Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!


I hope you all have a nice one.

As for me life is kinda boring now. XD Although I do go to the park every chance I get. Since my life is pretty much messed up I haven't blogged too much this month.

I've been tired alot. You can thank the bastards upstairs for not knowing the meaning of the word consideration. It's a shame since I really do enjoy updating this thing with everything insect related but lately I've been having "inspiration trouble".

I guess it's due to this month being a bummer and not getting enough sleep. But I'm working on filling in post as much as I can.

Any way you'll hear from me sooner or later.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Banded Peacock Papilio palinurus

It's such a shame that there isn't much on this beautiful butterfly. All that I could gather was this from Wikipedia:

The Emerald Swallowtail (Papilio palinurus) is a butterfly found primarily in South East Asia and is one of the very few green butterflies around. It is also referred to as Emerald Peacock or Green-banded Peacock Swallowtail.

Wikipedia also mentions that there are alot subspecies. This one in the photo is blue but it could very well be from the way the light is reflecting off of it's wings.

Of course there's also the possibility of it being:

1. One of the many subspecies
2. Has yet to turn green because it just emerged from the pupa

But what do I know? I'm just guessing here! :P

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bullet Ants

This is insane. Absolutely insane!

And Cracked also has something to say on these things:

It's a full inch long, it lives in trees and thus can and will fall on you to scare you away from its hive--the one you didn't know was there, because it's in a fucking tree. Before it does this, it shrieks at you. This ant, you see, can shriek.

It's called a Bullet Ant because its 'unusually severe' sting feels like getting shot. On the Schmidt Sting Index, Bullet Ants rate as the number one most try-not-to-shit-out-your-spine painful in the entirety of the Kingdom Arthropoda.

Also--and we do feel the need to stress this--they fucking shriek at you before they attack.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garden Fleahoppers Halticus bractatus

Funny how this picture makes this thing look cute......I mean it is cute but not when there hundreds.....maybe thousands all over you.....

I remember encountering these at camp a million years ago. The one in the photo is a female. Males have more developed wings. In other words the males have your "typical" Hemiptera wings. I remember at the time I recorded these as flea beetles....

Looks like I have to dig through my journals to find the one that mentions these. Oh boy. 18 years worth of journaling to go through. This is going to be fun. *Sarcasm*

So as I was saying I found these in this field at camp and they were pretty much EVERYWHERE. I said they are cute but not when they're thousands of them jumping all over you. It got be a little annoying after awhile.... XD

So for now I present you with a link to info. Please keep in mind that these are tiny.

Which is probably another reason why I mistook these for flea beetles.

Info: Bugguide

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bug Invasions!

Over the past few days we've had:

June Beetles
TONS of flies
2 moths
A Spider
The wasp ( as you know )

I look forward to seeing more. That is all....until next time! ^.^

Sunday, May 23, 2010

BOTM: The Praying Mantis

Today the mantis is celebrated. Why? I'll tell you in a minute but first I feel the need to tell you about 2 species of mantis:

1. The African Mantis Sphodromanis viridis ( photo ):

First off this isn't the only mantis with this name so naturally to avoid an identity crises it's been given other names like Bush Mantis, Giant African Mantis etc.

Secondly this species has been known to produce parthenogenically.

Holy shit.

As with most mantis species,
S. viridis males are frequently the victims of sexual cannibalism. Female produce an ootheca within a few days of mating and can produce several before she ends her life cycle Each ootheca produces up to three hundred nymphs when it hatches. This species has also been noted to have produced parthenogenically.

This means that they don't need males to reproduce. Aphids do this and this is why they're so hard to get rid of without enlisted help.

I never knew or thought that this was possible. Next thing you're going to be telling is that they're parasitic mantises! 0_0

Idk if this is even possible but I'll do some research. I don't think so but you never know. Also these are often kept as pets. How I would love one or 2 but that's not possible because I haven't a clue as to where to get them from.

I did mention wanting one to my mom and she did say that I there is hope on that matter. Luna moths are still in the works. I'll have to talk with her again.

But I would love a mantis in this house.

2. Brunner's Mantis Brunneria borealis:

This one is even crazier because there's only females......that's right. No male Brunneria borealis whatsoever. Which means that these produce only parthenogenically.

