From the monthly archives: "February 2011"

What in the world is this?
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, southern California
February 20, 2011 6:39 pm
One morning my son wandered into our garage and uttered this blood-curdling screech. There on the floor was this guy. It was about 2 inches long (maybe even a big bigger) and resembled a giant wingless bee.
Being an intrepid scientist, as my 12 year old ran screaming back into the house, I dashed out to the garage with a bowl to trap the critter. I brought him/her into the house so we could all look at this baby a bit closer.
I’m hoping it’s not something that will munch on my house because I let it go in the field behind the house.
The picture is a bit blurry because my buggy friend is in a bowl with a very thick piece of glass on top. Any thoughts?
Signature: Jules

Potato Bug

I found the answer!
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, southern California
February 20, 2011 7:19 pm
Well I looked back through your blog and found the answer to the question I had asked earlier. The little critter that was visiting my garage was a Jerusalem cricket.
Thanks for the great blog and the answer to my question.
Signature: Jules

Hi Jules,
We are pleased that our archive provided you with your answer.  Potato Bug sightings are most common in the winter after rains.

More brazilian cicadas
Location: Campinas-SP, Brazil
February 22, 2011 1:04 pm
Hi Daniel! It’s me again (Franco), and i’m here to share with you some pictures of a Dorisiana viridis, a very common cicada in the late summer in Brazil. Here’s some features: their song is a succession of short calls (like kee-kee-kee-kee), they sing in synchrony (when there’s a lot of males together), and they have two-colored eyes!! Hope you enjoy it! Best wishes
Signature: Franco


Hi Franco,
We must say that we are amazed that so many of your Brazilian Cicadas are so tiny.  Australian Cicadas are gigantic by comparison.


Whats this bug?
Location: Riverside CA
February 23, 2011 3:46 am
Does anyone outhere know what bug this is. There alot of them in my apartment.
Signature: What tha bug?


Dear What tha bug?,
You have an infestation of Silverfish, a type of primitive insect that commonly infests homes, feeding on a wide variety of stored foods and other organic materials including the starch used to hang wallpaper and to bind books.  Silverfish are reported to be extremely difficult to eradicate.

Is this a Cerambycid in the San Bernardino Mtns?
Location: San Bernardino Mountains near Lake Arrowhead approx.5800’ elevation
February 22, 2011 12:08 am
Hello, several of my neighbors have found this insect in their homes this winter. Since many residents are worried about another bark beetle outbreak, they would like to know if this beetle will damage their trees.
Signature: Gina Richmond

Cedar Tree Borer

Dear Gina,
You are correct.  This is a Cerambycid or Longicorn beetle.  We do not recognize the species and browsing through BugGuide did not prove fruitful.  This photo taken from a screen shot is quite amusing to us, but we have no idea of scale.  How large is this Longicorn?  Hopefully, we will be able to provide you with a species identification.  Longicorns do have larvae that are wood borers, but very few species do considerable damage to trees.

Identification courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Gina:
Your longicorn looks like a Cedar Tree Borer (Semanotus ligneus ligneous). This beetle sparked a very length discussion when it was posted on WTB? by Kathie Jones on February 5, 2007. Based on that exchange, you may want to check your new cedar furniture if you have any. Regards. Karl

Thanks Karl,
This is most curious.  Since the insect is being reported from several different homes, we wonder if there has been a range expansion, or if the Cedar Tree Borer may be a newly introduced species in California.  It would also probably require an expert viewing the actual specimen to determine if this really is a Cedar Tree Borer or some look-alike.

Comment from Brian, an entomologist
Make me wonder what is going on with this one???????
I agree it is most likely Semanotusbut to get it to species level by the photo would be hard to do. Better photo would be great.
Semanotus ligneus does occur in California but I have never seen one so red in color and the placement of the spots on the elytra does not seem just right.
This genus does include some exotics and it may be worthwhile for them to submit it to the state or an extension service.  Better safe than sorry. Far as I know the USA only has two species for this genus.
I would not guess cedar furniture but firewood since it is found in more than one home. Most likely wood from the surrounding area. Juniperus maybe? but that not a common species used for firewood.
Well thanks for peaking my interest. Hope its a native and not an exotic
As always keep up the great work!

Thanks so much for the information! I will forward this to the neighbors who have encountered the Cedar Tree Borer in their homes. I will check back to this site often as I really enjoy learning more about insects- what a great website,
All the best,
Gina Richmond

Common Buckeye Butterfly
Location: Melbourne, Florida
February 21, 2011 7:42 pm
Took this picture Sunday, thought I’d share it! This beauty was trapped in my screened porch. I was able to catch it, and before it flittered away, it let me take it’s picture! Thank you Buckeye!
Signature: Johanna van Daalen

Common Buckeye

Hi Johanna,
Thank you so much for sending us your photo of this friendly Common Buckeye.

Namibian Moth???
Location: Windhoek, Namibia
February 21, 2011 5:27 pm
Dear All,
I just found this insect and I have never seen anyting like it before – I don’t think its a butterfly but could it be a moth of some sort??
I found it during the day but we have had a very heavy rainy season (not sure if this is helpfull in any way)and its around 20mm in length and about 40mm wide.
Any advce in this regard ould be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Ernst A. Schnaitmann

Maid Alice Wasp Moth

Hi Ernst,
You are correct that this is a Moth.  We believe it is a Wasp Moth in the subtribe Euchromiina, so named because the diurnal adults mimic wasps.  We do not have time to try to identify the species at the moment, but perhaps on of our readers will have some success while we are at work.

Maid Alice Wasp Moth

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Ernst:
This looks like another ‘Handmaiden’ wasp moth, probably Amata alicia. Check out a previous WTB? post by Gabriel on November 18, 2010, or this excellent photo of a Maid Alice on the African Moths website. Regards. Karl