Bugs Without Bios XVI

Currant tip borer

Greetings, BugFans, It’s time again to celebrate the bugs that fly under the radar – bugs that are neither famous nor infamous and that live alongside of us, about whom not much has been written. All three of these species,… Read More

Maine Leaf Beetle

chrysomela mainensis

(Note: All links in this article go to external sites.) Greetings, BugFans, The BugLady found these (preoccupied) beetles on a trip to Spruce Lake Bog in June. They’re in the Leaf beetle family, Chrysomelidae, which, along with weevils and rove… Read More

Bugs without Bios XV

cerambycid

Howdy, BugFans, Bugs without Bios are bugs who have no fan clubs or t-shirts or Wanted posters and who go about their daily lives without attracting too much attention, yet are still worthy of our admiration.. Actually, there probably is… Read More

Goldsmith Beetle

Goldsmith Beetle view of top

Howdy, BugFans, The BugLady found this beetle recently (what’s left of it anyway) on what remains of her dune (not much, after the winter storms) (sadly, her Doodlebug Refuge was mostly washed away, and this year houses just a single… Read More

Wildflower Watch –Marsh Marigold

May is American wetlands month, so we’ll end it in the swamp, in the company of Marsh Marigolds, the flowers that turn newly thawed wetlands a riotous yellow from the last days of April through much of May. Skunk cabbage and pussy willows may whisper the arrival of spring, but marsh marigolds crank up the volume. The BugLady should have started this project two weeks ago when the marsh marigold was at its peak, but the truth is that despite the masses of flowers it produces, she seldom sees many insects on it, and the ones she sees are as likely to be resting as dining.

Bugs without Bios IX

Beetle Calleida

Bugs without Bios celebrates the small-but-mighty insects that, mostly unsung, sneak below our radar daily. Today’s catch have three things in common – their identifications are all “probable;” they’re all carnivores; and on each of the three, the BugLady’s Google search ran out in fewer than ten pages.

Texas Ironclad Beetle

Ironclad Beetle

When BugFan Kine sent this “what is it” picture, the BugLady’s first reaction was to raise her hand and say “Teacher, teacher! Ask me! Ask me!” She didn’t recall its name, but she knew she had seen a picture of it in Kaufman’s Field Guide to Insects of North America (it’s also in the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders).

The Twelve Bugs of Christmas 2019

Bumblebee

Let’s celebrate the (almost bugless) Season with a dozen bugs that were photographed this year. Down through the centuries, various regional versions of the classic Christmas carol have included hares a-running, ducks quacking, badgers baiting, bulls a-roaring, biting cows, bears a-beating, cocks a-crowing, asses racing, starlings, plovers, goldspinks (goldfinches), sides of meat, ponies, deer, stalks of corn, cheese, windmills, and an Arabian Baboon. Never any bugs, though, so it’s up to us.

Ninebark Leaf Beetle

Ninebark

A few years ago, when the BugLady wrote about the ninebark leaf beetle (Calligrapha spiraea), she made a mental note to pay more attention to ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) during its blooming period. Ninebark? The way the BugLady heard the story, the shrub’s name comes from the German word “nein” for “no,” a reference to the fact that the smooth bark of the young branches looks like no bark at all (some non-German botanist eventually rearranged the vowels so that they made sense to him).

Viburnum Leaf Beetle

Viburnum leaf beetle

It’s quiet now, but the Viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) is slowly chewing its way across southern Wisconsin. It has followed the general invasive species template – establishing small, often undetected populations and staying below the radar for years, its spread (unwittingly) aided by human activity. Once we know we know it’s here, it has already reached numbers that are difficult to control.