Once again: Holy shit.

Brunneria borealis
, common name Brunner's Mantis or Brunner's Stick Mantis, is a species of praying mantis native to the Southern United States. It is only species known to reproduce solely through parthenogenesis; there are no males.

Similar to Grass Mantid, but has distinctive fine serrations along sides of thorax, is larger, and reproduces by parthenogenesis; males are unknown. Thick antennal base characterizes this species. Wings reduced-flightless.

Sweet Jesus! What has the world come to? I love them even more now and I didn't think that was possible. And now the reason why they're being celebrated:

Today I was reunited with their song. In other words there's this song about them that I grew up with and is very important to me. I was trying to find it in it's entirety and today I was successful. Thank you God.

Oh and please note that in this song it mentions the "typical" mantis life cycle.

I'm A Fierce Hunter

I have a slender body I'm known for praying arms
If you are a beetle you might become alarmed.
For if you come too close and I'm hungry for a snack
I'll quickly use my powerful arms and then I will attack

Who Am I? Can you find me in a tree?
My color camouflages well against green leaves
Who Am I? A praying mantis that is me
I'm A Fierce Hunter other insects would agree

In early Spring I push and wiggle through an egg case
With lots of other siblings I'm feeling out of place
We all remain attached by two fine silk threads
Until we free our legs as the membrane we now shed

Now that I am growing strong I have an apatite
For moths and bees and butterflies I hunt them day and night
I grow throughout the summer my exoskeleton I shed
I sit upon a branch as my wings I now outspread

Who Am I? Can you find me in a tree?
My color camouflages well against green leaves
Who Am I? A praying mantis that is me
I'm A Fierce Hunter other insects would agree

I'm swollen with eggs as autumn slowly draws near
I patiently await for a male mantis to appear
My partner doesn't know that my supper he will be
For when we finish mating I will eat my company

It's my turn to lay my eggs and make an egg case
A sturdy branch will keep my babies nice and safe
My life is now complete as the fall wind starts to blow
Next spring my baby mantises will begin to grow

Who Am I? Can you find me in a tree?
My color camouflages well against green leaves
Who Am I? A praying mantis that is me
I'm A Fierce Hunter other insects would agree

Download: Clicky!

Info Credits: Wikipedia and Bugguide

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Bugs!

We had more invasions today!

June beetle ( I think it was if I find it again I'll make sure I get a good look at it )
2 flies
And the wasp I mentioned yesterday. Hopefully it's gone now. XD

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wasp Invasion

Ladies and gents

I have a wasp in my house....

And Idk what do to. I have always said that I NEVER wanted a wasp in this house and the bastards had to go and break the rule....

I should be thankful it's just one.

She's by the light in the hallway having a grand old time.

I think it's a mud dauber of some sort. That's the only thing I can think of. The only other wasp that even remotely fits the "discription" is a potter wasp of some sort. God I'm a mess. It's all black from what I can see ( don't see any stripes ) and it has a "waist". So it's one of the 2 ( potter or mud dauber ).

Now I hope that no bees get in here.....cause if that happens the bee isn't going to stick to the lights it's going to go wondering around the house.....

.....which means we're screwed. Hell I just realised that if we don't somehow get this wasp out of the house soon we're screwed anyway because I can't get into my room or the bathroom and my mom can't get into hers because all the doors are closed ( for good reasons ). I'm actually kinda scared now....

So here comes the age old question: What do I do? I've considered almost everything:

Plans To Get Rid of The Waspie:

Kill it without getting stung

♡ Somehow get it away from the light and smash it

♡ Somehow get it away from the light and spray it

♡ Let the heat eventually do it in?.....

Catch it without getting stung

♡ Somehow get it away from the light and catch it ( we just managed to do this but then I got stupid )

♡ Lord have mercy and DO NOT allow us ( mommy and me ) to get stung

So you can see our dilema on this? I'll get back to you. We're in the process of trying to get it out. I almost had it but as I said I got stupid ( scared is more like it ) and it got away. Truth be told I think I scared it trying to smash the SOB against the wall.

Idk wth I was thinking on that one. I'm very tired. I shall let you know when the wasp is out of the house one way or the other.

