From the monthly archives: "March 2019"

Subject:  Spider/beetle/ant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Estrella, Arizona
Date: 03/20/2019
Time: 10:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These guys were everywhere off the side of the road in the washout area but now we can’t figure out what they were!
How you want your letter signed:  CJSM

Desert Harvestman

Dear CJSM,
Though it resembles a Spider, this Harvestman in the order Opiliones is a related, non-venomous Arachnid.  Thanks to the Sonoran Desert Naturalist site, we identified it as a Desert Harvestman in the genus
Eurybunus.  The site states:  “Desert Harvestmen, like most other harvestmen are probably scavengers that feed on dead insects. They are harmless and do not bite or possess venom. Probably the most astonding feature beyond the ultra-slender legs is the mid-body turret upon which the simple eyes are attached.”  According to BugGuide:  “Adults found in winter and Spring.”  

Subject:  Beetle id needed
Geographic location of the bug:  Kitchen Creek Falls Trail, Cleveland Nat’l Forest,CA
Date: 03/20/2019
Time: 01:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  is this another Shining Leaf Chafer: Paracotalpa puncticollis ?
How you want your letter signed:  Terri V

Little Bear Scarab, we believe

Dear Terri,
We believe you have the genus correct, but we are not certain of the species, though because of its dark coloration, we are leaning toward a different Little Bear Scarab,
Paracotalpa ursina based on this BugGuide image from San Diego.  The posting includes a comment stating:  “Paracotalpa ursina, dark form. Very common in that area on Chamise this time of year.”

Subject:  Unknown insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Pacific Northwest
Date: 03/18/2019
Time: 08:31 PM EDTYour letter to the bugman
Early spring: I found many of these inside the rotting stem of my artichoke plants. They’re less than 1/2 inch on length, are legless,  and move a little like a caterpillar but with much less flexibility.
How you want your letter signed:  a gardener

Maggot found in Artichoke Stem

Dear Gardener,
This is most certainly the larva of a Fly, generally called a Maggot, and our best guess at this point is that it is the larva of
Terellia fuscicornis, a species of Fruit Fly pictured on BugGuide that feeds on artichokes.  Alas, we have not been able to locate any images of the larvae.  Bug Safari has additional images of the adult Fly.

Maggot found in Artichoke Stem

Subject:  Bug found at Joshua Tree Nat Park
Geographic location of the bug:  Joshua Tree National Park
Date: 03/19/2019
Time: 12:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I found this little guy/gal on March 17, 2019 at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Do you know what it is? Thank you, Deb
How you want your letter signed:  deb

Weevil

Dear Deb,
This is some species of Weevil, but we do not recognize it.  Can you please provide an approximate size and any other helpful information.  Was it found on a plant?  What type of plant?  Often, knowing the food preferences is a big assistance with identifications.

Weevil

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for replying.
Ah-ha! I thought it might be some sort of a weevil! J
I am sorry, I thought I sent you the photo of it with my finger in the photo so you could see its size in relationship to my finger.
Attached is the photo of it with my thumb in the photo. It is about the size of my thumb nail.
It was not found on a plant.
I found it March 17, 2019, on the roadway, under my solar panels in La Quinta, CA behind the Torre Nissan dealership (address: 2069 79125, CA-111, La Quinta, CA 92253)
I don’t know if this is relevant or not to its origin:

  • Just prior to finding it, I was out camping at Joshua Tree National Park in California from March 7, 2019 – March 16, 2019.
  • I stayed at Belle campground in the park.
  • The park was in full bloom.
  • When leaving the park on March 16, 2019, I had vehicle problems and was towed to Torre Nissan dealership (address: 2069 79125, CA-111, La Quinta, CA 92253)
  • While waiting for my truck to be repaired, I parked my travel trailer behind the Nissan dealership.
  • I put out my solar panels on the roadway so I would have electricity while I waited.
  • The next day, on March 17, 2019, my truck repairs were done and I went to pack up my solar panels and this little guy was on the ground under my panels.
  • I can’t be sure that he stowed away in my solar panels or that I carried him from Joshua Tree National Park to La Quinta, CA.
  • All I can say is that it was on the roadway, under my solar panels, in La Quinta, CA behind the Torre Nissan dealership (address: 2069 79125, CA-111, La Quinta, CA 92253)

Thank you for your help.
I posted it on my Facebook page and everyone was interested in knowing what this strange creature was.
I did a little research on the internet and I thought it might be a weevil of some sort.
Deb

Unknown Weevil

Subject:  Black and orange with yellow legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Williamsburg, VA
Date: 03/19/2019
Time: 08:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My two year old came across this bug while picking up rocks. She touched it and ran back to me saying “ouch!” over and over. There is a red mark on her finger. I don’t know if it bit her or stung her or if it has a substance on it. We have found them in our yard before, but never touched them. She probably did not see it and just reached down for a rock. She is fine, but I can’t find a picture that matched exactly. When it unrolls it has a black “face” area. Thank you in advance for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Worried Mom

Colorful Millipede

Dear Worried Mom,
This is sure a colorful Millipede, and though we are not certain of the species, we believe it might be
Semionellus placidus which is pictured on BugGuide and reported from Virginia.  Of the family Xystodesmidae, BugGuide indicates:  “Many are brightly colored and all have stink glands.”  We seem to recall that some Millipedes can release cyanide as a defense, but we will need to do additional research on that matter.  We do not believe this colorful Millipede poses a threat.

Subject:  Black and White Darling Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Corona, CA
Date: 03/17/2019
Time: 08:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I can’t find any information on white Darkling beetles.  This beetle does the classic tail in the air when threatened pose.
How you want your letter signed:  JohnD

Acrobat Beetle with unusual markings

Dear JohnD,
The piebald markings on your Acrobat Beetle or Stink Beetle in the
Eleodes, a genus well represented on BugGuide, do not seem naturally occurring to us.  Also, the markings appear to be layered, with a whiter coloration on top of a creamier coloration.  Is it possible this Acrobat Beetle had an encounter with a paint brush?  We will continue to research this matter.

Hi Daniel,
We thought that same thing at first.  However, we were not able to carefully scrape off any of the white and cream color like we would have been able to if it were paint.  Additionally, we found him quite far from houses in a river bed/ravine location. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the bug, we have a standing order for our 9 year old to safely release all bugs after taking a short look at them.  We will look around near where he released it to see if we can find it again and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Thanks!