From the monthly archives: "July 2014"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green June Beetle Defense Mechanism?
Location: Silver Lake (Los Angeles) CA
July 31, 2014 11:55 am
Hi Daniel
Every year we witness a few Green June Beetles burying themselves in the mulch in our backyard (which, we learned from you, is to lay eggs). However, this was the first time the dogs got close to one & they acted like they were sprayed by it, both were sneezing & shaking their heads when they got within a foot or less of the rear of the beetle. I couldn’t smell anything, and I was pretty close, trying to shoot photos with my phone. Additional photos and longer version of the story:
http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/2014/07/corralitas-drive-green-june-beetle-on.html
Signature: Diane E

Figeater

Figeater

Hi Diane,
We have never heard of the ability of a Figeater, the common name for the Green Fruit Beetle that we prefer, being able to repel a dog.  This is most curious and we will see what we can learn.  The MWHA has just written a letter in support of the preservation of Flat Top in Montecito Heights.

Dog sniffs Figeater

Dog sniffs Figeater

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: metallic green legs/feelers
Location: San Diego
July 31, 2014 2:14 pm
I’ve seen this bug fly before…this little dude seems to be injured i think bcuz he’s not flying.
Signature: Suzzanne

Figeater

Figeater

Dear Suzzanne,
This beautiful Scarab Beetle is commonly called a Figeater and August is the best time to view them

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large black beetle
Location: East Coast of Virginia
July 31, 2014 1:13 am
We had this beetle stuck in our air duct system. It was 2-21/2 inches long We live in temperate zone. Our home in on creek with marsh and trees. Temperatures are in 80-90’s with hug humidity.
Signature: Jennifer in Virginia

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

Dear Jennifer,
Hot, humid summer days in the eastern portion of North America is peak beetle sighting season, and that is the time large Scarab Beetles like your Triceratops Beetle are active.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide and according to BugGuide‘s information page, the Triceratops Beetle is:  “Black, distinctly flattened, both sexes with three prominent horns on head. Elytra deeply striated. … Both genders have horns. This is unusual among horned scarabs.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Food:  Adults of this genus will take fruit and meat in captivity. One sources says adults eat other insects.
Life Cycle:  Adults come to lights. Larvae feed in rotten logs, reported, in particular, from dead oaks. Presumably, males (?) use horns to defend breeding sites. Lifespan of adults is reported to be quite long (up to two years) in captivity. Reported to have structures for sound production (stridulation) (2). Stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, Durham, NC 11 July 2007).  Larvae and adults are also “carnivorous” and will – if not preferentially – feed on grubs & pupae of other scarabs (incl. D. tityus).”

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Giant Swallowtail?
Location: Fullerton (Orange County) CA
July 31, 2014 8:20 am
Hello;
Here is a better photo of our overnight visitor. It landed on the night blooming jasmine at dusk yesterday and settled in for the night. To my surprise it is still there as of 8 a.m. It is quite large, at about 4″ across, warm black with striking yellow markings. When viewing from the kitchen window slightly above, there is a thin edge of yellow showing on the ‘shoulders’ so that it presents as a heart. It’s beautiful. Thank you for your wonderful website.
Signature: Likes Bugs

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Dear Likes Bugs,
You are correct that this is a Giant Swallowtail, a relatively recent resident of Southern California.  The Giant Swallowtail is native to the eastern portion of North America, but the caterpillars, known as Orange Dogs, adapted to feeding on the leaves of orange and other citrus trees, and as the cultivation of citrus spread west, the range of the Giant Swallowtail followed.  We believe they first appeared in Los Angeles in the 1990s.  According to the Los Angeles Times:  “The giant swallowtail butterfly,
Heraclides (Papilio) cresphontes, is native to the Southeast. Since the 1960s, populations have spread west following a corridor of suburban development and the species’ favorite larval food source — citrus — through Arizona, into the Imperial Valley, then San Diego and north to Orange and Los Angeles counties. They’ve been sighted as far north as Santa Barbara and Bakersfield.  Numbers have surged since 2000, says Jess Morton, president of the Palos Verdes-South Bay chapter of the Audubon Society. Members have held a butterfly count at the same location, on the first Sunday in July, every year since 1991. According to their records, a single giant swallowtail was first seen in the South Bay in 2000. They counted 23 in 2007.”  According to the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects:  “Ranges throughout most of the east;  more limited distribution in the southwest, but has expanded into the Los Angeles basin within the past 20 years.”

Thank you so much Daniel. We have two tangerine trees, a lemon, a grapefruit, a valencia orange, and two washington navel oranges on our 8,500 sf lot. So yes, there is lots of citrus here for the larvae.
I found it so interesting that it settled on the leaves, spread it’s wings and went to sleep. It took off when the sun hit it at about 9a this morning. It is the first of that kind I’ve seen here (northern inland hilly Orange County – warmer than the coast.)
The Monarchs on the other hand, are plentiful. We have many milkweed plants for them and they put on a show – photo attached.
Thank you again for your help!
Nancy Rennie

Monarch

Monarch

Hi again Nancy,
It is our observation that Monarchs seem more plentiful this year than they have in recent years.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified Green Winged Bug
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
July 30, 2014 5:34 pm
My sons and I found this bug on the edge of the treadmill. He had just grown out of it’s previous skin and it was still attached to the string below. It sat around for a while even while they were jumping. They both started getting a little too interested and frankly I was worried that the bug would jump on them and spook them so I got it to go away with a leaf. I didn’t see it leave so I don’t know if it jumped or flew away. We have the National Geographic Bugopedia and looked around for a match but couldn’t find one. It almost looked like a grasshopper with wings but the only one in the book had blue wings and was from Europe and this one we saw had clear wings and we are in the U.S. Please let us know if you can. My enthusiastic 3 and 6 year old boys are budding entomologists and would love to know what they saw. We saw this bug in a north hills suburb of Pittsburgh in July after a rainstorm.
Signature: Gretchen Cetti

Annual Cicada

Annual Cicada

Hi Gretchen,
This is an Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen, and they are active in the latter half of summer.  Though many people are not familiar with the physical appearance of Cicadas, most all residents of the eastern portion of North America are familiar with the loud buzzing sound they produce, often from the tops of trees.  This sound is quite loud, and resembles the sound of a buzz saw.  Cicada nymphs live underground, often for several years, and when they emerge, they shed their exoskeleton for the last time, emerging as winged adults and leaving behind the exuvia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Monarch Butterfly
Location:  Kings Canyon, California
July 30, 2014
hi, what’s that bug? i know you have many photos of this butterfly, but how do i tell if this is a male or female? photo taken in king’s canyon national park on july 17th, 2014. thanks! clare.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Hi Clare,
This is a female Monarch, and she can be distinguished from the male Monarch by the lack of a “scent patch” on the hind wings of the female.  According to BugGuide:  “Males have scent-scale patches on hindwings, prominent when wings are open, and just possible to see when wings are folded.”  In this image of mating Monarchs, the male is the lower butterfly with the open wings.  Though we have been hearing and reading many accounts of the drop in populations of Monarch butterflies in recent years, probably due to habitat loss, but also rumored to be connected to GMO corn pollen (not substantiated), we have been noticing numerous migrating Monarchs in Mount Washington in recent weeks.  Perhaps this is connected to the cultivation of milkweed in eco-friendly gardens, perhaps the migration patterns are changing, or perhaps we have just been more observant.  When we cropped your image, we removed an out of focus Greater Fritillary on the right to concentrate more on the Monarch, but it seems your meadow made butterfly viewing quite a marvelous experience.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination