From the monthly archives: "November 2010"

Can you identify this please?
Location: Dubai
November 29, 2010 8:48 am
Hi there, i live in Dubai and found these 2 little fellow’s floating in the pool this morning. Well, i say little, they were actually quite big as you can see from the pitures. And very black! Ive never seen beetles that big before so i fished them out and too pictures. Any idea as to what kind they are? Thanks.
Signature: Dee

Drowned Darkling Beetles

Dear Dee,
We believe your beetles are Darkling Beetles in the family Tenebrionidae.  Though it only covers North American species, you may read more about Darkling Beetles on BugGuide.  Swimming Pools are notorious death traps for insects and other small creatures that forage about at night.

What is this bug
Location: Queens, New York
November 28, 2010 5:36 pm
I found lots of these guys in the burlap covered soil of a dead arborvitae, I had 3 dead trees in a row. Are these the cause of the dead trees?
Signature: Tony Wilson


Hi Tony,
These appear to be Termites.  They will not harm a living tree, but once the tree dies, they will begin feeding on the rotting wood.

Got bit/ stung today by this mystery bug?
Location: south carolina
November 24, 2010 10:54 pm
Hi, I was getting in the holliday spirit by starting to make a cake this evening. I got my oven mit and threw it on and felt a sting which hurt all over my forearm!! When I looked, this little bug, no bigger than a half and inch was perched on the end of the oven mit. I have no idea what it was, but it has a powerful sting!!! I squeezed the spot trying to extract poison/stinger. The skin is soooo tender to the touch. Can you please help me figure out what it is? I have been researching for hours trying to find out. Thank you so very much! Happy Hollidays
Signature: Shanon Villegas

Assassin Bug Nymph

Hi Shanon,
You were bitten by an immature Assassin Bug, probably a nymph of a member of the genus
Zelus.  We have gotten a fair number of reports on the pain associated with the bite being much greater than would be expected by the size of the insects.  Though the bite is painful, we have not heard of any lasting effects or negative allergic reactions.

November 28, 2010
Boris and Medea Luna have hatched a small clutch of eggs in the past week.  Several days ago I counted 21 wrigglers.  The community aquarium in which they reside has a drastically reduced population since last year.  The tanks was most likely overstocked and the ecosystem could not handle the numbers.  Now, other than the pair of Angelfish, there is a single Blue Ram and a pair of Cardinal Tetras (down from 6 and 10 respectively).  I fear for the lives of the wrigglers the minute they start to swim, though nothing has been quite as bad as the bands of marauding fledgelings that for only short periods of time resided in the community aquarium.  The hatchlings may get sucked into the filter, or eaten.

Boris (right) and Medea Luna lock jaws

This afternoon, Boris and Medea Luna began to lock jaws.  The bottom line is that though aquarists have long witnessed the jaw locking of Cichlids including Angelfish, and though it is commonly associated with mated or courting pairs, it is uncertain if this is aggressive behavior, romantic behavior or dominance behavior.

As an aside, Lefty and Digitalis have a small brood that hatched the day before the fry of Boris and Medea Luna.

Bug Love
Location: Missouri
November 20, 2010 2:38 pm
I took these photo of a lovely pair of praying mantises mating in the garden bed. The male seems to be of a rather unusual color morph. I regret to say I did not stay long enough to discover the result of the relationship, or whether the male survived the encounter. I believe they may be Carolina mantises (stagmomantis carolina), but I’m not sure.
Signature: Helen

Mating Mantids

Hi Helen,
Sadly, there is not enough detail in your image for us to conclusively identify the species, but the Carolina Mantis is a possibility.

Announcement:  Though it only deals with insects in the most oblique way, Ikebana, or traditional Japanese flower arranging, does belong on What’s That Bug? because of the garden.

November 28, 2010
I modified the previous Chiko Ikebana flower arrangement yesterday evening and this morning.  Pearl Marlos, Daniel’s mother in Ohio, continues to exert her status as a master of Ikebana, and probably the foremost practitioner in the Tri-County area surrounding Youngstown.  Pearl needs her Chico School notes transcribed, and Daniel is thrilled that he will be doing the translation.

Chiko Ikebana with veiled Manduca quinquemaculata pupa 26 October 2010

The Five Spotted Hawkmoth pupa buried in the dirt in the veiled bowl, the larger Chiko element in this front porch arrangement, is a remnant of the cancelled Los Angeles local morning news show booking.  Daniel did not want to bring live insects to the show, and the California Mantid’s demise resulted in Daniel cancelling an October 25 appearance.  This hornworm was also an intended news show guest, but it descended into the dirt prior to the appearance as well.  With a dead mantis and a buried pupa, Daniel became disenchanted with the news appearance.

The Chiko arrangement proper is composed of lantana line, chrysanthemum secondary line, and red rose ( a cutting from the bush that grew over the septic tank ) as the accent.

Check out another view of this arrangement on Eat Sunday Dinner or Something Like It.

Chiko Update: Material removed and material added
November 28, 2010  3:30 PM
I removed the red rose and added a sterling silver, but more importantly, I trimmed the wisteria on the fence.  There was a long double runner on the ground.  I pruned it away and twisted the whip into a loop.  I should not have trimmed the stem’s first joint off completely because it would have anchored better in the tripartate container.

Chiko Ikebana with wisteria and Sterling Silver

The Sterling Silver is in Irene’s Venus toothbrush holder from nearly thirty years ago.