Currently viewing the category: "Curious World of Bugs"

Subject:  Caterpillar eating rhubarb
Geographic location of the bug:  Lancaster, PA
Date: 10/03/2021
Time: 10:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These caterpillars are devastating our rhubarb.    Any idea what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Joe

Yellow-Striped Armyworm

Dear Joe,
This looks like a Yellow-Striped Armyworm,
Spodoptera ornithogalli, which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Yellow-Striped Armyworm is not listed on the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook of rhubarb pests, but two other members of the genus are listed.  Armyworms and Cutworms are often general feeders and it is sometimes difficult to get a comprehensive listing of all the plants they will feed upon.

Subject:  Flying jnsect
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, CA
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 09:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these bugs ALL OVER the kitchen today. What are they and how do I get rid of them??
How you want your letter signed:  Lene Covert

Termite Alates

Dear Lene,
You have Termite alates, swarming kings and queens that will mate and begin new colonies.  We believe they are Pacific Dampwood Termites.  We do not give extermination advice.

Subject:  Immature walkingstick?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwestern Wisconsin
Date: 09/27/2021
Time: 10:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little guy on a plant I recently brought back inside because of cool weather.  Isn’t it a little late in the year for new hatches?
How you want your letter signed:  Jennifer

Immature Zelus Assassin Bug

Dear Jennifer,
This is not a Walkingstick.  It is an immature, predatory Assassin Bug in the genus
Zelus.  Handle with caution.  They bite and the bite is allegedly painful, but not considered dangerous.

Why not consider a book?

The Curious World of Bugs

It has been ten months since Daniel’s book, The Curious World of Bugs was released by Penguin/Perigee, and sadly, it never hit #1 on any best sellers lists despite the numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon (honestly, none of our friends wrote them).  If you know someone who is interested in things that crawl, consider this as a gift idea and get a copy for your own bookshelf as well.  If you have read the book, consider posting a review on Amazon.  We can’t understand why Martha has still not booked an appearance.
Interestingly, our crack technical staff just informed us that in the past month, nearly 60% of the copies of The Curious World of Bugs that were ordered through our website links came from the Denver, Colorado area.  Can it really be that Denver is ground zero for entomophiles?

Why not consider a book?

The Curious World of Bugs

It has been nine months since Daniel’s book, The Curious World of Bugs was released by Penguin/Perigee, and sadly, it never hit #1 on any best sellers lists despite the numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon (honestly, none of our friends wrote them).  If you know someone who is interested in things that crawl, consider this as a gift idea and get a copy for your own bookshelf as well.  If you have read the book, consider posting a review on Amazon.  We can’t understand why Martha has still not booked an appearance.

Thanks to John at Alberini’s Restaurant in Niles Ohio, we have decided that The Curious World of Bugs children’s version needs to have full page or even double truck illustrations that may be colored to approximate the coloration and markings of the actual insects in much the same way that Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Books were all hand colored.  Daniel is pitching the idea to his editor Maria Gagliano at Penguin/Perigee.  The coloring book will include 18 pages of identical illustrations of a Cicada with a brief paragraph on each of the 18 Australian Cicadas with names like Yellow Monday, Blue Moon, Green Grocer, Chocolate Soldier and Double Drummer.  See pages 22-25 in The Curious World of Bugs.  Young readers may with adult supervision if necessary, locate images online of the various Cicadas so they might have an original to replicate, or they may just choose to be more creative with the interpretation of the name.  How would you color the Green Grocer Cicada if you had never seen a photograph of one?

Cicada Drawing

We couldn’t resist demonstrating that we are able to color digitally.  And now, The Green Grocer.

The Green Grocer, an Australian Cicada

Daniel Marlos writes in The Curious World of Bugs:  The Bugman’s Guide to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl:  “Green Grocer, Cylochila australasiae: This highly variable cicada has a different common name for each of its color variations, with green being the most common color morph.  The Green Grocer is a reference to the vegetable venders of yore and might refer to the bright color of the insect, which is similar to the color of lightly blanched greens (as opposed to when they’re overcooked.”  Here is a photo of a Green Grocer from our archives and our Bug of the Month posting from December 2010.

Green Grocer Cicada from Australia. Photo by LC