From the monthly archives: "June 2011"

Location: Graham County, NC (Snowbird Mountains)
June 1, 2011 7:47 am
I photographed this beetle in the mts. It was on a Mountain Ash. It is a beautiful insect.
Signature: Cherrie

Elderberry Borer

Dear Cherrie,
This gorgeous beetle is an Elderberry Borer,
Desmocerus palliatus.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on pollen, found on flowers, especially those of elderberry,” and “Larvae feed on elderberry, Sambucus. Eggs are laid on stems, near base of plant. Larvae burrow into stems and then tunnel down to feed on living roots.”

Scorpion Eats Some Dinner
Location: El Paso, TX
June 1, 2011 4:14 am
I would like to share some neat pictures with you and the readers. This scorpion was right outside the back door. I went out with the dogs a little later to keep them away, though I expected it to have wandered off by then. So it was quite a site to see it had caught a roach! I have never seen a scorpion with a fresh catch, so in true nerd fashion, I took lots of pictures and some video. It’s gruesome, but interesting! Hope you enjoy!
Signature: Jen

Scorpion eats Cockroach

Hi Jen,
Thanks so much for sending your marvelous photos of a Scorpion feeding on a Cockroach.  We try to encourage our readership to allow predatory species like spiders, solifugids and house centipedes to live in and near their homes as a means of keeping noxious species like cockroaches at bay, but we are never sure how effective we are.  Your photos are definitely worth thousands of words.

Scorpion eats Cockroach

Very weird bug
Location: Maryville TN
May 31, 2011 9:45 pm
I saw this bug (dead) in a parking lot today (May 31, 2011) in Maryville TN and took a picture because I had never seen anything like it before. Can you tell me what it is?
Thank you!
Signature: Sherry

Stag Beetle: Road Kill or Insecticide???

Hi Sherry,
Your photo of a dead Giant Stag Beetle,
Lucanus elaphus, found in a parking lot saddened us as these are magnificent beetles.  Though we would hope this large male Giant Stag Beetle died of natural causes, we fear it may have become accidental road kill, or even worse, unnecessary carnage.

Hi, Daniel — Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know about this beetle.

speaking engagement
June 1, 2011 12:06 am
Hello Daniel:
I attended your lecture at the Payne Foundation last Saturday and really enjoyed your presentation!!! I sat in the back next to Lily Singer.
I have a horticultural garden retreat in Topanga
called The Mermaid and do evening programs sometimes featuring speakers. i am passionate about butterflies and rear different native species on the site.
Would you be available for such a speaking event?  And if so please tell me how I go about making arrangements with you, cost, etc.
The Mermaid has a wonderful history — built as a country club in 1930, later to be coma a gambling house during world war 2 and then a gay bar called the Canyon Club in the 50s and 60s.
I have lived here for 21 years and rent the place out for all sorts of things. Please see our website,
Thank you,
Bill Buerge, owner
The Mermaid, Topanga

Hi Bill,
Thanks for your kind email.  I am glad you enjoyed the presentation.  Topanga Canyon is a wonderful area and I hope that posting your letter and link will be positive publicity for your garden retreat.  With summer approaching and budget cuts at the California Community College level, LACC has decided not to offer any photography classes among its drastically scaled back summer session, so I have some free time.  I will also contact you through my personal email address so that we can discuss specifics.

Moth identification
Location: Trinity National Forest, Trinity County, CA / May 30th / 2,500 ft elevation.
May 31, 2011 9:40 am
I looked through the large moth photos and did not see this particular guy. Some of the silk moths were close, but not spot on. It has about a 4.5 inch wing span. Any help would be appreciated.
Signature: K. Fisher

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Dear K. Fisher,
Your lovely moth is a Ceanothus Silkmoth,
Hyalophora euryalus.  The distinguishing feature of this species is the “discal spot on hindwing shaped like an elongated comma pointing toward outer margin” according to BugGuide.

Ceanothus Silkmoth