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

Subject:  Bug from Maui found in wood art
Geographic location of the bug:  In Oregon now, brought Tiki from Hawaii
Date: 03/09/2019
Time: 12:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, Our Tiki from Hawaii had sawdust around it for awhile, I put in a container. A couple months later these two guys showed up. Wondering what they are. Gave them some water but not sure I want to let them loose. They bore big holes in wood.
How you want your letter signed:  Verlan & Kristi

Kiawe Borer

Dear Verlan & Kristi,
This is a Kiawe Roung-Headed Borer,
Placosternus crinicornis, an invasive species in Hawaii.  Its larvae are wood borers that feed on Kiawe or Prosopsis, and ccording to Wikipedia, Kiawe or Prosopis limensis is a species of mesquite native to South America.  According to BugGuide:  “This beetle’s host plant, Kiawe (Prosopis pallida), is a tropical mesquite native to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia that was introduced to Hawai’i by a single seed planted in a courtyard in Honolulu in 1826. Kiawe spread to all islands and became a source of nectar for honey production, the abundant seed pods produced became fodder for a growing cattle industry, and the wood is prized for smoking meats and barbecue. The first Kiawe Round-headed Borer was collected in 1904. The beetles are attracted to felled trees and cut wood.”  Beetles with wood boring larvae frequently emerge from milled lumber many years after the tree that contained the larva was felled.

Kiawe Borers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Two-Toned Asian Ladybird Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Winter Park, Fl, 32792
Date: 02/16/2019
Time: 10:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Discovered a Two-Toned Asian ladybird beetle by my porch  light the other night. Believe that’s the proper ID, one mentioned on a similar photo that its possible that its its wing-case died, leaving one to be lack of red pigmentation?
Curiously, the other post was taken years ago at Disney World, so could this be possible that its genetic mutation instead?
How you want your letter signed:  Alexis Comstock

Two-Toned Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Dear Alexis,
Sorry for the delay.  We were interrupted while creating a posting for your submission and it was saved as a draft and forgotten.  The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle is quite variable.  The suspicion about the dead elytra or wing cover is interesting, but we don’t know if it is accurate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  California Coastal
Date: 02/16/2019
Time: 12:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I keep finding these bugs dead on my floor. I opened some boxes from overseas so that my be where they came from.
How you want your letter signed:  Simon

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Simon,
You are correct that this Terrestrial Amphipod, commonly called a Lawn Shrimp or House Hopper, is from oversees, however, we do not believe it came from your boxes.  Lawn Shrimp have been reported in Southern California for many years.  According to BugGuide, their range is “Southeastern Australia (New South Wales and Victoria), as well as nearby areas of the Pacific, but introduced into New Zealand, the British Isles, Florida and California” and “Non-native; introduced probably from Australia along with blue-gum eucalyptus trees in the 1800s. First recorded in San Francisco, CA in 1967.”  They are not usually noticed until we have soaking rains and they seek shelter from the water-soaked ground.  BugGuide notes:  “These are rarely seen except when flooding or lack of moisture forces them to abandon their home in the soil in search for suitable conditions. At such times they often end up dieing on pavement or in homes and become a nuisance. Once they start appearing, there’s not much that can be done except to sweep them up- pesticides are pointless, bcause by then they’re already dying or dead.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Stink bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Framingham, MA
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 03:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Bugman!
My daughter reached out to me with pics of an insect she and her hubby are finding in their new home in Framingham, MA. Apparently with the cold weather, they’re finding an increasing number of these critters around the windowsills. They look suspiciously like stink bugs, yet I’ve seen other similar-looking insects that are not stink bugs.
Please advise. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kenda

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Hi Kenda,
This is indeed a Stink Bug.  It is an invasive, exotic Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, an Asian species first discovered in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, and it has now spread across North America.  It poses a serious threat to agriculture as it is known to feed from over 300 different plant species.  According to BugGuide:  “n the US, reported to damage apples, pears, peaches, cherries, corn, tomatoes, peppers, soybean, ornamentals…”  Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs frequently enter homes to hibernate when the weather cools.  They will not harm the home, but they are a nuisance if they are plentiful.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Thank you, Daniel. What would you suggest to be the least harmful way to remove them from the home? Should my daughter and son-in-law be concerned about eggs in and around the home or do the Stink Bugs lay on specific plants/crops?
Grazie mille!

