From the monthly archives: "October 2011"

Mystery bug
Location: San Diego, CA
October 1, 2011 8:54 pm
Dear WTB,
These bugs have recently appeared in large amounts and are prolifically mating. It is late September and the weather has been hot and dry. I have recently planted a field of Protea flowers. Can you tell me what they are and if they will harm my plants?
Thank you!
Signature: Darwin

Red Bug

Hi Darwin,
The Red Bug,
Scantius aegyptius, is a non-native introduced species that was first reported in California in 2009.  According to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research website:  “The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas.  These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations.“  That would indicate your Protea flowers are not in danger.

anyone know what this is???
Location: St.Lewis NL Canada
October 2, 2011 6:03 am
this summer we have been spotting some very strange bugs for around these parts of Labrador…but this one topped the cake yesterday when we saw it outside…
Signature: Cara

Whitespotted Sawyer

Dear Cara,
Your insect is one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles or Longicorns.  The species is
Monochamus scutellatus, and in French speaking Canada it goes by the common name Longicorne noir.  For English speakers, it is commonly called the Whitespotted Sawyer, though BugGuide also lists Oil Sands Beetle and Tar Sands Beetle as common names and provides this explanation:  “The local (to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada) common names of Oil Sands Beetle and Tar Sands Beetle are due to the attraction of this insect to oil sands. Apparently the attraction is the scent of bitumen, chemically similar to compounds released by the diseased or damaged coniferous trees where they are attracted to lay their eggs.”