From the monthly archives: "May 2007"

Unknown beetle
Dear Sir,
My mom says this is a Japanese beetle, which would be a bad thing. The Japanese Beetles I have seen on the internet seem to have brown wings, and mine was more green all over, but with iridescent wings. Can you tell me what this is? Thank you! Sincerely,
Melora Campbell

Hi Melora,
You are correct. This is not a Japanese Beetle. It is a Dogbane Beetle, Chrysochus auratus. Unlike the Japanese Beetle which will eat leaves and blossoms from countless 1000s of plants, the Dogbane Beetle feeds exclusively on the leaves of plants in the Dogbane family Apocynaceae.

Fungus Beetles
You guys have a great site! I found a dead tree while hiking near Colorado Springs today that had 50-100 of these beetles on it. Many of them were copulating (sorry I didn’t get pics for your insect sex page). I’ve seen them before and wondered what they were. After looking through 6 pages of beetle pics I finally found it. Thanks so much! Further research seems to say that the scientific name has changed to Gibbifer californicus, but it is definitely the right beetle. I’m attaching a picture even though the one you have is probably better.

Hi Heidi,
Thank you for taking the time to forward your photo of a Pleasing Fungus Beetle. We think is is quite good.

help identify?
Hi there, I spent a lot of time on your site but can not find another spider that resembles the one I have outside. It is quite large, 2 inches end to end, and not afraid of being moved around. He was on the screen tent in the yard, climbing all over it. I live in south-central Ontario. Any help is appreciated, since he is hanging out so close to the house, I want to know if it is a safe neigbour seeing as it is so BIG! Thanks!

Hi Sara,
What a marvelous specimen of a female Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness her spin her nursery web and guard her eggs. She is harmless and you have nothing to fear.

After researching to find out what name this moth is from your website, I wanted to say, this Luna Moth was on my screen door here in Sault Ste Marie, ON. I was curious to know how far north do these Luna Moths go? I see your recipients are from the USA, and wonder if this one has traveled too far?
Have a good day,
Helga MacKenzie
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario Canada

Hi Helga,
Thanks for sending us your Luna Moth image. Luna Moths are quite common in Maine and they also range into Southern Canada.

Emerald Ash Borer
Dear Bugman
Thanks for making Emerald Ash Borer the bug of the month. This will help folks learn more about this pest and maybe discover new sites where it has become established and report them. Attached is an old photo of them mating and a good close up shot. Remember-Don’t Move Infested Wood! Keep up the good work
Brian Sullivan
Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist

Hi again Brian,
Thanks for sending us another wonderful image to better help our readers identify the Emerald Ash Borers.

Carpenter Bees
I bet you guys have fun on your sight. I thought you might like the attached photo of a male and female carpenter bee from El Paso, TX. The differing colors are great. I believe them to be a Xylocopa species. According to John L. Neff of the Central Texas Melittological Institute in Austin, it is either X. varipuncta (your Valley Carpenter Bee) or more likely, X. mexicanorum, given distribution records. The picture was taken on Feb 19, 2005, which is a bit early for them to be out and about (they usually show up, based on my recollection, about April and May). They were rather lethargic for quite some time despite that it was not cold (upper 70s that day). The tree is a “Mexican Elder”, my wife tells me a Sambucus mexicana, though she is not sure. The site is: El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, 2 miles n. of downtown.
Glenn Davis

Hi Glenn,
Thank you so much for sending in the gorgeous photo.

Ed. Note: When this image arrived last spring, we fell in love with it. We are always cheered by the presence of these large lumbering black female Valley Carpenter Bees in our garden each spring. They frequent the sweet peas and the honeysuckle. The female bees remain in the garden most of the summer. One year a bee nested in our carob tree and another year we found a nest in a sumac. The female bee labors many hours creating a tunnel. she fills the end of the tunnel with pollen and nectar and lays an egg, sealing the chamber with wood pulp. She will create about five or six chambers, each housing a single egg, within the tunnel. The adults emerge in about 45 days. Adult female bees will overwinter and create a new nest in the spring. The golden male bees are very short lived and have a very different, more nervous flight pattern. We are eagerly awaiting the appearance of the first male bees in our garden this spring. Male bees are attracted to our lantana and digitalis.