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

Subject: What is this?
Location: California, Torrance
November 2, 2014 1:02 pm
These came out of nowhere. They have wings but don’t fly. They were found in the park next door and have migrated toward our house, but don’t seem to know where to go or what to do. They just mill about. They seem to avoid plants and keep to open areas.
Signature: Dan

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Dear Dan,
Your insect is
Scantius aegyptius, a non-native Red Bug in the family Red Bugs Pyrrhocoridae that was first detected in Southern California in 2009, according to BugGuide.  It is native to the Mediterranean, so even though it does not have an official common name, we have been referring to it as a Mediterranean Red Bug.  According to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research:  “Damage: The literature contains very little information regarding the biology of S. aegyptius and Scantius species in general are not considered to be economically important species.  In California, Scantius has been observed feeding on the developing seeds and stems of Knotweed (Polygonum spp.) and Malva (Malva parviflora).  It is likely that S. aegyptius will feed on the seeds of several species of annual herbaceous plants.  The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas.  These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a bee assassin?
Location: Tallahassee, FL
November 1, 2014 7:13 pm
Found a large group of these strange black/orange/yellow bugs with white spots on their backs. They are ranging in size from mickle to quarter. The large one in top right is around a quarter.
Please help.
Signature: Drew

Giant Milkweed Bugs

Giant Milkweed Bugs

Dear Drew,
This looks to us like an aggregation of Giant Milkweed Bugs,
Sephina gundlachii, which according to BugGuide is:  “Confined to climbing milkweed, Cynanchum scoparium.”  Do you have climbing milkweed planted nearby? 

Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response! Yes, there actually is some not too far from where this picture was taken. Great info.
I have lived in FL all my life and have never seen even one Milkweed Bug, so it comes as no surprise I had to find out what was going on in this case.
Thank you for your help. I will try and make a donation to your site next paycheck. Can’t promise it will be much, but I do appreciate what you all are doing.
Regards,
Drew H.

Hi Drew,
Thanks for your kind intentions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not sure what this
Location: North Central Florida
November 2, 2014 6:38 am
I found this in my son’s room. I’m just wondering what it is and is it dangerous. He is 1 and puts everything in his mouth.
Signature: Karen

Possibly Rusty Millipede

Possibly Rusty Millipede

Dear Karen,
This is a Millipede in the class Diplopoda, and it looks like it might be a Rusty Millipede,
Trigoniulus corallinus, which BugGuide states is:  “Non-native. Apparently from Thailand and Myanmar. Also present in the Caribbean.”  BugGuide also states:  “To discourage predators, millipedes coil into a protective spiral, or roll into a defensive ball; many emit poisonous or foul-smelling substances. Many bright-colored/patterned millipedes (image below) secrete a compound containing cyanide.”

Ok great so it is nothing I should be concerned about being poisonous to my son?

To the best of our knowledge, cyanide is considered a poison, though we suspect the quantity released by a Millipede would be more likely to cause any potential predator, including your son, to spit it out immediately because of the foul taste.  We do not want to go on record stating it is harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: giant moth
Location: Phoenix, Az
November 1, 2014 1:09 pm
I saw this MA at my sons football game today. About 3 inches across.
Signature: na

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

Dear na,
This beautiful moth is a Rustic Sphinx.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  These two submissions came to our personal email accounts from friends.  Of  California Trapdoor Spiders, Charles Hogue wrote in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin in 1974:  “”Their rarity now is another example of human expansion destroying the habitat of a local animal.”  Luckily in Glassell Park and Mount Washington, we have a specific plan to help preserve open space and to limit development scale in the hillsides.  We are also blessed with many open space parks that serve as habitat preservation.

Trapdoor Spiders
Location:  Glassell Park, Los Angeles, California
November 1, 2014
Hi Daniel,
My tenant just found this beauty wondering around in the studio.  He looks enormous!  I’m guessing a good 2” long.
Any ideas of what he might be?
Helene

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Hi Helene,
Tell your tenant that this is a male California Trapdoor Spider, and the first rains of the season generally trigger mating activity in the males which leave their burrows in search of a mate.  Clare send us an image of a male California Trapdoor Spider that she found on her front stoop yesterday.

Trapdoor Spider
November 1, 2013
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
he was huddled on the doorstep this morning.
so, i brought him in.
he’s cold. perhaps washed out of his burrow?
i think i should keep him for a few days until it dries up?
the, he could make a burrow more successfully.
would he eat small crickets?
he was frightened and on a slippery surface.
i moved him into an aerated jam jar which has soil in it.
so he’s happier.
i’ll let him go in a few days.
c.

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Input from Julian Donahue
‘d release him (most likely male) now. Yes, rain probably brought him out, although this is the time of year males wander about looking for receptive females. That way you don’t have to worry about feeding him either–I suspect they don’t eat much, if at all, this time of year.
jpd

i transferred him to a pot with soil and lid.
will let hm go tomorrow.
i wonder if evening or daylight best?
the termites are swarming over here…
c.

I’d release him tonight–they seem to be primarily nocturnal, since that’s when they usually end up in the pool.
jpd

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination