From the monthly archives: "October 2010"

Umber July 28, 2010

October 1, 2010
Umber died this afternoon at my hands after a melancholy visit to Raymond Animal Hospital and Dr. Hsuan.  Umber is buried in the back yard with the parsley and basil.  I put bricks on top of her grave to keep out the raccoons.  She was my favorite of the Fuzzy Bottom Gals.  I don’t know if Ginger and Amber are better off left alone or if I should get a slightly bigger hen that I can name Timber.

Umber October 1, 2010

Aloha greetings from Maui, Daniel ~
So kind you were to your lovely hen who passed last week.
I know how hard it is to lose a pet pal, no matter what kind it is.
Blessings ~

Hi Eliza,
Thanks for your kind words.

Update:  October 23, 2010
It seems as though Daniel’s paranoia about the other two hens has not been entirely without justification.  Shortly after the untimely demise of Umber, Amber began to show entirely different symptoms.  Her right eye seemed swollen shut, so Daniel began to swab it with salt water and to apply an antibacterial ointment.  Amber did not seem particularly troubled, but the symptom had Daniel worried nonetheless.  Then a few days ago, Ginger began to act lethargic and seems to have stopped eating.  Now Daniel believes the cause might be Newcastle Disease, and information on the Pet Education website indicates a bleak outlook for the formerly chipper Ginger who now fluffs up her feathers, produces a discharge from her mouth similar to drooling, and gasps for breath.  Newcastle Disease would also explain Umber’s symptoms, but since it can be spread by wild birds and the chicken coop is in the front yard, Daniel is a bit befuddled as to how to prevent this horrific disease.  Pet Education lists these symptoms:  “The incubation period (time from exposure to the development of signs of disease) is 4 to 7 days. In general, signs can include ocular and/or nasal discharge, dyspnea, and bloody diarrhea. Central nervous system signs can also occur, including depression or the opposite-hyperexcitability; vestibular or balance problems; tremors, especially of the head and neck; weakness; and partial or total paralysis. The onset of signs may be semi-acute to sudden death. Signs vary depending on the strain of virus and the species of bird.
”  The World Organization for Animal Health website lists these symptoms:
“Respiratory and/or nervous signs:  gasping and coughing  drooping wings, dragging legs, twisting of the head and neck, circling, depression, inappetence, complete paralysis
Partial or complete cessation of egg production
Eggs are misshapen, rough-shelled, thin-shelled and contain watery albumen
Greenish watery diarrhoea
Swelling of the tissues around the eyes and in the neck
Morbidity and mortality depend on virulence of the virus strain, degree of vaccinal immunity, environmental conditions, and condition of the flock
Several days before Ginger became lethargic, she was twisting her neck followed by a single shrill squawk.

Missouri Cicadas Mating
Location:  Grandview, Missouri
October 1, 2010 9:58 am
My 6 year old is fascinated by bugs and she found these mating cicadas in our neighbor’s driveway in Grandview, Missouri. We love looking thru your sight to identify the various bugs she finds and we thought you might want to add these pictures to your collection.
Signature:  Glena Kellison

Mating Scissor Grinders, we believe

Hi Glena,
We believe, though we are not sure, that these may be mating Scissor Grinders,
Tibicen pruinosus, which is sometimes called a Silver Bellied Cicada according to BugGuide.  Sadly, your photo documentation did not include the bellies of this pair.  We believe the photo looks like the Scissor Grinders, but we cannot be certain.  We hope someone of our readers can confirm our identification since we are enamored of the name.  We thought after writing this that it might help provide evidence toward the proof or disproof of their identity to look at the Bugguide Data page on the Scissor Grinder to see at what time of year they appear.  There are no reported sightings in Missouri, but there are reported sightings in all the surrounding states.  Nearby Nebraska reports sightings as late as October, but there are numerous September sightings from the range.  That is evidence in support of our identification being correct.

Mating Scissor Grinders, unless we are wrong.

