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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 2, 2006
Since our internet access here at the What’s That Bug? offices is so pokey because Earthlink has downgraded us to dialup, we decided to catch up on some gardening. First we pulled out the swiss chard that had gone to seed and then decided to heat up some coffee. A large dark flying shape caught our eye in the front yard. It landed on the zucchini. Closer inspection revealed this pair of mating Yellow Faced Bumble Bees,
Bombus vosnesenkii. They have been going at it for about 15 minutes and allowed us to make use of our photographic training by capturing the action digitally.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

While taking our morning walk in the canyon near downtown Los Angeles, we encountered a strand of spider silk stretched across the path. It was probably from one of the Araneas or Neoscona species that build enormous webs at night. Dangling from the silk was a shrouded insect. When we broke the silk to pass, out of curiosity, we decided to unwrap the insect. What we found was amazing on several levels. First, the beetle was alive, meaning the spider was anticipating a future meal. The beetle has a hard shell, is just over an inch long and is shaped like on of the Click Beetles, Family Elateridae. It is covered with hairs that shine gold in the sunlight. But those feathery antennae seemed out of character. We quickly turned to our guide books and could locate nothing remotely similar. We decided to trouble Eric Eaton thinking he could quickly identify this anomoly. Here is his response: “Wow! Cool:-) I would agree that it is probably a click beetle, but have never seen anything like it. I’ll try and forward this image to Arthur Evans and see what he says. Thanks for sharing! Eric” So, for the moment, our beetle remains a mystery.

NOTE: Eric then wrote back with more information. L.A. Elaterid? “Here’s what my buddy Dr. Art Evans has to say about your beetle. CRAZY! Let it go if it is still alive. If it has died, then you can send it along, thank you:-) Eric”
And here is Dr. Art Evans conclusion: “The following excerpt is from our upcoming field guide for CA beetles: At least five species of Euthysanius are found in California. The males of Euthysanius lautus (15.0-19.0 mm) (Plate 111) are reddish-brown with grooved elytra and feathery, 12-segmented antennae. They are found under the bark of pines (Pinus) and are attracted to lights throughout southern California. Adult females (up to 35.0 mm) (Plate 112) have very short elytra and lack flight wings, exposing most of the abdominal segments. They are found crawling over the ground.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We have been trying to get a good photo of an elusive Mourning Cloak Butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa, for several weeks. On sunny days, we see one flying around our Mt. Washington offices, and they are also frequently seen in Elyria Canyon. Needless to say, the camera is never handy, or charged. Today, we were removing a fuschia from a hanging basket and noticed a dried leaf. Lo and behold, it was actually a Mourning Cloak Butterfly still asleep. We charged the camera and were rewarded with this image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  “Dirt” Burnell, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We found this beautiful Sweat Bee busily gathering honey and pollen from a wild artichoke in the canyon today. These are solitary bees with metallic green bodies. They nest in a tubular burrow dug in the ground, often in clay banks. They are members of the genus Augochlorella.

ed. Note: (09/06/2004) Eric just wrote in: “The metallic sweat bee is probably an Agapostemon sp. rather than whatever the current name on it is, but they are hard to separate without the specimen in hand.”

(06/07/2004) Are we really a USA Today Hot Site?

Saw your web site – Hot Site from USA Today.
Just shot this last weekend.. The bees were going crazy over this bush in my yard.. Didn’t mind me one bit. It was amazing to me to see how much this bee had stuck to it.
Cheers,
John

Thanks for the Honey Bee photo John.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The black Female Valley Carpenter Bees have been having a field day on our sweet peas and honey suckle.

Valley Carpenter Bee Male

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We recently spotted this Tiger Moth, The Painted Arachnis, Arachnis picta, laying eggs on the side of our house. Every night, the moths are attracted to the lights outside. Our Green Lynx Spider has been feasting on them on a regular basis, hence the corpse on the right.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination