Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"

Subject:  Beetles on squash and tomatoes
Geographic location of the bug:  Williamsburg, MA
Date: 07/19/2019
Time: 09:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi these beetles appeared overnight in my vegetable garden in Western Massachusetts, particularly on my tomatoes and squash. I’ve never seen them before and haven’t found them on the internet. Any ideas what they are and how I can get rid of them? Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Laura Garcia

Oriental Beetle

Dear Laura,
This sure looks like the invasive, exotic Oriental Beetle,
Exomala orientalis, to us.  We do not provide extermination advice, but the CABI Invasive Species Compendium has some information you might find helpful.

Subject:  Beetle eating my grape leaves
Geographic location of the bug:  SC Kentucky
Date: 07/15/2019
Time: 05:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These beetles showed up almost over night and are eating all the leaves of what I think are grapes.
How you want your letter signed:  Brad Beach

Japanese Beetles feeding on grape leaves

Dear Brad,
Because they will eat the blossoms and leaves of so many prized garden plants including roses, blackberries and peaches as well as your grape vines, Japanese Beetles are among the most reviled, introduced species that affect home gardeners.  According to Featured Creatures:  “
More than 300 species of plants are known to be host to Japanese beetle.”  Your array of images makes for a perfect Japanese Beetle posting, including the image of the mating pair and the documentation of the damage to leaves, which Pearl calls “lace doilies.”

Mating Japanese Beetles

“Lace Doilies”:  Grape leaves eaten by Japanese Beetles

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Michigan
Date: 07/11/2019
Time: 05:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Was wondering what kind of beetle this is? Have Japanese beetles also.
How you want your letter signed:  Kristine Degrace

Oriental Beetle

Dear Kristine,
In addition to Japanese Beetles, you also have Oriental Beetles,
Exomala orientalis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “native to E. Asia, adventive in NA (*NS-GA to ON-WI-*MO), and spreading.”

Subject:  Wasp lands on me WITH caterpillar meal
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri, United States
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 12:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  so today one of the most cool, weird, and gross things happened to me. I was sitting outside with my bearded dragon and we were under a nice tree. I feel a plop on my arm and I look down to see what it is and my hand is already poised to gently brush off whatever bug has wandered onto me, but I see the black and yellow and my brain registers: THAT is a wasp.
I pulled out my camera as fast as I could because… this is absolutely wild, I’ve never had this happen. and I sit there as I watch this wasp crunch her caterpillar prey WHILE SITTING ON MY ARM… when I moved my arm she got spooked and flew away, leaving her dead caterpillar laying on me… which I brushed off onto the sidewalk.
I have included the caterpillar itself as well, which I’m curious to know the name of, if possible.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

European Paper Wasp with Caterpillar prey alights on tattooed arm.

Dear Michael,
We applaud your quick reflex “inaction” to the aposomatic or warning coloration on this European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology: “Before 1981, the European paper wasp was not recorded in North America. In its native region, P. dominulais the most abundant paper wasp in those countries around the Mediterranean. It is also found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and eastward into China.  A highly successful colonizer, this wasp has rapidly increased its distribution in the United States during the past 20 years. Before the introduction of this new species, the northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, was the most frequently encountered species in and around structures in Pennsylvania.”  That site also observes:  “Whenever new species are introduced into an environment (either intentionally or accidentally), there are unpredictable consequences. The increased risk for stings is an obvious concern. Even more troubling, it appears that this new introduction has had an adverse impact on the native species of Polistes. The apparent reduction of indigenous Polistes will undoubtedly result in a change in the faunal balance. It is unclear what the consequences will be. Some entomologists worry that the large numbers of P. dominula will adversely affect the species of desirable insects (i.e., butterflies).”  For that reason, we are tagging your submission as Invasive Exotics as well as Food Chain.  This is also the most frequently encountered Paper Wasp in our our Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden.  We believe this caterpillar is a member of the Owlet Moth family Noctuidae, which includes Cutworms.

Probably Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Subject:  Super Close ups of Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Ellijay, GA
Date: 06/11/2019
Time: 08:23 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My son excitedly for this guy and we Scored some great shots of this guy June 10, 2019.  He didn’t seem to mind that I was interrupting his dinner. Would love to know the species.
How you want your letter signed:  Melissa

Beelike Robber Fly eats Japanese Beetle

Dear Melissa,
Your son’s images are wonderful and an excellent addition to our Food Chain tag.  This is a Beelike Robber Fly in the genus
Laphria, and it is feeding on an invasive, exotic Japanese Beetle, the scourge of many gardeners.  Because of the yellow hairs on the abdomen and legs, and because of your location, we believe this is Laphria macquarti based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Seems to prefer small beetles, but would eat other insects, even other robber flies” which further supports our tentative identification.

Beelike Robber Fly eats Japanese Beetle

Subject:  Mystery Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Potomac, Maryland
Date: 06/09/2019
Time: 09:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We always try to identify insects we find. But we’ve been unable to ID this particular insect, which we believe is a beetle. We’ve looked in 2 different guides, but no match. Can you help us?
How you want your letter signed:  Caleb & Adam

Oriental Beetle

Dear Caleb & Adam,
We identified this Invasive Exotic Oriental Beetle,
Exomala orientalis, thanks to Beetles of Eastern North America by Arthur V. Evans.  Here is a matching image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “native to E. Asia, adventive in NA (*NS-GA to ON-WI-*MO)(*BG data), and spreading” and “earliest US records: 1920s.”