From the monthly archives: "April 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Arachnid, stingerless scorpion???
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM
found this creature on my kitchen counter. about 1/8 in. long and 1/16-1/8 in wide, a very tiny thing. this is the second one that we have EVER laid our eyes on. pictures are attached.
c_seiber
East Tennesse Region

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpion

Dear c_seiber,
This is a harmless Pseudoscorpion.  Various species are found nearly worldwide, and they are often encountered in peoples homes where they do their best to dispatch unwanted insect and arthropod visitors.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hitchhiker on a crane fly
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM
I was taking pictures of the moths and bugs surrounding our outside light last night and after enlarging this shot of a crane fly I noticed this little white guy waving from a rear leg while hanging on for dear life. I know crane flies don’t carry their young around so I was wondering what it is. I sent you a larger file so you can enlarge it enough to see the critter.
Larry
Sonoma County, California

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Hi Larry,
When we saw your subject line, we thought the hitchhiker must be either a mite or a pseudoscorpion, the two common phoretic organisms that are frequent subjects of our identifications. Phoresy is a nice scientific name for opportunistic hitchhiking. Your creature appears to be an insect, though we are uncertain of its identity, and we wonder if the hitchhiking may have been accidental. We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion on this.

Phoretic Insect? or Accidental Hitchhiker???

Update: Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Daniel:
LOL!  I’m sorry, I just had to laugh.  The “hitchhiker” is a shed exoskeleton, most likely from an aphid that might have used the crane fly’s leg as a place to perch while molting.  I laugh out of empathy because I’ve made the same kind of assumption myself, many times, when presented with unfamiliar circumstances.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Shiny Green Beetle
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM
HI, I found this beetle outside the local elementary school. I live in far western Kansas, and the weather yesterday was in the 70s (after a weekend of rain and several weeks of 50s-60s weather). I didn’t think it was a June beetle because the back looks a little different.
Jonathan Liu
Tribune, KS

female Rainbow Scarab

female Rainbow Scarab

Hi Jonathan,
You have found a female Rainbow Scarab, Phanaeus vindex, a species of Dung Beetle.  The male Rainbow Scarab has a prominent horn.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bumblebee-like Hovering
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM
This is mid-April in Concord, CA. These guys seem to stake out a territory. This one hovers near the potted Asparagus Fern and the geraniums. Another hovers around the white Lilac. They chase others of the same species and then come back to their hover spot. They are there all day, day after day. They are quite bumblebee like, in that they are black with yellow thorax and shiny black abdomen. They make a buzzing sound and they don’t seem at all aggressive or concerned about human presence. There are citrus trees in bloom on the property, though not sure these are active in those flowers.
ApU
Concord, CA 94520

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Dear ApU,
Your photo resembles a Carpenter Bee and the behavior you describe is similar to the behavior we have witnessed in male Valley Carpenter Bees staking out territory and hoping to attract mates, but male Valley Carpenter Bees are an overall lovely golden color.  We consulted BugGuide, and we believe your specimens are a related species, Xylocopa tabaniformis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bronze Mite from Vasquez Rocks
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 4:07 PM
While hiking in the Vasquez Rocks north of Los Angeles, I saw an absolutely remarkable flash of bronze scurry over a rock. The image does not do it justice by any stretch of the imagination. Although very small, the totally metallic sheen on this guy made him stand out quite conspicuously in the bright sun. Would you happen to know what this one is? Velvet mites were everywhere but this one was much bigger; about 2.5mm in diameter. Thanks in advance!
Adriano
Vasquez Rocks, California

Unknown Mite

Unknown Mite

Hi Adriano,
While it looks different from the Velvet Mites or Angelitos we often get photos of, we suspect your unidentified Mite is closely related.  Perhaps an acarologist will write in with a proper identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown beetles mating on wooley sunflower
Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 5:19 PM
Dear Bugman,
I found these beetles mating? on Wooley Sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum 4/20/09 on my hike of the Stevens Trail in Colfax, CA. Can you help me out with id?
Thanks, Cyndi
Sierra Nevada Foothills in Colfax, California

Blister Beetles Mating

Blister Beetles Mating

Hi Cyndi,
These are Blister Beetles. We believe we found a match on BugGuide to Nemognatha scutellaris which does not have a common name. The three photos posted on BugGuide were taken in early May 2006 in Carrizo Plains National Monument and the beetles were feeding on the pollen of Chaenactis flowers, which like Woolly Sunflower, are in the aster family Asteraceae. According to BugGuide: “Females lay eggs on flowers, larva attach themsleves to bees when they visit flowers and are then carried to bee nests where they eat bee eggs and stored food. “

Update: How annoying is this???
Our time is precious and we never seem to have enough. We cannot answer even a fraction of the email we receive, so we are quite sensitive to SPAM ourselves, however, we would never ever ever think of installing a SPAM blocker that prevented people we write to from responding to us directly. There must be a way that SPAM blocking programs could allow responses from direct communications. We try, in addition to posting our responses, to reply directly to the querant via email, but the response we just received from Cyndi’s computer is a slap in the face. No, we do not have the time to decipher the cryptic letters so that Cyndi can read our response. Here is what we got. Perhaps a few of our readers can tell Cyndi to turn off her SPAM blocker if she wants to hear back from people. “I apologize for this automatic reply to your email. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.
If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.
Click the link below to fill out the request: (address removed)”

Comment: About Earthlink Spam Blocker
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:33 AM
Aloha Daniel –
As you can see from my return address, I use Earthlink as my email server.
It has the most specific spam blocker I’ve seen. If your address is not in the server level address book, you get that generic note. The note can be adjusted by the user to make it more personal, but some just let that techno speak be sent out.
I have both this address and the Bugman@whatsthatbug in my server address book for your name.
Sorry that it caused you grief… you’re a sensitive kinda guy. Like many on the planet. If I were in your shoes, I would be repsonse shy if I would see an earthlink address in the inbox.
Thanks for all you do – attached a sunset from Feb. Nice reds from the volcanic activity, huh?
Eliza
PS have juvie argiope on my front porch. No boyfriend yet. She’s got a few more mm to grow, I guess. She managed to make it through the roof tear off, gutter install and roof replacement with out being smushed.

Thanks Eliza, I guess I was so annoyed this morning I needed to vent. I kicked earthlink to the curb years ago, but Time Warner isn’t much better.

Thank you very much for that info.
I really appreciate your time and effort.
Make it an Adventurous April!
Cyndi Brinkhurst

Hi Cyndi,
You probably wouldn’t be so gracious to us is you saw our scathing post when we got your SPAM block message.

Daniel:
Oh, and can I ever empathize with spam blockers that keep you from helping someone! If I go to all the trouble of researching an answer and replying to someone, only to have that effort blocked, I get postively livid!! I don’t bother jumping through the hoops in those cases. That person is just SOL….
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination