Impressive antennae adorn this tiny adult sawfly. On a recent visit to one of my favorite gardens, while enjoying the fragrances and beauty of roses, I noticed some unnerving injury, skeletonization and defoliation, on the leaves of several plants. Skeletonization is a type of injury that results when[…]
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Subject: this bug is totally weird and awesome Geographic location of the bug: Sonoma county northern California Date: 05/20/2018 Time: 12:12 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman: This bug was on a rose in my garden. Seems totally harmless, my son and I held it for a while, very[…]
Destinations La Torre, Peru, and Carara, Costa Rica – Hidin’ in the Rainforest, Part II: cryptic walking sticks, Phasmatidae; horse-head grasshoppers, Proscopidiidae; and mantids, Mantidae
Greatly elongated limbs, twig-brown coloration, and the ability to remain motionless seemingly for hours, give this rainforest mantis a look that says, “Don’t bother with a second look, I’m just a twig.” Fallen branches and twigs pierce or rest on leaves, providing many insects with an opportunity to[…]
A beautiful female chinchemolle phasmatid grazes on herbaceous plants near a stream. Vulcan Villarrica in Chile; upon its slopes lives the chinchemolle. In last week’s episode, we met cryptic phasmatids in Costa Rica using the clever defense of mimicking a stick to avoid detection by rainforest predators. Let’s[…]
Destination Reserva Nacional Tambopata, Peru: How pleasing are rainforest fungus beetles, Erotylidae?
Gibbifer is one genus of spectacularly beautiful pleasing fungus beetles found in the Amazonian rainforest. With no shortage of plant material as a food source and perpetually warm humid conditions, amazing fungi flourish in the rainforest. This week Bug of the Week heads north from Chile some 3,000[…]
Destination Reserva Nacional Tambopata, Peru – The art of deception: can gossamer-wing butterflies, Arawacus dodge lethal attacks?
At the right end of this butterfly are its head, thorax, and abdomen, vital parts that are targets for a predator’s attack. At the left end of the butterfly at the tips of the hindwings are two white–tipped, antennae-like tails, a head-like rounded dark patch, and a small white[…]
Subject: What’s this? Geographic location of the bug: Slovakia, central Europe, mixed oak-pine woods Date: 05/19/2018 Time: 11:05 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman: I found this bee while hiking through the woods picking up mushrooms (I assume it’s a kind of a carpenter bee, something from Xylocopinae) but[…]
Giant bullet ants can deliver one of the fiercest stings in the entire insect realm. This week we return again to the Amazon Basin to visit one of the largest and most feared of all insects, the giant bullet ant, Paraponera clavata. As the name implies, the sting[…]
Subject: Bald faced hornet nest Geographic location of the bug: Washington D.C. Metro area, USA Date: 05/19/2018 Time: 07:57 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman: A couple weeks ago I was surprised when I noticed a “beehive” (I know they’re not bees) newly under construction right to the side[…]
Soil on the bank of the Tambopata River supplies vital nutrients to a Urania moth. Bug of the Week continues its adventures in tropical places with a stop on Tambopata River, tributary of the mighty Amazon. Riverbanks along the Tambopata are famous for their clay licks. Clay licks[…]