A Honey of a Bee

Somewhere in a remote corner of Southeast Asia, in the neighborhood of 34 million years ago, a small bee originated that would change the course of the world.
Today, we call them honey bees (two words, not one). There are seven species in the genus Apis (family Apidae), and their family tree is complicated.

Hobomok Skipper

The BugLady is already yearning for dragonflies and butterflies and other flying objects that are larger than the Asian ladybugs, Western conifer seed bugs, and the few rogue mosquitoes that are presently sheltering in her house.

The Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok), a.k.a the Northern Golden Skipper, is a common, early-flying member of the Grass Skipper subfamily Hesperiinae, whose members perch with their wings folded together when nectaring but with their front wings open and their hind wings only partly so when resting.

Bugs without Bios X

Introducing three unsung (but worthy) bugs, whose definitive biographies have yet to be written.

ENTYLIA CARINATA (no common name) is a treehopper in the family Membracidae (from the Greek membrax meaning “a kind of cicada”) (to whom they’re distantly related).

The Eye of the Fly

The BugLady has always been blown away by macro photographs of horse fly eyes. Spectacular. And excessive. (and – why??) Then BugFan Debra sent a picture of a buffalo treehopper that had pretty special eyes, too.

Magical Moths

There are about 11,000 species of moths in North America, and many of them fit the birders’ all-purpose acronym for sparrows and other small, songbirds – “LBJ” – for “Little Brown Job.” The moths in today’s collection are anything but anonymous in appearance, though apparently, they aren’t good enough or bad enough or charismatic enough to have been studied much, so life history details are scanty.

A Bundle of Beetles

SCHIZOTIS CERVICOLIS has no common name (for no earthly reason that the BugLady could discern, one site calls it the “Flaming-pillow beetle,” but she’s not dignifying that one). It’s a Fire-colored beetle, family Pyrochroidae (because many species in the family have red or orange body parts). Male pyrochroids often have fancy antennae. The BugLady photographed it as it bobbed up and down on a stem in a wetland on a breezy day in late spring. Like the coreopsis beetle above, it resides across northern half of North America.

Predaceous Diving Beetle revisited

The BugLady has been busy, so here’s an enhanced version of an episode that appeared in 2009. New facts, new pictures.

Beetles have been around for 225 million years, plus or minus, and more than a quarter of all species of living things that have been described are beetles. They outnumber vertebrate species 18 to 1 and there are 24,000 beetle species in North America alone.

Galls V

As the leaves color and fall, some interesting galls are being revealed. Quick review – a gall is an abnormal and localized tissue growth on a plant. Plant galls can be caused by friction, fungi, bacteria, and even by viruses, but for BOTW purposes, we’ll stick to galls that are initiated by animals like insects and mites.

Melanoplus Grasshoppers redux

These days the BugLady’s walks are punctuated by the small “pop” of grasshoppers taking off and landing, and by the whir of their wings. Grasshoppers and bumblebees seem to dominate the landscape in the weeks leading up to official autumn.

Once Upon an Ash Tree

Today’s saga could also be called “The Hemiptera Mystery,” though one of the Hemipterans appears only in a supporting role. The main character is a decent-sized true bug (Hemipteran) named Acanthosephala terminalis. For an insect that has a wide range (much of eastern North America), is conspicuous, and is not a shrinking violet, it’s surprising that the AT doesn’t have a common name.