  We finally got a peep at those brightly colored underwings that give this Noctuoid its common name.

Under side of an Underwing

Under side of an Underwing

Ann Levitsky, Tip Crawford, Carmen Thompson, Sue Dougherty, Norman Gems, Laura Maura, Kitty Heidih liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Do you do Caterpillars?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 13, 2015
Alien on our tomato plant. About 5″ long. 😆
Sarah

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Sarah,
There are two related, similar looking caterpillars that feed on the leaves and occasionally the fruit of tomatoes.  You have the Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, the larva of the Carolina Sphinx, which according to BugGuide, can be recognized by:  ” large green body; dorsal ‘horn’ (usually curved and orange, pink or red) on terminal abdominal segment; up to seven oblique whitish lateral lines, edged with black on upper borders.”  The caterpillar of the similar looking Tomato Hornworm, the caterpillar of the Five Spotted Hawkmoth, can be distinguished from the previous, according to BugGuide, because:  “The caterpillar has eight v-shaped stripes rather than the seven diagonal stripes of the similar Tobacco Hornworm (larva of Carolina Sphinx). The horn is also straight and blue-black rather than orange, yellow red. Unfortunately many images of these caterpillars found on the internet are misidentified. “

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Subject:  Ten Lined June Beetle in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
June 13, 2015 7:30 AM
Since we are in a drought, we are trying to be creative about saving water and keeping the garden from dying.  Though we are contemplating a grey water reclamation system, that requires some expense, but we have implemented several efforts to conserve.  We save shower water in a five gallon bucket and we save water from washing dishes in a big pot.  We then manually dump that water in the yard.  This morning while emptying the pot from the sink, we spotted this gorgeous Ten Lined June Beetle,
Polyphylla decemlineata, on the screen door.  We have been in Mount Washington for twenty years and this is a first for us, though we are no stranger to Ten Lined June Beetles in Pasadena.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “They are attracted to light at night and are seen frequently at night in the San Gabriel Mountains and, occasionally, in nearby foothill communities.”  We are going to contact local lepidopterist Julian Donahue to see if he knows of any previous Mount Washington sightings.

Ten Lined June Beetle

Ten Lined June Beetle

Boris, our office cat, was quite enthralled with the large Ten Lined June Beetle on the screen door.  Adult Ten Lined June Beetles feed on pine needles, and there are two large pines on the grounds.  We didn’t want to disturb the critter for a closer look, but the antennae indicates this might be a male.

Ten Lined June Beetle

Ten Lined June Beetle

i’ve never seen these locally.
the closest location i can recall is seeing them on the carrizo plain.
nice photo of boris the toe biter, too!
Clare Marter Kenyon

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 10, 2015
Summer is the time of year the Walnut Underwings visit our porch light, and we already sighted a more tattered individual earlier this year, but this beauty spent the entire day resting on the wooden siding.  The next night it was fluttering at the light.  We were concerned that it was not going about its normal activities, so we captured it and released it to a darker part of the garden.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination