Reports from the Field

Bug o’the Week – Bugs at the End of Summer

Howdy, BugFans,

The Autumnal Equinox is fast upon us, alas, and even though it was a very hot one, the BugLady would like to push that Restart button and go back to the beginning of August. Failing that, here are some of the bugs that crossed her trail in the second half of summer.


Bug o’the Week – Golden green sweat bee

Howdy, BugFans,

Wisconsin is home to between 500 and 600 species of wild bees, ranging in size from today’s sweat bee to bumble bees many times larger (there are about 4,000 bee species in the US). If a small brown or green bee landed on your arm and started sipping salt while you were working/sweating outside in the summer, you’ve met a sweat bee. Typically, no one is harmed in these encounters unless you brush the bee away roughly.


Bug o’the Week – Euderces picipes Beetle

Greetings, BugFans,

When the BugLady saw these two tiny (5mm/¼”), black insects on a flower, her first thought was “ants,” followed immediately by a mental head slap. They were piggyback – worker ants don’t do that, and royal ants have wings, and males are way smaller than females. A (much) closer look revealed two long-horned beetles, Family Cerambycidae.


Bug o’the Week – Beautiful Jumper

Howdy, BugFans,

The BugLady was on a pier at Riveredge Nature Center when this spectacular jumping spider climbed out from between the planks.

Like the old joke about bacon being the gateway meat for vegetarians, jumping spiders seem to be the gateway spider for arachnophobes. Many are fuzzy (well, the spiders are – the BugLady can’t vouch for the arachnophobes), and because the front part of their cephalothorax (the combined head and thorax) is flat, four of their eyes face forward, and they look at you in a very human way. Plus, they are curious and they have attitude. If the BugLady had not already given her heart to crab spiders, these anthropomorphic little beauties would be at the top of her spider list.


Bug o’the Week – And Now for Something a Little Different XV – Royal Catchfly

Greetings, BugFans,

The BugLady had a long overdue “Oh Duh!!!”moment recently when BugFan Freda asked her if she realized why Royal Catchfly flowers were named Catchfly. Nope – hadn’t thought about it (insufficient scholarship).

Freda had just discovered, to her horror, that she might be aiding and abetting pollinator murder. Did the BugLady know that the Royal Catchfly was, in fact, a pollinator deathtrap?


Bug o’the Week – Long-tailed Meadow Katydid

Howdy, BugFans.

At first glance, Meadow Katydids look like small grasshoppers, but grasshoppers (family Acrididae) have antennae of a reasonable length, and katydids (family Tettigoniidae) have such long antennae (you have to back up a bit to get the whole antenna in a picture) that you wonder how they maneuver through the vegetation – and life (those antennae, of course are highly sensory and are exactly what allow them to navigate through life).


Bug o’the Week – Robust Katydid-hunting Wasp
by Kate Redmond

Greetings, BugFans,

OK – it’s not a super flashy wasp when it’s heading away from you (in fact, it’s not even very wasp-like), but it’s pretty cool when it’s heading toward you – those eyes. And what an awesome name (though not quite as awesome as the related Eastern Ant-Queen Kidnapper Wasp)! Both species are in the Square-headed wasp family Crabronidae, a family that we have met in previous BOTWs.


Bug o’the Week – Midsummer Memories by Kate Redmond

Howdy, BugFans,

Last year the BugLady had so many midsummer stories to tell that she wrote one episode about dragonflies, and a second about “other” (because as seasoned BugFans know (well) her camera gravitates to dragons and damsels). She’s got a heap of pictures to share again this year, but she’ll mix and match the groups in a two-part summer feature.


Bug o’the Week – Chimney Bee by Kate Redmond

Greetings, BugFans,

Family Apidae is a big umbrella in the bee world that includes Bumble, Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, and Honey bees – 1,000 species of them in North America and 5,000 species elsewhere. The star of today’s show is in the tribe Anthophorini, the Digger bees (68 species in our area and 766 worldwide). What they all have in common is a bumble-bee-ish appearance and the habit of most species of making nest tunnels in the soil.


Bug o’the Week – Gray Field Slug by Kate Redmond

Salutations, BugFans,

The BugLady has been hitting all her favorite wetlands and taking pictures and editing pictures, and it’s July 4th, and she hasn’t quite gotten a crisp, new BOTW ready. Since she has been a slug, writing-wise, she decided to rerun an episode from 2019 about slugs. And besides, she is really tickled by the Scottish poem about slugs.


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