Very interesting, I’m sorry I did not take a picture of their bellies as I did not want to “disturb” them.  The photo on BugGuide “dog day cicada – Tibicen pruinosus” that was taken in Overland Park , KS looks just like the cicadas I took a picture of.  I live 15 minutes from Overland Park and the pictures I took were taken in early August if that helps you.  I promise next time they make an apperance I will snap a photo of their belly.
Thank you and keep up the awesome bug guide!

May 15, 2011 4:51 pm
you are correct about the scissor grinder on bug love you called it a scissor grinder and thats correct.i collect all types of bugs like house centapedes and black widows and stuff like that,and im the only girl in my nieghbor hood who can identafy alot of types of bugs and my website isent face book its just a place to hang out on and if you need more help i can help
Signature: mackenzie

October 11, 2010
This morning Daniel did two additional radio interviews with WOCM-FM “Bulldog and the Rude Awakening” in Ocean City MD, and WLW-AM “Jim Scott Show” in Cincinnati OH.  If they are local shows for you, be sure to tune in.  Last week Daniel had an interview with IRN-USA Radio Network in order to provide sound bytes for national news broadcasts.

October 1, 2010
Yesterday Daniel was interviewed for The Osgood File about The Curious World of Bugs, though it is uncertain exactly when in the coming weeks the interview will be played on syndicated Westwood One CBS radio.  In Los Angeles, The Osgood File can be heard on KNX 1070 and you can check your local affiliate using the Westwood One station finder for the Osgood File program.  Stay tuned for more details.

Hitting Shelves October 5

You can preorder the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an Independent Bookseller now!

Furry brown and green moth
Location:  Sartell, MN
September 30, 2010 11:24 am
I found this little moth on my mom’s front porch this June and I was really curious as to what it was. It was so furry it reminded me of a tiny dog or a bear. I looked around on google a bit and it looks similar to the Stinging rose caterpillar moth, except with much less green.
If you know what this moth might be any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
Signature:  Jessica F.

Spiny Oak Slug Moth

Hi Jessica,
Congratulations on getting the family correct for your Spiny Oak Slug Moth,
Euclea delphinii, a highly variable species that is pictured on BugGuide demonstrating the varying amount of green that can be present.  The Spiny Oak Slug Moth is pictured along side the Stinging Rose Caterpillar Moth on the Moth Photographers Group website.

Axe shaped rear end
Location:  Fort Worth, TX
September 30, 2010 6:59 pm
I have seen quite a few of these in and outside the house. Have no idea what it may be but the rear end tends to swing/chop up and down when it is landed, just like an axe swing. The wings are fly-like, clear and are the length of the body. The head and antennae look like an ant. The six legs are similiar to a cricket or such. Long thicker back legs with the other four like a fly or such.
Body aprox 3/8 inch; 3/4 inch overall length from head to extended legs.
Signature:  Thanks, David

Ensign Wasp

Hi David,
The Ensign Wasp gets its common name because of its habit of bobbing its abdomen up and down while hunting.  They are also known as Hatchet Wasps or Flag Wasps according to the Australian Museum website.  Ensign Wasps are a beneficial species and their presence should be encouraged because they parasitize the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches.

Thank you!  I have looked and looked until my eyes are bleary to try and match the bug to something on the web, but to no avail.
I thank you again!
David Bryan

hurry and look please
Location:  Southwest Central NM
September 30, 2010 11:54 pm
Seriously this thing freaks me out and its in my garage
Signature:  adam

Giant Vinegaroon

Hi Adam,
Despite its fearsome appearance, the Giant Vinegaroon,
Mastigoproctus giganteus, is perfectly harmless.  Also known as a Whipscorpion, it is a shy, nocturnal predator that has no venom, unlike its distant relatives the true Scorpions.  Like many creatures, it might bite if carelessly handled, but we must stress that it does not have venom.  This is what BugGuide indicates:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in unable to sting, this creature can spray an acidic mist from a scent gland at the base of the tail when disturbed. The spray is 85% concentrated acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name ‘Vinegaroon.’ The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.