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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wierd looking bug appearedin my backyard
Date: 03/20/2021
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia, Victoria
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! The other day this weird bug was eating my flowers so I carefully picked it up and put it on the sidewalk. Can you please try to figure out what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, from TheBugQueen

Hickory Horned Devil: IN AUSTRALIA?????

Dear TheBugQueen,
Had you sent this email today, we would have thought for sure that you were pranking us on April Fool’s Day, but you sent this identification request in over a week and a half ago.  This is a Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth, but it is not native to Australia.  This species is native to eastern North America.  We have no idea how it got to Australia.  Perhaps there is a Saturniid fancier in your neighborhood who raised specimens and some escaped.  To the best of our knowledge, there are no known populations of
Citheronia regalis naturalized in Australia.  We are tagging this as a mystery.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Gray Bird Grasshopper
Date: 03/29/2021
Time: 4:00 PM PDT
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Dear Gentle Readers,
For some time, Daniel has tried to educate the curious about the interconnectivity of all things on our planet, and since the pandemic, Daniel has retreated from the internet (but for work related duties like teaching online) and stopped posting to WTB? on a regular basis.  During that time, Daniel has spent most of his time in the garden during lockdown, and more and more the philosophy of interconnectivity has permeated his life.  The complex relationships between plants and animals in the garden is daunting.  Recently while gardening, this large female Gray Bird Grasshopper was startled into flying by the hose.  According to Charles Hogue in his marvelous book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “I have noticed adults only in the spring; they are gray or brownish in general color, and the hind wings are uniformly transparent olive-green.  The light green nymphs attain noticeable size in the late summer.  Both stages feed on various garden crops and ornamentals.”  The adult females are easily the size of a small bird when they fly with their long legs trailing behind them.  I try to relocate adults and large nymphs elsewhere in the garden when I find them on plants I value.  See BugGuide for more information on the Gray Bird Grasshopper.

Female Gray Bird Grasshopper

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Date: 03/30/2021
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Subject:  Beautiful Butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Dear Bugman, I am hoping you can help me identify this butterfly based on the body shape and wing markings. It was located indoors during the very early spring.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

A lovely butterfly

Dear Melanie,
More than most readers, you know that the past year has been very difficult for Daniel, and with the pandemic, the trauma of teaching online, and a multitude of life changes, your frequent communications have been a great source of comfort for Daniel as he contemplates life changes.  The butterfly has long been a symbol of transition for many people, and hopefully we will all be able to emerge from a long period of isolation, much like the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after having transformed from a nearly unrecognizable caterpillar.  Your butterfly is a fantasy creature, and the peace signs on the wings are a beacon of hope for the future.  Though a fantasy creature, those stunning wings most closely resemble a Brush-footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, and as a resident of Southern California, in our opinion it most closely resembles a Red Admiral, a lovely butterfly that is currently enjoying the warm spring days in Daniel’s own garden.  The are most often seen sunning themselves in the morning and late afternoon so their dark wings absorb the heat of the sun.  Also, Daniel has to come clean and admit he is also Constant Gardener.

Red Admiral

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Eastern Tiger Swallowtails
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/02/2020
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Daniel has been called out of town for a family emergency, and low and behold, he has finally entered the 21st Century by purchasing his first mobile phone, and he has been calling the iPhone 11 Pro he just bought his Magic Phone.  The magic phone takes gorgeous digital images, and Daniel has been taking images of the insects found in The Rust Belt.  Here are images of a male and female (blue scales on the underwings) Eastern Tiger Swallowtails that have been visiting the butterfly bush he is planting in his childhood front yard to replace the dead shrubs that are being removed.  Daniel apologizes for ignoring the numerous identification requests that have been flooding in, but family obligations are currently taking up most of his time.  Daniel hopes to also get some images of the Spicebush Swallowtails that he has seen in the past week.

The male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is smaller and lacks the blue scales on the underwings.

The larger female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has beautiful blue scales on the underwings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination