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

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/23/2019
Time: 04:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Harvest season is here and I noticed this very swollen Green Lynx Spider on the second generation descendant of a seed that came from a Woodhead bud purchased at Cornerstone Collective about three years ago.  I harvested the plant on Saturday, but on Friday I noticed the Green Lynx Spider was much thinner and she was now guarding an egg sac.  Needless to say, I did not need the buds on half of the bifurcated stem, so I tied an orange tag on the stem that reads “Spider Nursery” and I will let her live out her days guarding her eggs before I harvest the remaining buds so she will have habitat around her.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Constant Gardener,
We always enjoy your submissions, but because of your self sacrificing impulse regarding the survival of your Green Lynx Spider’s brood, we are bequeathing you with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac

Subject:  Looking for love in Los Angeles
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington
Date: 09/15/2019
Time: 02:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I was visiting a dear friend in Mount Washington and spotted this male praying mantis perched on a woody plant.
It appears he is searching for a female.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Male California Mantis

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
We agree that this is a male Mantis and that he is likely patrolling for a mate.  This is a California Mantis, a native species in the genus
Stagmomantis. Last year Daniel documented the mating of a pair of California Mantids that ended with him becoming a sacrificial meal to help nourish the female who promptly bit off the head of her paramour.

Subject:  I found evidence of a Budworm on My Woody Plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 4:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I was inspecting the nugs of My Woody Plant when I discovered evidence of Budworms on two colas.  I’ve learned so much since I submitted an image of a Budworm two years ago.  I immediately harvested both and set up a three bowl wash of first hydrogen peroxide in water, second lemon juice & baking soda in water, and finally a water rinse.  While trimming the cola, I discovered a silken chamber with a .3 inch bronze-backed Jumping Spider that I carried back to the garden to the plant I just trimmed, talking to it as it jumped from one hand to the next, back and forth.  Sorry, I didn’t have a camera at the time, so no photo of the spider.  I finished cutting out all the caterpillar fouled portions of two buds, but I never found the caterpillar.  Do you think the caterpillar moved from one cola to the next where it encountered the lair of the Jumping Spider that promptly ate it?  I didn’t want to count on predators to control these dreaded Budworms, so I followed the advice of Mel Frank and promptly sprayed my plants with Bt, a naturally occurring bacteria that causes the caterpillars to stop eating so they eventually die, and it is not a pesticide so it doesn’t harm my predators, like spiders and mantids.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Budworm damage on Cannabis

Dear Constant Gardener,
We will probably catch some flack from some Facebook followers for highlighting another Cannabis posting.  Thank you for sharing your organic Caterpillar prevention strategy as well as your saving a tainted crop strategy.  We found information on The Cannabis Grower that states the Budworm will “burrow into your buds and eat them from the inside. You’ll have no idea they’re even there until you see a bud that looks a little off…one leaf is dying, or the bud looks dried out, somewhat similar to the symptoms of bud rot. If you see this, you must inspect the bud. Take the leaf or bud and pull it away from the plant until you can see all around it. Look for sand-grain sized balls that are black or brown. That’s caterpillar poop, and you have a problem. The good news is that you can usually find the worm by following the poop around the buds until you find the worm or the hole he’s in. The bad news is you MUST find that worm, otherwise he’ll just keep eating and eating into your buds.”  Regarding the possibility that the Jumping Spider ate the Budworm, we suppose that is entirely possible, especially since you did not fine the culprit.

 

Subject:  Walnut Underwing Perch
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, California
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 11:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dearest Bugman,
It was lovely spending time with you during the almost full moon. Please enjoy this shot of you with a Walnut Underwing on your shoulder.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

The Bugman with a Walnut Underwing

Dear Melanie,
We are so happy you were able to get a cellular telephone image of Daniel as he removed the Walnut Underwing back to the outdoors after it entered the house Monday night.  After several minutes of eluding capture, luckily the moth alighted on Daniel’s shirt, and it could easily be walked outside.

Walnut Underwing

Subject:  I finally got a photo of this fly on my Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 08:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have been seeing this small yellow fly with very pretty wings, about a quarter of an inch long, resting on the leaves of my medical marijuana plants for the past two years, but this is the first time I was able to get some photos.  Please identify this fly and let me know if it will harm my medication.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Dear Constant Gardener,
This identification proved challenging for us.  We had no luck searching Fruit Flies in the family Tephritidae on Natural History of Orange County, so we browsed through BugGuide where we located
Paracantha cultaris.  According to BugGuide, the hosts are “on Cirsium (Asteraceae)”, so your medical Cannabis should be safe.  According to iNaturalist:  “The adult is mainly orange-brown in color. The maggots can be found inside sunflowers and the adult flies are usually nearby the sunflowers.”

Fruit Fly:  Paracantha cultaris

Thanks Bugman,
That makes sense because I also have sunflowers growing nearby.