Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"

Subject:  Black Ladybug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ventura, California
Date: 08/06/2021
Time: 01:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have been seeing so many fabulous bugs this summer but mostly practicing mindfulness and present moment awareness and haven’t captured many pictures for you to identify- but this evening on a neighborhood walk I spotted a black ladybug (?) and wondered if that is a thing?
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Conspicua Form: Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Based on this BugGuide image, this is the “Conspicua Form” of the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle,
Harmonia axyridis.  The common name refers to the extreme color variations possible in this introduced species, including the familiar orange with black spots, but the number of spots may vary, the background color ranges from light to deep orange, and often the spots are absent.  Of the “Conspicua form” BugGuide states:  “A melanic (darkly pigmented) form of Harmonia axyridis. Entirely black with a white central head marking, two rounded pronotum markings, and two red or orange elytral markings. Occasional extreme variants may have reduced or absent white markings on the pronotum.  The extended black pigmentation forms a layer over the usual pattern. Thus, sometimes the standard pattern shows through. In these cases, a black spot from the usual form will show over the red marking, creating a crescent or C-shaped spot.” Your individual displays the “C-shaped spot.”

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Ontario, Canada
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 08:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman. These bugs seems to love my raspberry’s, they also love loving on the leaves(as you can see). Do you know what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Andrew

Japanese Beetles Mating and Eating Raspberries

Dear Andrew,
Let us introduce you to the Japanese Beetle, a species loathed by American gardeners, especially those who grow roses, for over 100 years.  According to BugGuide:  “earliest record in our area: NJ 1916.”

Subject L:  What’s this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Peoria, AZ
Date: 07/14/2021
Time: 12:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just wondering what kind of bug this is? Landed on my patio table, lived in Arizona my whole life and never seen one.
How you want your letter signed:  Jenn

Glassy Winged Sharpshooter

Dear Jenn,
This is a Glassy Winged Sharpshooter and here is an image from BugGuide for comparison.  According to BugGuide:
A major vector of Pierce’s disease on grape. Usually not a serious pest within its native range, southeastern US. This species was accidentally introduced into so. California in the early 1990s, probably with ornamental or agricultural stock. There, it has become a serious threat to viticulture.
The biggest problem is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium Xylella fastidiosa.
The most important biocontrols are egg-parasite wasps in the genus Gonatocerus. Spiders, assassin bugs, and praying mantis prey on the mobile forms.

Subject:  Chinese Wax Scale found when cutting down last year’s sunflower stalks.
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 03/20/2021
Time: 02:49 AM EDT
Several weeks ago, Daniel discovered these Scale Insects on the dried stalks of sunflowers and he left them in the front yard until he had an opportunity to identify them on the internet.  A visit to Alamy revealed the genus name Ceroplastes, and searching that on BugGuide revealed the Chinese Wax Scale.  According to BugGuide:  “eggs laid in chamber under body of adult” and “Non native. Introduced from Asia.”  Daniel threw them into the green recycle bin for garden materials after taking the image because he noticed the dreaded Argentine Ants taking an interest in the Scale and he suspects the Ants help to distribute the Scale nymphs to a new food plant.

Chinese Wax Scale


Subject:  Agressive towards honeybees
Geographic location of the bug:  Sonoma, California
Date: 06/09/2020
Time: 12:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  In my aunts garden the statchys is blooming. There are so many different pollinators, including many honeybees. This insect caught our eye. It hovers, has drone-like flight. It is visiting the flowers but it is very attentive to the competitors. It’s spends about as much time attacking honeybees as it does visiting flowers. When it attacks it seems like it bites. We see many honeybees on the ground with half of a wing, in apparent suffering- It seems they have been hurt or intoxicated
How you want your letter signed:  Mollyanne

Woolcarder Bee

Dear Mollyanne,
This is a male, non-native Woolcarder Bee, a species native to Europe but present in North America since the mid 1960s.  According to BugGuide:  “Males defend their territory very aggressively not only against other males but also against other flower visitors” which explains the behavior towards Honey Bees that you witnessed.

Woolcarder Bee

Subject:  Name of moth/butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Alicante, Spain
Date: 05/06/2020
Time: 09:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I have two of these beauties flying around our garden, one male one female as they have been trying to mate the last couple of days.
Does anyone recognise them? I’ve lived in Spain 15 years and never seen them here before.
They are lovely.
Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Michaela

Butterfly Moth

Dear Michaela,
This is a Butterfly Moth,
Paysandisia archon, a South American species that has been introduced to Europe.  According to the Invasive Species Compendium, it:  “is a Neotropical species indigenous to South America: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Europe it has been reported from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Spain and the UK.”

Butterfly Moth