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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Yellow or Anise Swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 05/14/2020
Time: 05:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Is this a yellow swallowtail or an anise swallowtail (or are they the same)? She’s laying her eggs on a fennel plant.
Thanks,
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Ovipositing

Dear Jeff,
Please forgive our tardy response.  According to the Jeffrey Glassberg book
Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, the Anise Swallowtail has both a dark and a light or yellow form, and they are not designated as  distinct subspecies.  The two color forms exist over much of the species’ range.  According to BugGuide, there are two subspecies and BugGuide notes:  “There has been a lot of debate over the years as to whether the inland populations of P. zelicaon are different enough to consider as a distinct subspecies from ‘typical’ zelicaon from closer to the Pacific. Also, it is debated, assuming there is a difference, just what the difference is, and where one population begins and the other ends.”  We always appreciate your butterfly submissions and we are tagging this submission of an Anise Swallowtail as our Bug of the Month for June 2020.  As a side note, Daniel was excited to find a young Anise Swallowtail caterpillar on a dill umbel in his garden and he watched it grow over the course of a week, only to have it vanish.  The suspected culprit is a Paper Wasp seen patrolling the dill plant the day the caterpillar vanished.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Luna Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Wakefield Quebec
Date: 05/27/2020
Time: 10:38 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy was a pleasant surprise today to my 5 year old son/ant and bug collector
How you want your letter signed:  Gene

Luna Moth

Dear Gene,
We are so excited that your submission is our first Luna Moth posting of the year, though one can only guess how many Luna Moth submissions arrived between April 21 when Daniel last checked his emails and now.  Canadian sightings are occur around June, and our earliest sightings, sometimes as early as January or February, are generally from Texas and Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dark Winged Beauty
Geographic location of the bug:  Ventura, California
Date: 05/25/2020
Time: 07:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have noticed this beauty on my patio the past few days. It stays close and sometimes pauses  briefly to bask in the sunlight. I was hoping to catch a picture of the open wing span, but instead it kept it’s wings together, eventually took flight   pausing mid air about 6 inches from my face and then departed.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie in the Irish Chain

Mourning Cloak

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Thank you so much for your entertaining telephone call describing this beauty, and you actually identified it as a Mourning Cloak during the call.  You are absolutely correct.  The Mourning Cloak often basks in the sun, and it is rarely seen nectaring from flowers.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed primarily on tree sap (oaks preferred) and rotting fruit; only occasionally on flower nectar.”  Your posting lured Daniel back to the site he has ignored for nearly five weeks, and he has never in the eighteen years the site has existed, been away that long, even in the early days of exhausted band width when after about ten days, Daniel could post no more until the first of the next month.  Thanks again for our enjoyable morning conversations and for making Daniel realize he really does need to make at least one posting per day.  Though the month is nearly over, Daniel never selected a Bug of the Month for May 2020, so since it is the first identification request we have filled since April 21, it is now the Bug of the Month for May 2020.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  some sort of scorpion
Geographic location of the bug:  akureyri, iceland
Date: 02/15/2020
Time: 05:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this scorpion was found in akureyri iceland, pretty far from home im guessing, do you know what kind of scorpion it is and if its dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  icelandic scorpion

Scorpion, from Iceland!!!

Your query leaves many questions unanswered.  It is currently winter in Iceland and we imagine it is quite cold right now.  You did not indicate if this Scorpion was discovered this week, last month or during the summer.  You did not indicate where it was found other than what we have learned is a city in northern Iceland called Akureyri.  Was it found indoors or outdoors?  Was it found in a garden or someplace more wild where there are hot springs that might explain how a Scorpion can survive in Iceland in the winter?  We can’t help but to ponder if this an escaped pet or some symptom of extreme global warming?  Though it is not the ideal citation, we are very amused with this quote from the blog Gagleg Maltaka which states:  “And now it’s time for one of my favorite things ever– today’s word is sporðdreki, the Icelandic word for scorpion. I’ve been fascinated with scorpions for a long time now, and have been keeping select species in captivity since my freshman year of college. If everything goes as planned, one day I will conduct independent research on their behavior/evolution and eventually become the scorpion guy. But enough about that. It’s interesting that there is a native Icelandic word for “scorpion” to begin with, as scorpions are not found in Iceland or anywhere remotely near the Arctic Circle for that matter.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination