Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Mt. Washington"

Subject:  Flame Skimmer rests on tomato cages
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/24/2021
Time: 11:04 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
As Daniel’s final days as a full time college professor near an end, he is easing into retirement, including spending large portions of the day in the yard just puttering around and observing the wealth of wildlife, including numerous insects.  As the years pass, patterns begin to emerge and species begin to make their annual appearances, somewhat on schedule.  For years, Daniel has observed Dragonflies in his yard that he thought were Flame Skimmers, but thanks to this BugGuide description, he now believes they have been Neon Skimmers which means updating numerous old postings with the corrections.  Though originally identified as Flame Skimmers, Daniel now believes he has been observing both male Neon Skimmers and female Neon Skimmers near the stagnant fountain that serves as a nursery for the naiads, the Dragonfly nymphs that live in the fountain and eat the mosquitoes.

Male Neon Skimmer

Daniel suspects this beauty recently metamorphosed into a winged adult.  It was not at all shy, allowing Daniel to get quite close with his magicphone to capture a series of images, but in this final shot, the Neon Skimmer rotated its head, very much aware that Daniel was staking it with the camera, but it did not fly off for nearly an hour.


Subject: Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/21/2021
Time: 05:46 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found a bud worm on a sprout indoors under lights????
How you want your letter signed: Mel Frank

Tobacco Budworm eats Cannabis sprout

Dear Mel,
Thanks so much for your submission of a Tobacco Budworm caterpillar,
Chloridea virescens.  We are honored to get this important documentation from such a distinguished expert.  BugGuide also has documentation of a Tobacco Budworms feeding on marijuana.


Subject:  Glassy Winged Sharpshooter on my herb
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/18/2021
Time: 04:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I missed you last growing season.  I noticed a recent comment from Peter about Glassy Winged Sharpshooters on budding marijuana. I sent in a photo two years ago of a Green Lynx Spider eating a Glassy Winged Sharpshooter on one of my plants, but I have to do manual hunting of this unwanted visitor.  I don’t like to use pesticides on my plants, so I catch the litter buggers and just squash them. They can be very difficult to catch though.  Seems they have an uncanny ability to move to the other side of the stem when they are threatened.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Glassy Winged Sharpshooter

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for sharing your tips to the manual control of unwanted insects on your crops.  We are also thrilled to learn you do not use pesticides which can often kill beneficial insects as well as the targeted “pest” species.

Glassy Winged Sharpshooter

Subject:  Great Golden Digger Wasp
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/15/2021
Time: 6:53 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
It has been several years since Daniel has seen a Great Golden Digger Wasp in the garden, but like in years past, they show a preference for blooming onions.  This was an impressive specimen, and Daniel hopes to be able to get a sharper image in the next few days.  There is a healthy Katydid population in Daniel’s garden, so the Great Golden Digger Wasps should have no problem hunting for prey to feed her brood.

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Update:  06/18/2021
The Great Golden Digger Wasp returned to the blooming onion flowers the next afternoon, and Daniel was lucky enough to capture one image with a Honey Bee.  The Honey Bee is a good indication of the size difference between the two insect, with the Great Golden Digger Wasp being about three times the size of the Honey Bee.

Great Golden Digger Wasp and Honey Bee

Update:  06/25/2021
Daniel has been seeing a Great Golden Digger Wasp visiting the onions almost every day and today there were two Great Golden Digger Wasps on one onion flower, but alas, by the time Daniel pulled his magicphone from his pocket and opened the camera app, changing the focal length to 2X to better zoom in, one had flown off.  Daniel was only able to get an image of a solitary Great Golden Digger Wasp.

Great Golden Digger Wasp


Subject:  Mourning Cloak not yet awake in the morning
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 04/15/2021
Time: 06:55 AM PDT
Daniel had to leave early this morning for an MRI and he noticed a dark shape near the curb under a wisteria that is dropping dried blossoms.  Closer inspection revealed a Mourning Cloak that spent the night on the ground and because the sun hadn’t yet hit it, it was still quite lethargic.  Daniel has been seeing Mourning Cloaks flying for several weeks now.

Mourning Cloak

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