Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Bugs.

With recent temps shooting into the seventies (yup, we’ve skipped Spring once again and headed right into Summer—no real surprise there) the creepy crawlies are out and about. And I’m not just referring to the ticks, which are pretty much a given at any time of the year. (Although in spite of much bushwhacking lately, I did not acquire my first tick bite until April 11, which has to be one of the latest dates, so even though some of the bloodsuckers survived the winter [damn], the numbers are definitely down [for now].) 

This American Oil Beetle raced past me across the sidewalk at the public library—right before the last snowfall. I like to think it would not have survived even if I hadn’t accidentally toasted it by keeping it in a little container in the warm truck before photo-documenting it. Whoops. Sorry, so sorry…

This gorgeously colored leaf-footed bug apparently spent the winter wedged between my shed door and the frame. It survived quite well enough to fly away on the warm day I took this photo. (Interestingly, there was second one nearby between the door and floor that did not make it… And no, I hadn’t stepped on it.)

I saw this beauty cruising down my deck railing and at first thought “Box Elder Bug?” because that’s what comes to mind when I glimpse a black and red creepy crawlie, but something wasn’t clicking into place... I’m glad I managed to plunk a plastic dish over it while I went for the camera, because the little bugger was not willing to stay around for a long photo session. Guess it heard about the oil beetle?

Resorted to Google and the Bug Guide for its ID, as the obvious starting point of “Black and Red Stink/Shield Bug” in my insect guide showed a critter that was definitely not this one.

Two-spotted Stink Bug, Perillus bioculatus. Even though this is a first for me, it seems to have a very broad distribution and activity period judging by the photos online. And is reportedly bred specifically to help control the Colorado Potato Beetle...

I saw another neat bug that didn’t get photographed because I didn’t tap it into a holding container. I had (stupidly) put the camera away and the bug was gone by the time I got it back… [It showed up the next day, however, and that’s a post of its own!] There was also a white moth that flew into the bathroom and then fell off the wall somewhere onto a shelf when I tried to reach it… I might be able to get a picture of it if I can find it, but I’m in no hurry as I’ve tried and failed to ID the one white moth I have found—even with top and bottom photos of it. (You’d think that they’d be easy to put a name to, given that there aren’t that many of them. Hah!)

The overwintering butterflies and early-emergers were also out, but flitted by (helped by a steady breeze) so quickly I could only guess at IDs, never mind try for pics. Come on, holly tree; I need you to get your flowers open soon to slow down the fly-bys…