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

Subject:  Bee Flies are Dipalta serpentina
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
September 17, 2016 1:30 PM
Earlier in the week, we posted an image of a Bee Fly we identified as
Villa lateralis and we wrote about a brown Bee Fly that we were unable to capture as an image.  Well, today we took several images of the same brown Bee Fly species, and as the afternoon progressed, we got additional images.  At one point, we got images of four individuals taking nectar from the blooming chives, and after putting the camera away, we spotted a fifth individual.  We are relatively certain we have correctly identified these Bee Flies as Dipalta serpentina thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “For many years it was stated that Dipalta were parasitoids of antlion larvae. …  However, the 1989 paper by Leech & Leech demonstrated a clear instance of Dipalta serpentina parasitizing the pupal stage of an antlion (rather than the larval stage). D. serpentina might also parasitizes antlion larvae, though it seems to be in question (earlier observers may have not observed carefully enough to distinguish between larval & pupal parasitism).”

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Bee Fly

Two Bee Flies

Two Bee Flies

And then there were four Bee Flies

And then there were four Bee Flies

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee Fly, Villa lateralis
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
September 13, 2016 5:20 PM

Bee Fly:  Villa lateralis

Bee Fly: Villa lateralis

Late this afternoon, I noticed one more brown Bee Fly and two other black and white Bee Flies, that all looked quite similar except for the coloration, in a sunny area getting the late afternoon light.  The two black and white individuals were buzzing one another near the blossoming chives.  By the time I returned with the camera, only one individual remained, and we are pretty certain we have correctly identified it as Villa lateralis, first on the Natural History of Orange County site and then on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Widely distributed in North America including Puerto Rico and South to Panama.”  Upon viewing the other members of the genus on BugGuide, we can’t help but to wonder if the brown Bee Fly we saw was the related Villa miscella.  Though we did not get an image, our memory was of it having brown on the wings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Invasive Argentine Ants
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 27, 2016
Dating back to our relocation to Los Angeles in 1980, the editorial staff of What’s That Bug? has been plagued by colonies of invasive Argentine Ants, Iridomyrmex humilis.  If we had the time to devote ourselves to the elimination of one invasive species in California, it would be the Argentine Ant.  They are a pervasive pest species that we have always believed are the same Ants that play such an important role in the magnificent 20th Century novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez when they carry off a newborn baby.  Argentine Ants are most troublesome in the summer, during the hottest days when they enter homes to find water, but swarm around cat food, any sweets or fatty foods left out, or any dead bugs that ended their lives as cat toys.  We believe they are one of the biggest threats to native species wherever they proliferate.  According to Clemson University:  “Argentine ants are not native to the United States.  They were introduced to the US probably on coffee ships from Brazil and Argentina through the port of New Orleans sometime before 1891. They spread rapidly on commercial shipments of plants and other materials.  Now Argentine ants are found throughout most of the southern states and California, with isolated infestations in a few other areas.  Argentine ants have been very successful.  They are common in urban areas and can nest in diverse types of habitats. They can produce large numbers of offspring and survive on a wide variety of food. They often live on friendly terms with other neighboring colonies of the same species, but may eliminate some other ant species.”  Argentine Ants farm Aphids and move them from plant to plant.  We have also found Argentine Ants associated with other pestiferous Hemipterans that secrete honeydew.  We would love to hear any control methods our readers can provide.  Wayne’s Word also has some interesting information, including:  “Best Method Of Argentine Ant Eradication  Place outdoor ant bait stations such as Terro® along major ant trails in your yard. This is probably better than using insecticidal sprays. Smaller, indoor bait stations are also effective placed along ant trails in your home (out of the reach of children and pets). The active ingredients of Terro® is 5.40 percent sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Borax) which is lethal to ants. This salt upsets their digestive system and causes death due to dehydration and starvation. According to Jonathan Hatch (“How to Get Rid of Argentine Ants” ), dehydration and recrystallization of the ‘boric acic’ (borax?) lacerates the digestive system of ants and their larvae. There are many recipes on the Internet that include mixing borax with a sugary solution. Terro bait stations contain this mixture in convenient disposable plastic trays. It is important for the ants to carry the liquid back to their nest. Borax recipes only contain about 5 percent borax so that ants are not killed immediately. One tablespoon of borax in a cup of water is approximately a 5% solution. You must be patient–this treatment may take several days to a week. In fact, you may need to replenish you bait stations! Some websites state that boric acid is a more effective ant insecticide, but this is debatable. Boric acid is made by reacting borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) with an inorganic acid, such as hydrochloric acid (HCl).”

Argentine Ants eat Orbweaver

Argentine Ants eat Orbweaver

WE cannot say for certain if the Argentine Ants played a role in the death of this Orbweaver, but since Orbweavers are somewhat helpless when they are not in their webs, it is possible that this large spider was overcome by marauding Argentine Ants and killed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Subject:  Sand Wasps attracted to Mint
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 20, 2016
The mint is continuing to attract Honey Bees as well as Skippers, Marine Blues, Syrphid Flies and some gorgeous wasps, like this Sand Wasp in the genus
Bembix.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Usually sandy areas; nest holes are dug in the sand; best opportunity to observe individuals is on dunes or where vegetation is sparse.”  BugGuide continues:  “Females provision their nest with flies which the larvae feed on (a single developing larva may eat more than twenty flies)” and “Provisioning is progressive. The females provide a greater number of prey over subsequent days during larval growth. Adults are excellent diggers and can disappear below the surface of loose sand within seconds.”

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

Sand Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Subject:  Female Scarab Hunter Wasp
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 18, 2016 9:30 AM
Just as we were leaving the office today to gawk at the guerilla art Donald Trump sculpture at Wacko (see LA Times or LAist ), we had to make a slight delay to take some images of this gorgeous female Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Campsomeris tolteca, nectaring on the flowering peppermint.  We first identified this species four years ago in Elyria Canyon Park.  Alas, the statue was in for the night, so we will have to return to Wacko during business hours.   Our identification of the female Scarab Hunter Wasp can be verified on BugGuide.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ten-Lined June Beetle
Location: Glendale, California
July 15, 2016 6:41 am
My sister sent me this image while at a railroad museum in Glendale. She said a little boy was harassing it when she came across it, which is why its wings are like that, I assume. Your site helped me identify it as a male. I think its beautiful.
Signature: JB from Vegas

Ten Lined June Beetle from Glendale

Ten Lined June Beetle from Glendale

Dear JB,
You are correct that this is a male Ten Lined June Beetle, but we wonder if the railroad museum you mentioned is Traveltown in Griffith Park which is in Los Angeles near the Glendale Border.  We are also including an image of a Ten Lined June Beetle we shot last night on our screen door with this posting.  Last year was the first time we have found a Ten Lined June Beetle in Mount Washington in the 21 years we have lived here, and it is now our third sighting of this year with the other two being females.  These sightings at our office represent either a range expansion, or a reintroduction of a previously extirpated species.

Ten Lined June Beetle from Mount Washington

Ten Lined June Beetle from Mount Washington

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination