Saturday, May 15, 2010
Bug Season in Texas
Conditions have been ideal here in Central Texas this Spring for all kinds of bugs. Some of the most popular critters coming into the nursery in plastic bags are salt marsh caterpillars, various leaf and flower beetles, spider mites, scale, and these guys. I wrongly identified them last week when a customer brought them in as Paranapiacaba tricincta, or Desert Leaf Beetle. Today, I got a chance to look at them more carefully when a co-worker brought some in. Still, even with a few other critter-enthusiasts at the info desk helping me search, I couldn't find an exact match. We are fortunate to have a microscope that takes pictures though, something that makes the bug-lover in me absolutely rejoice, so I snapped a pic of ours and sent it to www.whatsthatbug.com. I LOVE this site, and have probably mentioned it before over at Junebug Soup. I spent my first year of gardening glued to it. Every time I noticed a new bug in the garden, I tossed it in a jar, and it sat next to my computer until I could find it on WTB. Today, I also utilize www.bugguide.net, a more organized but slightly less personalized site. Both are wonderful sites and together provide a powerhouse of information.
WTB answered me by the time I got home from work, so I can bring the info back in tomorrow for the next person that brings in a baggy of these Opulent Lema Leaf Beetles. Thanks WTB!!!