Welcome to the Let's Go Find a Bug project!
You can find all sorts of information on insects, arthropods, and creepy-crawly creatures throughout our site.
So come on, let's go find a bug!
Figeater beetles (Cotinis mutabilis) are rather large iridescent green beetles that can be found in the southwestern United States. These beetles are often confused with both the green June beetle (Cotinis nitida) and the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica). The green June beetle and the Japanese beetle can both be found in the eastern United States, but the Figeater beetle is found primarily in the southwestern United States. Adults like to feed on overripe fruit in gardens and orchards, but their native diet is of cacti fruit and desert tree sap. These beetles are not generally considered to be pests as they do no significant damage to lawns or trees.
Wasps are often considered to be some of the worst insects to run across. They're aggressive, mean, and they like to sting people. That pretty much sums up yellow jackets and hornets, but there are plenty of other wasps that are docile, lovable creatures. Take the species in the family Gasteruptiidae (pictured above). These little guys are comparatively tiny, averaging 13-40mm long and they won't bother anybody. Unless you're a ground dwelling bee or wasp. Then you're in trouble. Gasteruptiids are parasites of ground dwelling bees and wasps. The larvae feed on the eggs, larvae, and food stores of the bees and wasps, eating everything they can before they pupate.
Honey bees (Apis melifera) might be the most well-known pollinators in the world, maybe second only to the monarch butterfly. Honey bees live in a social hive with one queen, lots of workers, and the occasional group of drones. The queen is responsible for maintaining and growing the hive's population. Worker bees are responsible for the labor that occurs within the hive: cleaning, nursing, foraging, and guarding. Drones are males, they do not sting, and their only purpose is to fly around and mate with a queen when she is on her mating flight. Honey bee populations have been negatively impacted by several pesticides and climate change.
Grand Adventures for Small Things
Have you ever seen one of these before? If you have, you're among the lucky few. This is a Spotted Giant Lacewing (Polystoechotes punctatus). Spotted Giant Lacewings are a rare sight, mostly found up in the mountains now. We only saw them up in the Sierra Nevadas, and that was only one time. Finding insects like this is part of our journey, and we are excited for every opportunity we have to bring these beautiful insects to you. Increasingly, insects that were once abundant are becoming more and more scarce. Climate change, pollution, and urbanization are pushing insects like the spotted giant lacewing further and further out of their natural habitats. Someday, if humankind does not start picking up after itself, vast swaths of insect life may be gone forever. We hope this project can help serve as a call to action to prevent further destruction of our planet, of our resources, of our nature.
Thank you for checking out our project! As with any endeavor, there is still a lot of work to be done, a lot of road to walk, and a lot of improvements to be made. We are excited to be on this journey with you and hope you are justas excited.