Honestly what's next? First butterflies, caterpillars, beetles, moths, and now wasps!

Byeeeeee ( for now )!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I just got back from the park and I saw all of these:

13-14 Red Admiral Butterflies
3-4 Cabbage Whites
Numerous Eastern Carpenter bees
A Cuckoo bee? ( Green metallic bee of some sort )
Honey bee? ( maybe )
Plant bug
Carpenter bee ( Xylocopa sp. )

All of these made my day especially the butterflies. I got close to 3 of them and they were breathtaking.

Thank you God! I needed this.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blue Banded Bee - Amegilla cingulata


I love them. They are so cute. I wonder if these could be related to my mystery bee.

Certainly is a possibility.

Amegilla cingulata, commonly known as the blue banded bee, is an Australian native bee. It belongs to the Anthophoridae family of insects.

Currently, there are several scientific organisations conducting thorough research on how the blue banded bee benefits agriculture through its distinctive "buzz pollination". These bees are very important for the production of food and contribute to at least 30% of crops in Australia.

A. cingulata has a very striking appearance. Unlike the honeybee, it has pale blue stripes on its abdomen instead of yellow. The male can be distinguished by the number of complete bands, having five as opposed to the females' four.

In size, A. cingulata can grow to 10–12 millimetres (0.39–0.47 in). Its appearance includes a golden brown head with bulging eyes that have multiple lenses. They have six sticky legs and a long tongue to help extract nectar from flowers. Scientists believe that male bees have brighter blue stripes to attract female bees.

Blue banded bees can sting but are not as aggressive as other bees. The males cling to plant stems during the night. Like the whole anthophoridae family, they are quick and agile. They are solitary creatures, whereas honeybees create hives.

A. cingulata builds a solitary nest, but often close to one another. It prefers soft sandstone to burrow in, and areas of this type of rock can become riddled with bee tunnels.

Banded bees also tend to nest in burrows, dried up river banks, old clay homes and in mortar between bricks. Cells at the end of tunnels contain an egg with a pollen/nectar mixture for emerging larvae.

The rest of the info is here.

This also provides some nice photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010


This makes me do two things:

1. Laugh my ass off at the "jokes" they put in there
2. Dread coming into contact with them even more

Don't say I didn't warn you.....Have a nice day! XD

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Burrowing Bug Sehirus cinctus

Behold the true bug ( or bugs as there's a whole family of them ) that has very spiny legs making it look more like a cockroach or a beetle with those things ( the body structure helps too ).

But they're not and alot of people mistake them for beetles. Hell people mistake all Pentatomidae for beetles because the poor things ( people ) are too stupid to go and get an education. Well that's what I'm here for! To give you an education!

But me telling you how to tell a Pentatomid from an actual beetle will be for another post hopefully in the near future but since life's being a bitch again atm I might forget so I'll make a reminder. But for now we focus on the adorable little guy in the photo who I must say I want in a jam jar of sorts in this house for the day.

But I highly doubt that'll happen unless I went searching. Now there's quite an obvious reason why these ( and all it's other little friends ) are called burrowing bugs.

Yup that's right. They're commonly found in the soil......

.......making tunnels and things.

But this one is the rule breaker here. This one is the "exception" to the rule that "All burrowing bugs live in the soil making tunnels for various reasons" And with that we get to the info:

Hooray! *Cue "Nature documentary music"*

A small (4-7mm), shining blue-black insect is abundant in gardens and turf right now (May, 1998). It is Sehirus cinctus, a member of the burrowing bug family. Unlike most burrowing bugs (some of which can be agricultural pests in crops grown in sandy soils), however, Sehirus cinctus lives its life above ground, feeding on the developing seeds of mints and nettles. It is frequently seen feeding on henbit, a small mint plant and common weed in some lawns.

Despite its sometime alarming numbers, this tiny bug is not harmful and will not affect the growth or development of flowers.

Haha! You see! Rule breakers around ever corner! For every rule there is a rule breaker ( in this case Sehirus cinctus ), for ever rule there is an exception and for every exception there's an "exception breaker" which is why you should never assume that every rule in the insect world cannot be broken.

Because you'll just be proven wrong over and over and over again. I know as I speak from experience. But this is one of the reasons that I love the whole entomology thing because of this "rule breaking" thing it makes insects and their kin even more fascinating.

