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

Subject: Moth
Location: Brisbane
November 30, 2016 3:46 am
Huge moth dog was trying to get. Was wondering what it is?
Signature: Shaun

Giant Wood Moth we believe

Giant Wood Moth we believe

Dear Shaun,
We believe this is a Giant Wood Moth in the family Cossidae, possibly Endoxyla macleayi which is pictured on Butterfly House, though there are other similar looking species in the same genus.  We would not rule out that it might be a Ghost Moth in the family Hepialidae, a very similar looking family that is well represented on Butterfly House, and we should also point out that other members of the family Cossidae are represented on Butterfly House.  We have difficulty distinguishing between the two families.  Caterpillars of Wood Moths are known as Witchety Grubs.  Because of your timely submission, we have selected this posting as our Bug of the Month for December 2016.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black ant or wasp?
Location: MOunt Washinton/Los Angeles, Calif.
October 30, 2016 9:29 pm
Found this in my house on Mount Washington today. Don’t recall ever seeing one like this in the area in 50+ years living up here, but I do recall seeing them in more arid desert and forest areas of the Southwest. I just had guests from Henderson Nevada this weekend and suspect that it is a traveler from their belongings. I have it saved in a jar and is close to expiring when I came across it.
Thank you.
Signature: Rene Zambrano

Devil's Coachhorse

Devil’s Coachhorse

Dear Rene,
Though it does not look very beetle-like, this Devil’s Coachhorse is actually a Rove Beetle.  The Devil’s Coachhorse is a European species not native to North America, but it was probably introduced as far back as the 1930s and it is very well established.  We have frequent sightings of Devil’s Coachhorses in our own Mount Washington garden where they are eagerly welcomed as they are one of the few predators that will eat non-native snails and slugs.  When threatened, the Devil’s Coachhorse rears up its abdomen like a scorpion and releases a foul smell, but it is a harmless species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  From our personal email account.

Subject:  Tarantula in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 23, 2016
Daniel,
Can you ID this spider from this photo? S/he was not seeming well when Mark saw her – in a glass bowl on the porch, where she must have fallen 🙁
S/he’s much livlier since we gave her water and tiny crickets…Poor thing, I have no idea how long s/he was there.
Julian and I both think s/he looks more like a tarantula than a trapdoor spider.
c.

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Clare,
We agree with you and Julian that this is a Tarantula, and we are happy to hear it is recovering considering it looks dead in your image.  Female Tarantulas are reluctant to leave their burrows, and the males, which do not live as long, seek mates when the first rains of the season occur, much like related Trapdoor Spiders.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “Local hill residents are sometimes shocked to find a giant hairy spider crawling about their pations on a late summer’s eve.  Few Angelenos realize that tarantulas are permanent inhabitants of the dry grass and brush-covered hillsides of the basin.”  We also realize that habitat loss within the city is a contributing factor in reduced populations of Tarantulas, but your proximity to Rainbow Canyon Park and other preserved open space parks in the neighborhood is a good indication that local activism is having a positive impact on native species.  Hogue recognizes two species in Los Angeles,
 Aphonopelma eutylenum and Aphonopelma reversum.  We suspect your individual is most likely Aphonopelma eutylenum which is pictured on BugGuide, and which according to Hogue has males maturing in the fall.  Please keep us posted on this poor Tarantula’s recovery.

Thank you for the information. The tarantula is making a good recovery! We gave him (I decided he’s a male) water, which he  drank; then, three little crickets – of which he has eaten one. I just checked on him and he has buried himself under a combination of small wood chip/mulch and gossamer! So, I think he is recuperating well.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Superb spider on my milk weed
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 16, 2016 2:21 PM
Hi Daniel,
I can’t believe how long it has been since we spoke.  …
I think you are going to like my yellow and black spider on the bright milkweed.
See you soon.
Hug,
Monique

Whitebanded Crab Spider

Whitebanded Crab Spider

Dear Monique,
This beautiful Crab Spider looks like one of many color variations possible for a female Whitebanded Crab Spider,
Misumenoides formosipes, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “The identifying characteristic, according to Florida’s Fabulous Spiders, is a white ridge on the spider’s face below the eyes. Can be either white or yellow. Most sources say this is a response to its surroundings, but I did find one claim that color depended on whether the egg was laid on a yellow or white-flowered plant.”  Crab Spiders in the family Thomisidae do not build webs to snare prey.  They are often found perched on blossoms where they wait for prey to be attracted to the nectar, ambushing the unsuspecting pollinating insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Two Male California Mantids at the WTB? office
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 8, 2016 10:37 AM
We found so many immature California Mantids in our primrose patch this spring and summer after we found several oothecae while pruning last year, so we are thrilled to have gotten a visit from two adult winged males this morning.  This is not the first time they have been attracted to the porch light. Hopefully there are some female California Mantids lurking, well camouflaged, in our garden.

Male California Mantid (shot through window)

Male California Mantid (shot through window)

Male California Mantid

Male California Mantid

The other male California Mantid

The other male California Mantid

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