Reports from the Field

Bug o’the Week – Burrowing Wolf Spider

Greetings, BugFans,

One afternoon in late June as the BugLady was walking along the cordwalk at Kohler-Andrae State Park, she noticed a few half-inch-ish holes in the sand, holes that had more “structure” than the ones she makes with her walking stick, and larger than those made by solitary wasps.  She took a couple of throwaway shots and was very surprised when she put one up on the monitor and noticed eyes and legs! 

03.06.24

Bug o’the Week – And Now for Something Different – Cattails

Howdy, BugFans,

Wanted: Colonists to settle in wide open spaces. Must be adaptable, able to put down roots in submerged or soggy soil, and stand firm in the face of wind and waves, rodents and carp. Temporary accommodations only.

It turns out that cattails are ideal candidates for this not-so-attractive job description.

02.28.24

Bug o’the Week – Bugs in the News XIII

Howdy, BugFans,

The BugLady’s “newspaper clippings” file runneth over, so here are a few articles for you to peruse. Please note that most come from the excellent Smithsonian daily e-newsletter, which is not only free (though a donation is always appreciated), but there’s no pay wall. The newsletter includes articles about current discoveries, archaeology, history, insects, birds and mammals, oceans, etc.

02.09.24

Bug o’the Week – Caddisfly revisited

Greetings, BugFans,

The BugLady is suffering from the February Doldrums in January – this is a massaged version of a BOTW that was originally posted in 2009, with some new words and new pictures.

Caddisflies, in the Order Trichoptera (“hairy wings”), are famous for the cases built for protection by their soft-bodied larvae (the only natural “armor” they possess is located on their head, thorax and legs) and for the larvae’s ability to produce silk thread via a silk gland in their lower lip. They use silk to “glue” materials together to construct the case, to net some food, and to modify the case before they pupate.

01.31.24

Bug o’the Week – Cereal bug

Greetings, BugFans,

The BugLady loves finding an insect she’s never seen before.  When she saw it walking along a cordwalk (boardwalk on sand) in the dunes at Kohler-Andrae State Park, she knew that this guy/gal was in the stink bug family (Pentatomidae), but it’s more spindle-shaped and lacks the “shoulder pads” of a generic stink bug (younger BugFans may have to Google “shoulder pads”). 

01.24.24

Bug o’the Week – Moths – Four Very Short Stories

Greetings, BugFans,

Everybody likes butterflies (the BugLady would not like to meet the person who dislikes butterflies). But, in the order Lepidoptera, butterflies are just the tip of the iceberg – the heavy lifting is done by moths. There are in the neighborhood of 180,000 species of Lepidoptera worldwide (“10% of the total described species of living organisms,” says Wikipedia), and about nine-tenths of them are moths. Only around 700 of North America’s 12,000 species of Lepidoptera are butterflies.

Moths often languish in the BugLady’s picture files because: A) They can be tough to identify; and B) Most are not notorious enough to have drawn much attention to themselves, so their biographies are hard to find and are more like short stories.

01.19.24

Bug o’the Week – Saddleback Caterpillar – A Snowbird Special

Greetings, BugFans,

Today’s bug, the extraordinary-looking and aptly-named Saddle-backed caterpillar, is the 5th in our on-going Snowbird Special series about bugs you might see if you decide to tear yourself away from God’s Country in the winter. The BugLady doesn’t know why one might consider that – except she’s posting this before dark because there’s a massive storm that’s raining all over her, accompanied by 20-plus mph north winds, and is delivering many inches of snow inland. She suspects that the power will fail eventually.

Thanks to BugFan Tom in the Deep South for his pictures of this amazing caterpillar.

01.16.24

Bug o’the Week – Parnassia Miner Bee – a Bee and its Flower

Salutations, BugFans,

It’s the trough between Christmas and New Year’s – nothing but reruns. This one, from 2009, has a few new words and pictures. Party on!

Occasionally, one of the BugLady’s wee dust bunnies becomes a little more animated than the rest of them – a situation that is startling, momentarily, until she remembers the Masked Hunter (Reduvius personatus), an alien bug from Europe and Africa that is now found throughout the US.

01.04.24

Bug o’the Week – Masked Hunter redo

Salutations, BugFans,

It’s the trough between Christmas and New Year’s – nothing but reruns. This one, from 2009, has a few new words and pictures. Party on!

Occasionally, one of the BugLady’s wee dust bunnies becomes a little more animated than the rest of them – a situation that is startling, momentarily, until she remembers the Masked Hunter (Reduvius personatus), an alien bug from Europe and Africa that is now found throughout the US.

12.27.23

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