At least to me. Well I think I've done enough rambling for today. I think I needed to "vent" on something and this was it. Congratulations to me! :P

Until next time. Sorry for boring you this time but I tend to ramble sometimes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Valley Carpenter Bee Xylocopa varipuncta

Top to bottom: Female, male.

The Valley Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta

Oh there's a reason they put 'vari' in the name. Are you smart enough to figure it out? :P

On with the info ( cause I'm tired )!

The Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, is one of three species of carpenter bee found in Southern California and north through the Central Valley. Females are a metallic black while males are fuzzy and gold with green eyes. They are the largest bees found in California, to around 1 in (2.5 cm) in length.

These large, hairy bees are named for the Central Valley in which they are commonly found, and for their ability to bury into, and make their nests in, hardwood and telephone poles. There are two other species of carpenter bee found in the same areas of California: Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex and Xylocopa californica.

The size of carpenter bees prevents them from entering tubelike flowers, instead they cut into the base of the corolla. This is referred to as “stealing the nectar” as it does not result in the bee being able to pollinate the flower.

Only the females of the species have a stinger, and will only normally sting when provoked. The bees tunnel through wood with their mandibles, although they do not ingest the wood in the process.

The tunnels average 6 to 10 in (15 to 25 cm) in length and consist of a linear series of partitioned cells. They prefer untreated or unpainted wood. The adult bees spend the winter in the tunnels.

Well that's all for now until the next post.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica

One word: CUTE!!

And these are the ones we see every Spring/Summer along with the Honey bees and Yellow Jackets. Oh yes yes yes!

I love them. And this time Wikipedia provides info and LOTS of info. So much so that it's impossible to post it all and not bore you to death. Plus I'd like to have mercy on the people who are kind enough to read this thing.

I'd like to give them the choice of finding out more on them ( as in reading the rest of the info ) if they want to by posting links, instead of "forcing" it on them by posting the whole thing.

But enough of my rambling and on with the info please!


Female carpenter bees make nests by tunneling into wood. They make an initial upward hole in an overhang, eaves trough, or similar structure. Then, they make one or more horizontal tunnels. The final nest usually resembles a T. Unlike termites, carpenter bees (also called woodcutters) do not eat wood.

They discard the bits of wood, or use them to make partitions (walls) inside the tunnels of their nests. The tunnel functions as a nursery for brood and the pollen/nectar upon which the brood subsists.

Males will visit flowers only to feed themselves, spending the rest of the time hovering in their territory and investigating any movement, or guarding flowers where they might encounter females . Females spend the majority of their time gathering nectar and pollen to provision their nests.

Because of their value as pollinators some people allow carpenter bees to stay around the home in the early spring, living with the cosmetic damage caused. In some fruit growing areas carpenter bee populations are encouraged by supplying them with suitable blocks or boards of soft wood.

I wonder if this is the same for every species? But that wouldn't make sense at least to me. Because even though they're about 500 species of Carpenter bees in 31 genera all of the Xylocopa sp. can't follow the same "nesting rituals" without any variation.

Wouldn't make sense. Unfortunately it seems to me that there isn't alot on most of the species with in the genera. I was lucky to find about 3.

Which I'll get to making post about for you all to enjoy. YAY! ^.^


Carpenter bees are not solitary bees, but are not truly social either. The weak form of sociality they exhibit, with one female doing the majority of the work, and caring for her sisters, may be a transitional step in the evolution of sociality. However they tend to be gregarious, and often several will nest near each other.

Male eastern carpenter bees are curious and will investigate anyone, including humans, that comes near their nests. The curiosity is often interpreted as aggressiveness; however, the males are only aggressive to other male carpenter bees. They do not have stingers and cannot cause any real harm. The female carpenter bees tend to be busy with floral visitation and nest provisioning, but have the ability to cause a painful sting if captured.

Males spend many hours guarding their territory against other males, hovering about the nests for hours on sunny days. They sometimes attempt to mate with other insects or small birds.

An interesting trick to use to "move" a male carpenter bee out of the way is to pick up a small pebble (roughly the size of the bee), then toss it past the bee. They will attempt to chase it, distracting them for a few moments, long enough for a human to get by. However, since they cannot sting, and rarely accord any attention to humans, this is unnecessary.

