From the daily archives: "Saturday, July 2, 2016"

Subject:  10 Lined June Beetle
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 2, 2016

10 Lined June Beetle

10 Lined June Beetle

Ten Lined June Beetles started appearing at the What’s That Bug? office just last year.  Our only interaction with them before that was the pine habitat in higher altitude Pasadena and La Cañada.  This lady, who has much smaller antennae than the male who needs to be able to sense her pheromones, appeared on our screen door late last night and we got some flash assisted images today.  We are perfectly happy if she wants to wait on our screen door until a suitable suitor arrives.  The 10 Lined June Beetle we found in June was already dead, and we suspect porch and garage lights are attracting them.  She stridulated (began squeaking by rubbing together parts of her body)  when we picked her up to move her higher up on the screen door in the event marauding raccoons are on the prowl tonight.   

Subject: bug
Location: Michigan
July 2, 2016 3:58 pm
Trying to figure out what this is
Signature: clint bonkowski

Dragonfly Abdomen

Dragonfly Abdomen

Dear Clint,
This is the abdomen of a Dragonfly.  We will attempt a species identification.  We believe this abdomen belongs to a Darner in the family Aeshnidae, and you can see the similarity by looking at Darner images on BugGuide.

Subject: Hawk-eyed moth CA look a like?
Location: Near the coast in Southern California (Malibu maybe??)
July 2, 2016 5:00 pm
Hello bugman!
Let me first say that I’ve followed this website for years and it’s always gotten me what I needed 🙂 I am a California native but am living overseas currently, and a friend sent me this photo of this beautiful moth!! Apparently it lost a fight with a yellow jacket so picked up the body, not entirely sure where in southern California they were. They’re OK with calling it “the moth” but I want to know more! I did a quick search and it seems to have the same sort of eyespots as the Hawk Eyed Moth but the abdomen is different and I’m not sure if they’re found in Southern California. They may have been near the coast, as well? Let me know what you can find… Thanks! 🙂
Signature: Noelani

One Eyed Sphinx

One Eyed Sphinx

Dear Noelani,
Thanks so much for the compliment.  We believe this is a One Eyed Sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi, which according to The Sphingidae of the Americas site is found in “the southern regions of all Canadian provinces (all of B. C. and Alberta) and in northern border states south into northern Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio. The One-eyed Sphinx is also found along the U.S. west coast to southern California, eastward to the Rockies and into western New Mexico north to western North Dakota. Specimens have also been taken in Illinois and as far south as Missouri in central U.S.”  We would not want to rule out that it might be the closely related Smerinthus ophthalmica, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Smerinthus ophthalmica, (forewing length: 34-47mm) closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, and until recently (2010) had been synonymized with cerisyi.”

Hi Daniel,
Wow, thanks so much for the fast reply! I’ve sent it to my mates now… Thanks again for your expertise 🙂 also, does your site accept donations? I would love to help how I can if you need it

You are most welcome.  There is a donation link above our name on the home page.

Subject: Big tan orange worm on my grapevine
Location: Carmel Valley
July 2, 2016 4:21 pm
Hi,
We have an ornamental grapevine in Carmel Valley CA. Summer temps range from 75-100. We spotted three large articulated tan/orange insects on our vines. There appear to be six or so sets of “legs@ that suspend and move the along the vine. What is it???
Signature: Curious in Carmel

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Curious in Carmel,
This is an Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar, and though they will eat the leaves from grape and and other vines, they will not do any lasting harm to the plants.

Subject: Is this a cicada killer?
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
July 2, 2016 1:02 pm
Started off with one in the wall by my driveway and now there are dozens flying around. It is a duck wall with dirt. They dig into the wall and hang out around the wall during the day”fighting” eachother. What are they? Yellow jackets, hornets, some other singing bug?
Thanks, want to get rid of them if they attack since have small kids who miss riding their bikes in the driveway.
Signature: Jenngi

Cicada Killer Carnage

Cicada Killer Carnage

Dear Jenngi,
Though male Cicada Killer wasps are quite territorial, they are incapable of stinging. They are very specific about preying upon Cicadas. Female Cicada Killer wasps are not aggressive, and we have yet to receive a report from someone being stung by a Cicada Killer.  In our opinion, they do not pose a threat to your children.  This is our first reported Cicada Killer sighting of the year and we are saddened that it is a dead individual.  We would urge you to educate your children about the natural world around them so that they can appreciate and respect the lower beasts.

Thank you for your quick reply. Now we can watch these awesome creatures, have about 15 now, without the fear of multiple settings. It is a relief to hear that these are not aggressive stinging wasps or hornets and will not be creating a nest of thousands so close to our entry into the house and where we play. The kids love and respect all creatures big and small. We strive to live in peace with creatures. Thank you again for the reply.

Thanks for getting back to us Jenngi.  As further clarification, only social wasps like hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps will defend a nest by stinging.  Solitary wasps like Cicada Killers do not defend the nest.  Though they sometimes nest in colonies where soil conditions and hunting prospects are ideal, Cicada Killers are solitary wasps.  Again, male Cicada Killers will defend territory, especially against other male Cicada Killers, but only females have a stinger which is used to paralyze Cicadas to act as food for the developing young.  Cicada Killers appear in the summer and the larvae that are developing in the subterranean nest will not emerge until the subsequent summer.  Cicada Killers females are capable of stinging, but we believe this will only occur if they are handled.

Subject: Cicada Killer life
July 2, 2016 6:44 pm
How long are cicada killers active? First one appeared about a week ago and now there are about 15-20 in the wall right by my driveway. Are they out  all summer? Also do they kill bumblebees too?
Signature: Jenngi

Cicada Killers do NOT prey on Bumble Bees.  You should expect activity for about four to six weeks, during which time females will hunt Cicadas to provision the nest for the developing young.

Subject: Meanest looking two-lined spittle bug
Location: Troy, VA
July 2, 2016 11:05 am
This bug looked so cute till I blew it up. Now it just looks dangerous, it’s still pretty though. Love the red face.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Two-Lined Spittlebug

Two-Lined Spittlebug

Dear Grace,
Thanks for sending in your image of a Two-Lined Spittlebug,
Prosapia bicincta.  According to BugGuide:  “In the immature (nymph) stage (surrounded by the “spittle” foam which protects them, and which they produce from juices they suck from the plant) they feed on centipedegrass, bermudagrass and other grasses, including occasionally corn.
Adults feed on hollies – they feed on the underside of leaves, and damage shows up as pale mottling not usually visible from above.”