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

Subject:  Gray Bird Grasshopper
Date: 03/29/2021
Time: 4:00 PM PDT
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Dear Gentle Readers,
For some time, Daniel has tried to educate the curious about the interconnectivity of all things on our planet, and since the pandemic, Daniel has retreated from the internet (but for work related duties like teaching online) and stopped posting to WTB? on a regular basis.  During that time, Daniel has spent most of his time in the garden during lockdown, and more and more the philosophy of interconnectivity has permeated his life.  The complex relationships between plants and animals in the garden is daunting.  Recently while gardening, this large female Gray Bird Grasshopper was startled into flying by the hose.  According to Charles Hogue in his marvelous book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “I have noticed adults only in the spring; they are gray or brownish in general color, and the hind wings are uniformly transparent olive-green.  The light green nymphs attain noticeable size in the late summer.  Both stages feed on various garden crops and ornamentals.”  The adult females are easily the size of a small bird when they fly with their long legs trailing behind them.  I try to relocate adults and large nymphs elsewhere in the garden when I find them on plants I value.  See BugGuide for more information on the Gray Bird Grasshopper.

Female Gray Bird Grasshopper

Subject:  Lunate Zale
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/22/2020
Time: 8:35 AM EDT
While working in the yard, Daniel couldn’t help but to notice this new species to the porch light, a Lunate Zale, Zale lunata, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults – quite variable with both fore- and hindwings dark brown with shades of yellow, red brown and black, sometimes with white or silver marginal patches.”  The pronounced “shoulder pads” are not evident in most images, but The Natural History of Orange County includes images that reveal these unusual features.

Lunate Zale

 

Subject:  Immature Mantis Patrolling my 2020 Crop
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/16/2020
Time: 12:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Welcome Back Bugman
I really missed you during the early days of COVID-19 and I’m glad you have returned to making postings.  I don’t have an identification.  I just wanted you to see the young Mantis I recently discovered patrolling for prey on one of my 2020 plants, Purple Jane
How you want your letter signe:  Constant Gardener

Young Mantis on Young Cannabis

Dear Constant Gardener,
We are happy to be back as well.  That Mantis is really well camouflaged on your healthy looking plant.

Gentle Readers,
Since the onset of COVID-19, Daniel has been overwhelmed with computer based activities, including teaching college students online and running ZOOM meetings, and to maintain mindfulness as well as having a real sense of physical accomplishment, he has eschewed all leisurely contact with the computer, including responding to and posting your many submitted identification queries, and he has instead devoted time to being in contact with the earth, his garden and the diversity of wildlife and plants that share that space with him.  Please forgive his inattentions to this website he really does love so much.  He has not been troubled with ill health, either physical or mental.  He just feels the need to unplug, slow down and enjoy life.  While it is not much to look at, this tattered Cramer’s Sphinx is the second that has visited his porch recently, the first being a much more beautiful individual in 2015, and allegedly the first local sighting in 50 years. There are only three sightings on BugGuide, so this must really be a North American rarity.  In order to be certain of this identification, Daniel has consulted both Julian Donahue and Bill Oehlke.

Cramer’s Sphinx

Subject:  My bug post
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington
Date: 01/07/2020
Time: 08:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have identified my bug and it is the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle. I also found your answer about it to another person. Good info thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Jessica

Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

Dear Jessica,
You are absolutely correct with your identification of this Diabolical Ironclad Beetle,
Phloeodes diabolicus, a species that derives its common name because of its nearly impenetrable exoskeleton.  It seems you and Daniel are neighbors in Mount Washington, and it is nice to know that our local hippy chicks haven’t been totally supplanted by newer residents.

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 07:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Exactly one month ago, I sent in images of a Green Lynx Spider that laid an egg sac on one of my medical marijuana plants, and this morning I noticed her eating a Budworm, and her brood has hatched.  I thought they would hatch in the spring.  What gives?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats a Budworm while guarding brood.

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for keeping our readership up to date on the mundane dramas in your garden.  Daniel has always thought that the eggs of Green Lynx Spiders would hatch in the spring.  Lower beasts are much more attuned to their environments than are most humans, and perhaps global warming is affecting the hatching cycle of Green Lynx Spiders.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:  “A green lynx spider’s egg sac is much easier to spot than the spider itself. The sac is a slightly bumpy, sand-colored container housing up to 600 bright orange eggs that will hatch within 11 to 16 days. The sac is about an inch diameter with one flat side and one rounded. After its construction is complete, the female spider surrounds the sac with a sketchy tent of randomly woven silky threads. She then protects it further by clutching it with her legs as she hangs upside down.”