On Friday, I ran across a bug that looked like a red, green, and yellow shrimp. Resting on a witch hazel leaf with its posterior and head held high, this insect reminded me of a katydid nymph. v belov on BugGuide identified it as the nymph of a pale green assassin bug (Zelus luridus).
Tag Archives: bugs
Arboretum: Stink Bug Prey and Snake Eyes
I found a stink bug nymph in the Arboretum this morning. It is probably an instar of the green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris), although it lacks the orange shoulder pads that I see in every other photo of green stink bug nymphs.
Arboretum: Chinese Mantid and Panicled Hawkweed
As I left the Arboretum’s visitor center on Sunday, I noticed a crowd gathered around a shrub. It took me a second to see the shockingly large Chinese mantid (Tenodera aridifolia) that was the subject of everyone’s attention.
This praying mantis was larger than my hand. It had landed on someone’s leg and she had the peace of mind to place it on the shrub, where it stood still for many minutes.
The Chinese mantid is the largest of our praying mantises. Introduced from China in 1896 to control pests, they eat both harmful and beneficial insects, and sometimes each other. They are so large that they are able to attack hummingbirds.
Take a look at this face. It means business.
Western Conifer Seed Bug
I opened my window yesterday evening and a bug came flying in. With the loud drone of its wings, I initially thought it was a wasp and backed away. But it turned out to be a western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis).
This bug started out in the West (hence its name), but has since spread to the eastern U.S. and even Europe. They love to find their way into homes in the spring and fall. Apparently this bug didn’t get the memo: it’s still summer!
Arboretum: Giant Water Bugs and Biocontrol Beetles
Exploring in the meadow of the Arnold Arboretum last weekend, I came upon this giant water bug (Belostoma sp.). This large insect — they named it “giant” for a reason — preys on creatures as large as small fish. It can inflict a very painful bite, and so is also called toe biter. Thanks to John Epler for the ID.
Biking Cape Cod Part 2
After our longer-than-expected bike ride to Truro, we spent the night at the Hostelling International (HI) hostel in Truro ($42 a person).
Urban Nature Walk: Bussey Meadow
On Sunday, Jef led a small group of us on an urban nature walk. We started at the Bussey Brook Meadow and moved on to the Arnold Arboretum, ending at the Forest Hills gate. Mosquitoes hounded us, especially in the Meadow.
Jef called the meadow a European wildflower garden. We saw some periwinkle-colored chicory flowers (Cichorium intybus) and bird’s-foot trefoil flowers (Lotus corniculatus) with orange streaks on bright yellow. These were among the many wildflowers native to Europe.