Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bugs! - Blog 62

This blog is about our local bugs and especially for Joan. http://saphotographs.blogspot.com. Unfortunately my photos are not up to Joan's standard, but they are improving all the time and only taken with a cheap digital camera. All pictures can be enlarged with a single click.

Scutigera coleoptrata or house centipede.

It is an insectivore and it kills and eats beetles, termites, ants, cockroaches and spiders.
S. coleoptrata is 25 mm (1 in) to 50 mm (2 in) in length and has up to 15 pairs of remarkably long legs. These delicate legs are attached to a rigid body. It is very fast running across floors, up walls and along ceilings. When at rest, it is not easy to tell its front from its back.

They are poisonous, but the jaws are seldom strong enough to bite a human and if they did, the result would be no worse than a bee sting. The sting is in fact administered through modified legs


Chrysolina americana or rosemary beetle devours the leaves of rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage and some other related plants. All of which are in my herb garden!!

The Rosemary Beetle is very pretty, with its metallic purple carapace showing delicate green stripes. Small (6mm) and ‘jewel-like’, these adults sit amongst the foliage and probably do little damage. BUT – their eggs will hatch into nasty little larvae. These young ones are greyish and they have enormous appetites. They nibble away at the rosemary leaves (or lavender, thyme and sage) and can eventually destroy the whole plant if not dealt with!


Vespa velutina Asian Hornet.

This looks exactly like the pictures, except it has not got the typical orange head so…… I note that the picture in Wikipedia also has no orange head??

In 2004, the Asian hornet was accidentally introduced into southern France with imported goods. Reports in France raise concerns about the aggressiveness of this species of hornet, which certainly appears to be true where it is found in Asia, where it is quite feared. It also readily attacks and feeds on honeybees, thus threatening the livelihoods of beekeepers in southern Europe.

The froghoppers, or the superfamily Cercopoidea. These families are best known for the nymph stage, which produces a cover of frothed-up plant sap resembling spit; the nymphs are therefore commonly known as spittlebugs, or spit bugs, and their froth as cuckoo spit or snake spit.

The froth serves a number of purposes. It hides the nymph from the view of predators and parasites, it insulates against heat and cold, thus providing thermal control and also moisture control. Without the froth the bug would quickly dry up. The nymphs pierce plants and suck sap causing damage, and much of the excess filtered fluids go into the production of the froth, which has an acrid taste, deterring predators. A few species are serious pests.

Not sure what this beetle is, it was 'trotting' around on the tiles in our hallway.

I think this is a type of bumble bee, it was certainly the size that I expect one to be. It was really quite large.

Crane fly, see Joan's blog http://saphotographs.blogspot.com/2010/05/mating-craneflies.html

Our local spiders I have put on a couple of earlier blogs and I don't really need to be reminded about them!!

20 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing hey, how the scariest looking insect - the house centipede - is actually the most useful ...

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  2. OneStonedCrow, yes you are right,they keep away all sorts of other bugs but they are not very pretty to look at around the house. We seem to have quite a lot of them. Diane

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  3. WOW!! What a WONDERFUL post Diane. Thank you so much for showing me your bugs and adding such interesting information on them too. These are fantastic pictures, you did very well with them!!

    That centipede is very interesting to me as those here do not have such long legs.

    Love the colours in the Rosemary Beetle but feel sorry for your herb garden. :)

    The beetle you cannot name looks a lot like our Tok-tokkies (Tapping Beetle family)

    Thanks once again for all of this. More please. :)

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  4. Ugh! I shall treat all insects with suspicion from now on. Most of them seem pretty mean and nasty !

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  5. Hi Joan, Glad you liked the post. I am not very good at taking pictures of small bugs but when I get a decent photo I will store it up for another bug blog. Thanks for the beetle identification, it probably is the same. Yes, the rosemary beetle is very pretty but.... Diane

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  6. Hi Jean, Yep, when one looks up these little guys and finds out what they do it is sometimes not very pleasant. Strange creatures. Diane

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  7. Wow what fabulous photographs Jan! My digital camera has packed up and it's like my arm has been chopped off as I use it all the time. I must get it sorted - enjoy the sunshine! Roz x

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  8. Thanks Roz. No camera is almost as bad as no computer!! The sun is wonderful we just need to get a warmer wind! Diane

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  9. Ciao again! I am now signed up as your latest follower.

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  10. Your photo's are great - I love the bumble bee ... so big, too !

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  11. Thanks Lynda, the bumble bee actually looks quite cuddly with its 'furry coat'! Diane

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  12. I am not a fan of bugs... but the bumble bee is pretty cute.

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  13. Pam I am not a fan really either! If they stay out of my house, and out of my garden then they can live in peace. Unfortunately as when living in Africa we have our fair share here in the country. Diane

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  14. I assure you I'm no fan of bugs, and you won't find me posting about our local bugs. But we have bumblebees who are bright yellow and black striped, and they are very big and fat, and almost cute on the rhododendron outside my kitchen window. As long as they stay outside and I'm inside, we are friends.

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  15. Marjie I have to agree with you. Rather outside than inside. But some of my plants also do not want them around, especially the Rosemary beetle pretty as it is. Diane

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  16. These are fantastic photos! I'm amazed that you are able to capture them so well with a point and shoot camera. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  17. Thanks Mary. It has taken many pictures to get decent photos, quite honestly I don't know what I am doing unless it is on auto! I have improved though since the photos that I used to take with my brownie box camera. LOL. Diane

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  18. I've just noticed this post. I absolutely hate house centipedes, even though I know they're more or less harmless. I just can't stand the way they run so fast, and I'm afraid I kill them if I can move fast enough :-( Mind you, since I blocked up all the little holes between the skirting tiles etc we don't get nearly as many thank goodness.

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  19. Jan you are right they are very fast and not that nice to have around, but they do eat other bugs especially spiders which I hate even more!! Diane

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