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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  identify bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Maria California
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 03:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I just found this bug on my front porch and wanted to find out what it is.  I just moved to California from back East and have never seen a bug like this before!
How you want your letter signed:  LCS

Potato Bug

Dear LCS,
Welcome to California.  This is arguably the most iconic California insect, the Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, a subterranean Orthopteran that is driven to the surface by rains.  Your images are awesome.

Potato Bug

Thank you so much!  I have gotten attached to the little guy and would like to keep him but my kids think it’s weird!  So I had better put him back outside!  Have never had a “bug pet” before!!  Thanks again,  LCS

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  bug on a lichen
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, Naples FL
Date: 02/01/2019
Time: 09:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch big, just attached to the lichen. I found this about 11 a.m, and it was still there when I came back probably about 1 hr. later, and it showed no signs of life. I’m sure I was the only one who ever saw this, and I did show it to a family.
How you want your letter signed:  Sylvia

Lichen Mimic Mantid

WOW Sylvia,
We have no shortage of images of Lichen Mimic Mantids or Grizzled Mantids on our site and there are even a few that show them perfectly camouflaged against bark or lichens, but we have never seen a Lichen Mimic Mantid image more impressive than yours, not the least characteristic of which is the white color of the Mantid.  This is the whitest individual we could locate on BugGuide and it appears about a zone darker than the individual in your image.  We have never had the pleasure of observing Lichen Mimic Mantids in nature, but our own experience with California Mantids leads us to believe she is going to stay on that white patch where she blends in perfectly.  Like the California Mantis female, the Lichen Mimic Mantid female is flightless, and both are much more likely to remain in the same place if the hunting is good while the winged male is much more mobile, a good attribute since the male seeks out the female.  Though we already selected a Bug of the Month February 2019, since your submission arrived on the first of the month, we have no problem designating it as Bug of the Month February 2019 as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bright Green beetle, dark blue legs and orange head.
Geographic location of the bug:  Mitcham Victoria Australia
Date: 01/30/2019
Time: 11:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify this beetle? I would be very great full if you can.
How you want your letter signed:  Yours truly  Andrea King

Female Golden Stag Beetle

This is a marvelous image of what we believe is a female Golden Stag Beetle, Lamprima aurata, that we identified thanks to the Museums Victoria Collections site where it is described as:  “Body oval and shiny. Colour varies; green, red, blue or purple all over body. Males have larger bodies and larger jaws (mandibles) than females. Body up to 3 cm long, usually 1.5 – 2.5 cm.”   FlickR includes a really beautiful image, and according to Encyclopedia of Life:  ” is relatively common throughout Australia, and fairly variable in coloration, so has been given many names by various authors. Females are smaller than the males, and males have the mandibles enlarged and prolonged forwards. The colour of the males is typically metallic golden green or golden yellow, while females may be blue, blue-green or also dull brown.”  Your inquiry is perfectly timed to be our Bug of the Month for February 2019.

Hi Daniel,
That is marvellous.  Just wondering if I can have my name on it instead of ‘yours truly’ as I didn’t know what was meant by ‘how would you like it signed’.  Also does it cost to register on the site?
Kind regards
Andrea King

Hi Andrea,
There is no charge to register on WTB?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed Note: We knew that we were getting close to our 25,000th posting for a few months now, and we decided to check today, but we were caught by surprise to find out we were at 24,999.  We decided to make this one special, a little different from our usual identification requests, so we decided to post the images Daniel just shot of a pair of California Mantids at the porch light, and perhaps to wax philosophically about what we hope we are accomplishing by publishing our humble site, now beginning its 16th year as a unique website.

Female California Mantis on the porch light

For years we have been running images, generally late in the season, of California Mantids attracted to the porch light to catch insects.  Male Mantids that can fly are much more common than are flightless females that have a more difficult time reaching the light, so this female was something of an anomaly.  Later in the day, she was joined by a male California Mantis who was probably attracted by her pheromones.  We thought we would take this opportunity with this significant milestone of 25,000 postings to expound a bit on our philosophy of a healthy ecosystem in the garden.  Mature predators like these Mantids catch larger insects, and adult Mantids are much more visible in the garden, but the real significance of having predators is the number of smaller insects they consume while growing.  Young Mantids, barely a centimeter in length hatch in the spring, and they perform an incalculable benefit with the large numbers of tiny insects they eat while growing.  Having a healthy population of predators in your garden throughout the year will help control many insect pests without the use of pesticides.

A pair of California Mantids

Though we have numerous identification request awaiting our attention, we have decided to take the rest of the day off and let our 25,000th posting stand alone today.  We will return tomorrow and we will try to catch up on unanswered mail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination