From the monthly archives: "March 2008"

Now there’s MORE of them!
Hi again–
Wrote a few days ago when I was trying to identify this fly/wasp like bug. They were flying about in the hundreds–well now they are flying around nearer the thousands… …and today I saw a few pairs mating on the driveway. Noticed that one gender has a large head, whilst the other has a rather tiny one. I won’t venture near guessing which is male or female. They are not much more than 3/8″ long.
J Cannon
North San Diego County, CA

Hi J,
These are March Flies in the family Bibionidae and they are right on time. BugGuide has numerous images of mating pairs. The big eyed male has the bigger head. According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on decaying organic matter. There are several genera of March Flies, and we are not sure which your specimens belong to. The infamous Florida Love Bugs, Plecia nearctica, get so plentiful, and are often found copulating, so there is much information available online including on Wikipedia.

Nasty Reader Award
For being educated women, your behavior in giving and posting your abusive rant against a reader who made an insulting comment is reprehensible. It was immature and spiteful. Inviting other viewers to contact the women you are angry with is vengeful and abusive. You should be charged for your violation of these women’s privacy. I hope they contact the police and your internet provider and although you are providing a valuable service, I hope your site gets shut down until the two of you grow up or learn some mediation skills. Shame on you for abusing your position.

Hi Terah (name taken from email address but not signed on anonymous email),
We will not be posting your email address to sic our readership on you directly, but we want to come to our own defense in this matter. It seems you want the book thrown at us and feel the judge should show no mercy. We never invaded anyone’s privacy. We did not seek out any random person to have an “abusive rant against.” People who write to our site do so with the understanding that letters are posted. If someone writes to us, we feel we have the right to respond, and our forum for response is an online posting. We are not cyber-stalking anyone, merely responding to a letter. We doubt that the cyber-police, the LAPD in our local station, nor our internet provider will find anything illegal in what we have done. We are providing a free and entertaining service, and we resent being attacked. People who want their privacy maintained should not be sending virulent emails to websites, and if they do, they need to accept the consequences of FREE SPEECH, our first amendment in case you are not educated enough to know about it. Regarding our maturity or lack thereof, we have always believed that a certain amount of immaturity is the key to youth.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Hello Mr. Bugman.
Just going through my portfolio of butterfly pictures and thought this was a pretty good profile picture of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Didn’t know if this would make the grade for displaying on you web site. If you think your viewers might enjoy this beauty then feel free to use it. You probably get hundreds of this very common butterfly. Saw my first butterfly here in Charlotte, NC on March 23. It was in my yard and I startled it when I walked by and watched it fly away but could not tell what kind it was. I am anxious to start photographing some of these early flyers. Loyal observer of your web site,
Patrick Crone

Hi Patrick,
It is nice to find out about loyal observers to the site. Often when people go through their archives, they send photos that were taken years before and in different seasons. We like posting images that people are likely to encounter when the image is posted. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail should be making appearances in the southernmost reaches of its range right now. Our own Western Tiger Swallowtails have been soaring in our own Mt Washington, Los Angeles garden. We have seen at least three individuals as well as numerour Anise Swallowtails. Our other swallowtail visitor, the Giant Swallowtail, has recently expanded its range to our vicinity, but it appears in the warmer months. We watched two Red Admirals frolicking about yesterday in the late afternoon sun. We haven’t seen any Mourning Cloaks this year, which is unusual. Thanks for your contribution.

White Fat Grubs? Pics included!! Please respond ASAP!! Thanks!
While chopping wood in December, my dad stumbed upon 3 huge white grubs. I wrote you guys immediately but got no response. I wound up keeping them. When my dad gave them to me, they were out of their holes due to my dad cutting them (the holes) in half. The next day, they had knawed back into the wood and covered the opening with what I’m guessing is a mix of saliva and wood shavings. Now as it is almost April, I was wondering what this grub (or insect) is before they pop out of their cacoons. If I shake the wood slightly, I can feel them moving about. Characteristics: Off white VERY small head Black line running down back 6 small, almost nonexistant legs right behind head Thanks!! I hope they are some sort of beetle!!!

Hi Cammy,
Sorry we didn’t get to your first request. These are Cerambycid Beetle Grubs, or more specifically, Prionid Grubs. Not sure what species as you did not identify the tree nor your location. Your photo is awesome.

The grubs came out of a water oak (similar to a live oak) in Tampa Florida. The species name would be greatly appreciated.

Our best guess is Prionus imbricornus, the Tile Horned Prionus, which ranges in Florida and feeds on oak as well as other trees, shrubs, vines, and according to BugGuide, maize. This is a large and handsome beetle.

Luna Moth
Hi, I was so glad to find your site as I was searching to find out what this beautiful (what I thought was a butterfly) in my front yard was. I was just out raking leaves and caught sight of this moth jumping. I called my children to see it and we all stared in wonder! After running into the house to get my camera, I took a few pictures to be able to examine it further. It has the shape almost of a sting-ray and it is so beautifully painted. I’m not much of a bug person, but love to find something I’ve never seen before! As a homeschooler of 3 children, your site will definitely be a source of information from now on for us!! Thank you! Sincerely,
Tallahassee, Florida

Hi Stephanie,
Your photograph of a Luna Moth is quite beautiful. The lighting is awesome.

Bugs found in the hills of Pasadena
Hi there- I found these bugs in the hills overlooking Pasadena- they look tick-like, but are they? These specimens are either dead or dormant. there was one live one that flipped its body up and down while clinging to a grass blade. I teach a science class to 4th grade kids and they want to know what kind of bugs they are- any ideas? thanks in advance,

Hi Ed,
These are the Pupae of Ladybird Beetles, or in slang, Ladybugs. Sorry we do not know the species.