Carpenter bees are strong fliers, capable of returning to their nests from some miles away, but not very agile. They tend to be clumsy, frequently almost crashing into the side of a wall or various trees and plants. On occasions, the bees will fly into old windows made of acrylic glass, as UV light can pass through it and the bee sees it as open.

Carpenter bees are not aggressive. Often, a carpenter bee preoccupied with something will not sting or flee when approached closely or even touched by a human, but merely raise one or two of its legs in the air instead.

The last part I refuse to try. Although from my personal experiences with them I've gotten close to them and they never tried to attack me.

They let me watch them do their daily things ( pollinate flowers ) in peace which is one of the reasons I love them so. The honey bees that were often with them were "friendly" too.

Very relaxed and calm. People underestimate these insects too much.

Rest of the info here. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all the moms a good one!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Carpenter Bees! Xylocopa tabaniformis

This is Xylocopa tabaniformis.

And it is a carpenter bee. All that I could find out about this species is that there is a subspecies Xylocopa t. orpifex. Apparently there is nothing recorded on these 2 bees.

Why that is I don't have the slightest clue. But if I find anything I'll post it.

Isn't it cute? ^.^

Monday, May 03, 2010

Endangered Flies?

Yes. I never seem to think that there would be any fly species endangered partly because they're so adaptable. But what do I always say?

Never assume anything about the insect and spider world.

Never. You'll be proven wrong most of the time. This fly here is endangered and I wish I could do something to save it. But I can't atm as I don't have the credentials for such a thing. Hopefully someday I will.

Wikipedia provides some rather substantial info on Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis:

The Delhi Sands flower-loving fly (Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis) is a mydid fly in the genus Rhaphiomidas, and the only fly presently on the Endangered Species List.

This subspecies is restricted to the Delhi Sands formation, an area of ancient inland dunes of which only a few hundred acres out of more than 40 square miles (100 km2) remain.

The rest largely now forming much or all of the foundation on which the towns of Colton, Fontana, and Ontario California are built. The adults are only active for a few weeks each year, feeding on flowers, in August and September.

This fly was emergency-listed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on September 23, 1993, and it has been an extremely contentious listing ever since. Political officials and news services from the region have repeatedly decried this fly as a disease-carrying pest, despite documentation that it is not.

There have been repeated attempts by local officials to have the species de-listed. Residential and commercial development, agricultural conversion, sand mining, invasion by exotic species, dumping of cow manure and trash, and off-road vehicle use have resulted in significant loss and modification of the species' habitat.

Estimates are that over 97% of the original habitat is already gone, and only a portion of what remains is suitable habitat for these flies.

I swear when I hear stuff like this I feel more and more ashamed of what we're doing. People need to get their act together and do something already.

Poor fly....Hang in there. The human species is despicable.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bee Flies Villa sp.

A female Villa hottentotta.

This one is very brief. Practically nothing....but I felt I should post it anyway.

Villa is a genus of flies belonging to the bee-fly family (Bombyliidae). They range in size from 5 to 17 millimeters (0.20 to 0.67 in), and have typically rounded heads. The males of some species have a brilliant mat of silvery patagial scales.

species are found on all continents except Antarctica. They can be distinguished from similar genera (Hemipenthes) by their wing venation.

Once again I'll be digging deeper to see if I can find anything else.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bee Flies Dipalta sp.

Well I think congratulations are in order because this is the second bee fly that I've managed t find at least something on.

Later I'll dig even deeper into this genius and see if I can find anything else.

Dipalta is a genus of flies belonging to the family Bombyliidae (bee-flies). The genus is closely related to Villa.

Medium sized flies, with a conical face. and 3 marginal wing cells, on mottled wings with erratic wing vaination. Wing length 10-13mm, body length 9-10mm. Both species and very variable, Hull suggests there could be other species, or only one very variable one.

One species is from Mexico and the western United States. and the other from Virginia and Ohio. Adults are found on low growing flowers in desert areas. Larvae are parasitic on ant lions.

- Wikipedia

Again I need to dig deeper to see if I can find anything. I certainly hope I do.