From the monthly archives: "July 2018"

Subject:  What kind of caterpillar/butterfly is this guy
Geographic location of the bug:  Plainfield IL
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 12:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help us identify this guy whom gave us a bit of fright and left us questioning….what are you looking at!?
How you want your letter signed:  Baffled IL Family

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Baffled IL Family,
This is the Caterpillar of a Tersa Sphinx Moth, and its false eyespots are very effective at scaring potential predators.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas: “Larvae also feed on
Borreria, Catalpa and Manettia spp. and Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra) and starclusters (Pentas species). They are also recorded on joe-pie weed and Hamelia patens.”  Many gardeners grow Pentas in the garden.

Wow! Quick response time. Thank you so much. Enjoy your day!

Subject:  Brunch
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles
Date: 07/28/2018
Time: 04:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this couple at brunch on Saturday afternoon while visiting Mt. Washington.  My friend, Constant Gardener, mentioned that honey bees do not pollinate Cannabis. What led this sweet little honey bee astray?
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Green Lynx eats Honey Bee on Woody Plant

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Your friend and WTB? contributor Constant Gardener is correct that Honey Bees do not pollinate Cannabis, which is pollinated by the wind.  Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Honey Bees on wind pollinated, endangered California Black Walnuts.  We are confident pollination was not the goal of the Honey Bee,
but we can’t think of a logical reason it would visit the plant and fall prey to that Green Lynx Spider that was so well camouflaged among the leaves.  Surprisingly, we found many images online of Honey Bees and Cannabis.  According to the Science Explorer:  “Many people are calling the man who trained bees to make honey from marijuana a genius.  It is something many have talked about doing, but no one has been able to successfully pull it off.  At least until now, of course. His name is Nicholas Trainer. … Trainer managed to train his bees to make honey after gathering resin from the cannabis plants.  ‘I have trained bees to do several things, such as collect sugar from fruits, instead of using flowers,’ Trainer said.  “The aim arose for me to get the bees to obtain this resin.”  By using what he calls “a training technique whereby the bees collect the resin and use it in the beehive,” Nicholas and his bees, which are solely responsible for the final substance, have created the world’s first batch of cannahoney.”  According to Real Farmacy:  “Many are calling him a genius. He is an artisan, locksmith and above all else, he explains, a beekeeper. He has accumulated over 4,300 Facebook followers, and 700 on Instagram, after the 39-year-old Frenchman — who describes himself as an advocate of medical cannabis and of complete cannabis legalization — trained bees to make honey from cannabis.  He goes by the nickname of Nicolas Trainerbees, for obvious reasons. For 20 years, he has worked with bees in a way he claims allows him to “train” them to make honey from virtually anything.”  According to The Organic Dream:  “Nicholas says that he was told by many people that it couldn’t be done, that the marijuana plant was not capable of being pollinated by the bees, who normally specialize in flowering plants, and that even if he succeeded, the bees would be harmed in the process.  But after twp years of trials Nicholas has found that the process actually works really well, and the bees are not harmed at all, in fact they seem to love it!  He concludes that as bees have no endocannabinoid system, they are not affected by the cannabinoids in the same way that humans are, that sometimes makes them drowzy or lethargic.”  According to Weedistry:  “From what we know, bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers that produce pollen and nectar. Most cannabis is pollinated by wind and the flower color is not normally bright enough to attract bees. The male cannabis plants produce pollen but most cannabis that is grown is from the female sinsemilla plants that are not pollinated and do not produce seeds. If bees were to pollinate marijuana it would be at a complete last resort but don’t worry about the bees getting ‘high’. Bees do not contain receptors that connect to the cannabinoids found in marijuana so they will not feel the buzz that people feel.”  Perhaps a bee-keeper in Mount Washington is training Honey Bees as well, which could explain your Food Chain image.  The plant in your image does not appear to have any buds yet, so the reason the Honey Bee was lured to this plant is still a mystery.


Subject:  Vermont nighttime visitor
Geographic location of the bug:  Waitsfield Vermont
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 11:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this guy waiting for us on our porch at 10 PM yesterday. Porch light was on but the bug was just sitting on a cushion. Gone in the morning.
How you want your letter signed:  CL

Bedstraw Hawkmoth

Dear CL,
We suspect this Bedstraw Hawkmoth,
Hyles gallii, was attracted to the porch light.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Hyles gallii ranges coast to coast in Canada (into the Yukon) and southward along the Rocky Mountains into Mexico. It is also widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia.”

Subject:  Beetle ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Lindon, UT near Wasatch Mountains
Date: 07/27/2018
Time: 06:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  After watching fireworks (July) we came back to our garage to find this beetle inside. We’ve never seen this large of a beetle around here. It was about 1.5 inches long, could fly, didn’t walk too fast. I can’t remember what the underside looked like.
How you want your letter signed:  CuriousPence

Prionus heroicus, possibly

Dear CuriousPence,
This is one of the Longicorns in the genus
Prionus, and the dark color and Utah sighting has us speculating it might be Prionus heroicus which is pictured on BugGuide.

Subject:  Wasp w/hornet like coloring and long curled antennae
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland OR
Date: 07/27/2018
Time: 06:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
Found this guy chilling on the shaded wall of a building, so still I thought he may have been asleep. 90+ F outside, so maybe he/she was just lethargic. We are in an industrial area of town near slow-moving swampy backwaters of the Columbia River, so it is a very entomologically active place. Spider wasp maybe? But so brightly colored!
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Hayley

American Hornet Moth

Dear Hayley,
This is neither a wasp nor a hornet.  It is a Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae, a group with many species that are effective mimics of stinging insects.  We have identified your moth on BugGuide as the American Hornet Moth,
Sesia tibiale, and according to BugGuide, other common names include Poplar Clearwing Borer and Cottonwood Crown Borer.

Subject:  Large flying things
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany NY
Date: 07/28/2018
Time: 01:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’d like to know what you are. An why you like trying to steal my tanning chair.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug friend

Mating Tiger Bee Flies

Dear Bug friend,
These are mating Tiger Bee Flies, and to the best of our knowledge, they neither sting nor bite.