From the monthly archives: "March 2019"

Subject:  Red Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 03:01 PM EDTYour letter to the bugman:  I have no idea what these are, the only leads I have are Goldenrain Tree bugs, and they don’t match the description of one.
How you want your letter signed:  Ichneumon Wasp

Immature Red Shoulder Bugs

Dear Ichneumon Wasp,
We concur that these are immature Red Shoulder Bugs, also known as Goldenrain Tree Bugs,
Jadera haematoloma, which are pictured on BugGuide.

Subject:  Rescued Dung Beetles
Geographic location of the bug:  Hialeah Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 12:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I often see dung beetles drowning in my swimming pool-not sure why they wind up in there so often. Last Dec 31 I netted four of them in a few minutes and set them on a wall to dry out and take photos before they wandered away. One was gone before I could get back with the camera. I love how their shells vary- one had a beautiful long curving horn and side spikes on the shield. I wonder if that’s a variation due to age or gender or is it just that some beetles get lucky in the shell genetic lottery?
How you want your letter signed:  Marian

Rainbow Scarabs

Dear Marian,
Your image of rescued Rainbow Scarabs, a type of Dung Beetle, is awesome, as is the rescue story.  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  Male Rainbow Scarabs have the horn, but there is some genetic lottery involved as well.  According to BugGuide:  “Pronotum of ‘major’ male has sharp posterior angles.  Major males, depicted, are easier to differentiate than minor males (w/ short horns) and females (w/ very short horns).”

Subject:  Giant Swallowtail Puddling
Geographic location of the bug:  Hialeah Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 12:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was cleaning out algae-muck from my pool on March 3 and this Giant Swallowtail spent a long time drinking the dampness from it, so I was able to get a few really nice photos of it that I thought you might like.
I don’t see them very often, but twice I found them puddling when I’d done yard work and left water on cement/tile. I’m guessing that being so large, they need more moisture than the average butterfly, and so sometimes nectar just isn’t enough.
How you want your letter signed:  Marian

Puddling Giant Swallowtail

Dear Marian,
Your images of a puddling Giant Swallowtail are beautiful.  It is our understanding that butterflies newly emerged from the Chrysalis drink from puddles to get important minerals as well as moisture.  The Swallowtails, the Blues and the Sulphur Butterflies are among the most frequent puddlers.  It is also our understanding that males are more frequently found at puddles than are female butterflies.

Giant Swallowtail

Subject:  Migrating Painted Ladies
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 03/14/2019
Time: 07:40 AM EDT
For over a week now, Daniel has been seeing 1000s of Painted Ladies flying throughout Los Angeles, including on the campus of Los Angeles City College.  One neighbor sent Daniel an email inquiring:  “Hundreds if not many more butterflies emerging from the trees in Red Hawk Canyon. Been going on all day.  I tried to get some video of them but hard to discern against the trees and greenery all around.  I think they’re Viceroys. They all seem to be heading West.  Rene.”  Another neighbor left a telephone message inquiry.  Though he did not get any images of the flight, Daniel did manage to get this image of a Painted Lady nectaring on Baccharis in Glassell Park.

Painted Lady


Subject:  Large black “fly” with clear wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Safari Park Escondido CA
Date: 03/12/2019
Time: 02:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Not sure if this is a rodent bot (?), hope not.
How you want your letter signed:  Linda

Mexican Cactus Fly

Dear Linda,
We love your in flight image of a Mexican Cactus Fly, one of the Hover Flies in the family Syrphidae.  Despite its name, the Mexican Cactus Fly is a native species.  The Mexican Cactus Fly is one of the larger Flies we have seen in our Mount Washington, Los Angeles neighborhood.

Mexican Cactus Fly

Subject:  Bizarre Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Atlanta , Georgia
Date: 03/13/2019
Time: 08:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found on backyard wood deck. It is March. Found three others similar last year. Bug has on its back what look like crystals. It leaves strange residues on Petri dish. Scuttles quite fast. Very strange formations or perhaps its got stuff stuck to it? Or, is it carrying babies, or its lunch? Spider-like legs, pinchers, hairs on legs. 6 legs I think. Very bold stripes on face. I’m terrified.
How you want your letter signed:  C.McElhenny

Debris-Carrying Lacewing

Dear C. McElhenny,
This looks like a Debris-Carrying Lacewing larva.  They are ferocious predators and though we have received reports of people being bitten by Lacewing Larvae and by adult Lacewings, we have not gotten any reports of anyone being bitten by a Debris-Carrying Lacewing larva.