Currently viewing the tag: "Bug Humanitarian Award"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

katydid diet
Hi Bugman,
My husband and I have been adopted by what I believe is a katydid (photos below). S/he’s missing a back leg but otherwise seems okay and has been living on our patio for the past two days. I’ve been feeding our new friend romaine and “spring mix” lettuces, which s/he consumes with great enthusiasm. Still, I am wondering what his/her native diet might be … There are no plants on our patio, and I would like to feed this elegant insect whatever food to which s/he is accustomed. Also, s/he spends the night inside of a little, open-ended box I provided — crawling inside of it on her/his own shortly after sunset, albeit *very* slowly, as though affected by the cooler evening temperatures… So, also, if you have information regarding this creature’s temperature requirements for optimal metabolism, I would appreciate it. This may sound odd, but we’re becoming fond of our little friend and would like to keep it happy and healthy for as long as it chooses to stay with us.
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving,
Kelly Neill
San Diego, CA (beach area)

Hi Kelly,
Yours is the second rescue letter we are posting today. This is a Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia mexicana. Your specimen looks like a female. The diet you are supplying is fine. Katydids eat foliage from many trees and shrubs. In our Mt. Washington garden, they are plentiful now and have a fondness for chewing rose petals and buds, which doesn’t make us happy. We don’t kill them as we love Katydids, but we shoo them off of our rose bushes with a hose. Usually they fly into the pine trees and return to the roses the next day. Temperature wise, they will survive the cooler winter temperatures, but they have a life expectancy of less than a year. Good luck with your new pet.

Thanks, Daniel, for your email and the information you provided. Our little lady fled the coup (patio) this afternoon… I now know she’s a she because I researched Scudderia Mexicana this morning after seeing an online photo named as such which resembled her, and then discovering that she has an ovipositer. Still, you are the only resource I’ve found insofar as her diet is concerned, let alone her lifespan… Now I’ll know what I need to know should another Scudderia happen along. I was thrilled to find your site. My husband and I moved back to California last month after spending almost a year in southwest Florida, where exotic little animals of every sort are abundant — and where we both rather unexpectedly became interested in interesting-looking bugs. I took lots of photos there of you-name-it moths, beetles, and wasps (“you-name-it” because I still have *no* specific idea of what some of these creatures were), but dropped the hobby after returning to California. I thought I’d never have a noteworthy encounter with a bug out here (over-familiarity making for a lack of appreciation), until this katydid showed up. I now hope to discover that which I previously ignored as a California native. Anyway, my husband and I very much appreciate what you’re doing with whatsthatbug.com. Thanks for sharing everyone’s photos, your gifts and your wisdom. You have two new fans.
Sincerely,
Kelly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A dragonfly story
Seeing your great site has made me want to share all my favorite bug pictures. My fiancé and I had a fun dragonfly experience this summer. We were swimming in Walden Pond when we came upon a large dragonfly floating submerged under the water. It was so beautiful I decided I wanted to take it home, so I took it out of the water and laid it in the sun on my backpack to dry. 45 minutes later when we came out of the water, I picked up the dragonfly, and it grabbed my fingers and clung on for dear life. Over the next half hour or so it revived more and more, and I left it clinging to a branch in a nearby tree. Two days later when we returned, I checked the area, and it was gone, so I like to think it revived completely and was able to go about its business – a childhood spent saving bugs from pools taught me that bugs can make the most amazing recoveries. That day, we again went swimming, and when we returned, we found another dragonfly sitting on our backpack. It refused to move even when we moved in close for photos. Finally, my fiancé moved his hand over it, and it lifted just long enough to avoid being brushed, and then realighted on his hand, where it stayed long enough for another good photo op. We like to imagine it was coming to thank us for the previous day’s rescue. And when the photos came back, we noticed for the first time that there were red hearts on its abdomen!
Johanne

Hi Johanne,
What a wonderful story. We believe the Dragonfly with the hearts is an Elisa Skimmer, Celithemis elisa, and the other is one of the Darners.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

monarchs on my milkweed
I still like the milkweed beetles more, but this is the initial reason I decided to let the milkweed grow rampant in my garden (despite my neighbor’s request that I pull it all in the spring). I hope these are indeed real monarchs, please let me know if they aren’t.
Thanks,
John

Hi John,
The Monarchs have landed. We hope you get caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sadly I found this spider dead in our swimming pool skimmer. When I looked closely I found that there were many tiny baby spiders clinging to the mother. I was surprised that they were able to survive. Can you tell me what kind of spider this is and do you think the young spiders can survive?
Kathy

Hi Again Kathy,
Your spider is a Wolf Spider. The mother often carries the spiderlings on her back for several days to weeks. Though they survived the drowning, there are many perils awaiting young spiderlings, so they will not all survive, but some surely will.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

toe-biter or stag beetle… I’m guessing
This stag beetle or toe biter (or whatever it is) was found in our dog’s water dish on our back porch. I “scooped” it out with the glass jar that you see. (I didn’t want it to die, but I also didn’t want to let it go until I could find out what it is.) The photos of the beetles were taken today (July 8, 2004) near Chattanooga, Tennessee. (I sent two photos hoping that my hand holding the jar would provide some perspective. I thought the photo without my hand perhaps had a better angle.) Hope these photos are helpful to someone seeking more information. Thanks for your help… despite the barrage of inquiries you receive. I’m glad to know there’s a place that can help “name” the many insect-type “critters” out there!
Sincerely,
Anita

Hi Anita,
Your beetle, which you undoubtedly saved from sure drowning, is a Stag Beetle, probably a Pseudolucanus species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination