From the monthly archives: "April 2011"

Is this an ant queen?
Location: Mérida, Spain
April 30, 2011 11:47 am
My daughter took a photo of this beastie when on a school trip. What is it? an ant queen? seems unlikely as they did not find it with other ants or in a nest. it doesn’t seem to have wings. What is it?
Signature: David

Red Striped Oil Beetle

Hi David,
This beauty is not an ant, but a beetle, a Red Striped Oil Beetle,
Berberomeloe majalis, one of the Blister Beetles.  We have several contributions from Spain, including this one.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks!, she will now be able to greatly impress the teacher Monday morning!

Large winged…cicada?
Location: Belmopan, Belize
April 30, 2011 10:26 am
Hi! I saw this large (over 3”, probably closer to 4”) bug on my windowsill at night. He had really long antennae that don’t show up well in the picture (but he does have a cute little face, doesn’t he?) He was quite active, so I presume he is nocturnal. He was pretty spectacular! Any ideas what he is? I thought perhaps a cicada, because it’s that time of year. Thanks for any assistance! You folks are great!
Signature: Cindy

Giant Leaf Cockroach

Hi Cindy,
What a magnificent Cockroach you have encountered.  Of the thousands of species of Cockroaches in the world, very few are known to infest human dwellings, and this is definitely a benign species.  We hope to be able to provide a species identification with some additional research.

Giant Leaf Cockroach

Hi Daniel and Cindy:
I believe this is a Peppered Cockroach (also Giant Peruvian or Giant Leaf Cockroach), Archimandrita tesselata.  It is a forest dwelling species throughout Central and South America. They are able to fly but apparently seldom do so, preferring instead to hide among the leaf litter where they are quite well camouflaged.  They are popular among roach breeders because of their impressive size, good looks and ease of care, so there is actually quite a lot of information available on the internet. Regards.  Karl

Hi Daniel,
Wow – that’s a cockroach?  They sure grow ’em big down here in Belize!  Ah well, he seemed quite pleasant and didn’t bother me, so I’m happy to report that he’s still motoring merrily around somewhere.  I wish I’d been able to get a ruler next to him in the picture because he was quite large, but I didn’t really want to open the screen on the off-chance that he might fly in.  Perhaps if he wanders back one evening, I’ll give it a try.
Thanks so much for the identification!  We have so many amazing bugs down here and I’m trying to learn, but darn it, they just don’t come with name tags.
Thanks again so much for your time!
Warm regards,

Porch light redheads
Location: Highland Park (Northeast Los Angeles)
April 30, 2011 1:21 am
A bunch of these guys just showed up around our porch light. They don’t do much. We never noticed them here before.
Signature: Josh

Brown Leatherwing

Hi Josh,
Greetings from neighboring Mt Washington.  Thank you so much for supplying this image of a Brown Leatherwing, formerly
Cantharis consors.  They are attracted to our own porch lights each spring and we have been meaning to document their activity because it seems to us their numbers are more numerous this year.  Here is what Charles Hogue wrote in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin in our second edition from 1993:  “Adults frequently come to porch lights in the late spring (April to May).  They give off a strong unpleasant musty odor when handled or crushed and may also exude a yellow fluid.  Little else is known of the habits of the adults, and the early stages remain undescribed.  Both are probably ground dwellers that live in plant litter and prye on other insects.”  BugGuide provides the taxonomic change to the name, now accepted as Pacificanthia consors, but there is little information on the species nor is there a common name listed.  BugGuide does provide somewhat more information on the family page, including:  “Adults mostly on vegetation, often on flowers; larvae in leaf litter, loose soil, rotten wood, etc” and  “Adults eat nectar, pollen, other insects; larvae are fluid-feeding predators, feed on insect eggs and larvae.”  We will try to flesh out this posting a bit more if we are able to locate any specific information on the Brown Leatherwing.  While this is probably a more appropriate candidate for our May Bug of the Month, we couldn’t resist posting a photo of an unidentified Click Beetle that we also found at our Mt Washington location.

April 29, 2011
Last night while posting to the website, Daniel felt something crawling on his neck, and it was this gorgeous large black Click Beetle.  This is the second time this beetle has been found in our Mt Washington, Los Angeles offices, and the first sighting was almost exactly two years ago.   Recently while planting walnuts in nearby Elyria Canyon Park, a large Wireworm was uncovered in the dirt.  Sadly, there does not seem to be a match on BugGuide.  Species in the genus
Lanelater are not listed in California on BugGuide, and we thought we might have an identification with the California species Melanectes densus, but that species seems broader with different antennae than our little beauty.  It seems a bit tragic that we are unable to identify our own species of Click Beetle, but perhaps Mardikavana or one of our other beetle aficionados will be able to provide an identification.

We kept this beauty on the kitchen table under a glass until there was natural morning light for an indoor portrait and we later release it after taking some outdoor images as well.

Short Winged Blister Beetle Love
Location: South Jersey
April 28, 2011 11:29 am
Hey I don’t know if you have a picture of the Oil Beetle in the Bug Love area but I took this in my driveway this morning. Kinda looks they are looking at camera.
Signature: Christian M.

Mating Oil Beetles

Hi Christian,
We do have several mating Oil Beetle images in our archives including this tragedy, but we can never get too much Bug Love.  Thanks for your submission.  We have begun receiving some marvelous Blister Beetle images from the Southwest where their diversity is quite astounding.

Seen on the trail in HK …
Location: Hong Kong
April 28, 2011 8:25 pm
Trying to determine the name of this bug seen on a trail in HK …
Signature: Andy

Lappet Moth Caterpillar, we believe

Hi Andy,
This sure resembles the Caterpillar of the American Lappet Moth,
Phyllodesma americana, so we suspect it is an Asian relative.  We recently posted a photo of an American Lappet Moth Caterpillar, and you can also see some images on BugGuide.  When we have more time, we will try to track down an exact species for you.

Karl tracks down the species
Hi Daniel and Andy:
Good call Daniel – it looks like the Lappet Moth (Lasiocampidae) Kunugia divaricata. There are a number of good photos on Flickr. Regards.  Karl