Hi Kenda,
When it comes to invasive species like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, we have no reservations about squashing individuals found in the home.  If you are concerned about not harming the bug, the best way to remove it is with a martini glass or wine glass.  Trap the insect in the vessel and slip a postcard under the rim and then transport the insect outside.  We use that method with stinging insects and any that we do not want to handle either because they might bite or because they are especially delicate.  We doubt they will lay eggs in the home, and the list of outdoor plants upon which they will feed is quite extensive, so we are presuming something they will eat is growing in your daughter’s yard.

Update:  February 17, 2019
A Facebook comment by Fern mentioned this New Yorker article where it states:  “What makes the brown marmorated stinkbug unique, though, is not just its tendency to congregate in extremely large numbers but the fact that it boasts a peculiar and unwelcome kind of versatility. Very few household pests destroy crops; fleas and bedbugs are nightmarish, but not if you’re a field of corn. Conversely, very few agricultural pests pose a problem indoors; you’ll seldom hear of people confronting a swarm of boll weevils in their bedroom. But the brown marmorated stinkbug has made a name for itself by simultaneously threatening millions of acres of American farmland and grossing out the occupants of millions of American homes.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Illinois at Wisconsin border
Date: 02/07/2019
Time: 11:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this caterpillar stuck to the ice on 2-6-19, in the middle of winter during a period of very wintery weather.  It was in the yard, no where near any trees or bushes.  The temps have been generally near freezing, but we did have a warming a few days ago (temps in the high 40s) which was just after a sever cold (-27 neg numbers 3 days in a row).  This caterpillar had its back feet frozen into the ice but its body was soft and it is still alive after being warmed in the house.
How you want your letter signed:  Steve

Winter Cutworm

Dear Steve,
This is a Cutworm in the family Noctuidae, and based on the time of year and the conditions under which it was found, we are confident it is a Winter Cutworm,
Noctua pronuba, the caterpillar of the invasive Large Yellow Underwing.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced from Europe to Nova Scotia in 1979, this species has since spread north to the Arctic Ocean, west to the Pacific, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Unknown
Date: 01/25/2019
Time: 02:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Sir,
I have many bugs in resin, that I would like to be identified. If this is possible that would be great. The bugs vary from scorpions to beetles, from flies to crickets. I do have more bugs to identify, however only three images could be attached, if you could contact me and then I will be able to attach the other images. If more images are required please contact me. Thank you very much.
How you want your letter signed:  Best Regards, George.

Spotted Lanternfly in Lucite

Dear George,
In most cases, we have an ethical opposition to the trade in insects preserved in lucite, but we are especially intrigued by one of your images that appears to be a Spotted Lanternfly,
Lycorma delicatula, an invasive, exotic species that was recently accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania about five years ago, and has since become a significant concern as a threat to the agriculture industry as well as to home gardeners.  We have no ethical opposition to capturing invasive species and embedding them in lucite to sell as curios to raise money to help fight the spread of this and other non-native species that become established, often threatening native species.

Dear Mr.Marlos,
Thank you for the reply, and the help in identifying an insect. I was also just wondering why are you opposed to this, because I do like keeping insects and animals, I have a tortoise and I have owned frogs and millipedes, and I just want to know the reasons. Thanks so much for your reply.
Best Regards, George.
George Evans
Dear George,
We have a similar reaction on a much greater scale when we see big game hunters with their trophies.  We would prefer to see living beasts than to see antelope heads mounted on walls or tiger skin rugs in front of fireplaces.  Collectors will spend high sums for rare species, which leads to poaching.  There is a book called Winged Obsession about butterfly smuggling.  Most cheap trinkets of insects embedded in lucite do not fall into the endangered species category, but our issues stem more from people who collect because of the desire to own pretty things to display rather than to collect specimens for scientific research.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination