30 May 2006

Henderson and beyond

Follow-up on "making it out to Travis's house" on 5/20: I got there in the late afternoon. We went for a walk in the huge pastures near his house and searched the wooded areas between the pastures for insects. We hit a tree where we had found six or more S. aloeus grubs last year, but no one was home. We found a few more good stumps but hit a sweet spot with an old hackberry. We found about five pupal P. punctata, two grubs and four adults all in one area of the stump.

This past weekend (5/27/06) I met up with (and met) Dave from Houston. He was passing through town to stay with family and was looking for good collecting sites. He wanted to check out the visitor's center near Butte la Rose. I found seven P. punctata there and he found many moths to take home. He had already spoken to the security guard on his previous trip, who didn't seem to mind him collecting. I suggest checking this spot out again, thanks Dave.
On the way back we hit Henderson and Breaux Bridge, stopping at any place with nice lighting. The first spot we hit yielded one dead, male D. tityus (very upsetting). I also came home with two C. scrutator and Dave found more moths that he would have to tell you about (Dave is interested in coming back for our big get-together in June). He e-mailed me earlier today with a spot in Jenerette that he discovered where he found a D. tityus and S. aloeus, both male. On my lunch break today I stopped at a park in B.B. where I found a male S. aloeus. Basically.... stuff is flying and we need to get out there!

On a side note, the night I got back from Butte la Rose I placed the P. punctata in a container to keep them until I was able to remove the pre-pupal P. punctata grubs from a larger container. The container had my substrate in it and by the next night I collected over 65 eggs from those adults.

On a second note, check this pic out:


5-20-06 (I think)

I've been meaning to post this for a while. The weekend after we got back from Austin, Emma and I went to "the farm". I was looking for scrutator grubs again but found none. We did get to see this though:


Bug stuff from New Orleans

Another foray to Bayou Gauche yielded more of the same (for the most part). Canal dipping alongside LA hwy. 306 was pretty good, especially for water scoprions in some spots. Also got one nice cerambycid that's a wasp mimic in the genus Neoclytus.

Lethocerus under lights were nowhere near as abundant as the week before, but the large beetles at the gas station in Des Allemends were there again.

I went to Manchac around May 15 to collect insects for a bug cooking gig in Los Angeles (more on that below). I caught about 60 eastern pondhawks, about 100 or more 2nd and 3rd instar lubber grasshoppers, several adult katydids and (not for cooking) some whirligig bettles. Manchac, like most of south LA, is really dry.

Los Angeles has a natural history museum that includes an insect zoo. This year the Ralph M. Parson's Insect Zoo held its 20th Bug Fair. Talk about cool! Around 60 exhibitors, and lots of them are purveyors of quality preserved specimens. Anyway, the whole thing is a bug lover's dream. For my part, I cooked "against" a friend and fellow bug chef twice on Sat. and again on Sun. (May 20 & 21). Our panel of judges included the woman who is the voice of Sandy the Squirrel on Spongebob Squarepants! I won 2, lost 1, and tied 1, by the way.

Final notes:
- "Washington" post - that predatory assassin may be E. floridanus, but I think it could also be Alcaeorrhynchus grandis. Very similar nymphs, but the U of FL "featured creatures" page for A. grandis shows that wavy "V" atop the thorax as in Steven's picture.
- "Austin" post - that "assassin" is actually a nymphal leaf-footed bug (F: Coreidae). Genus is probably Acanthocephala.

Off to North Carolina for June 4 - 9 (but may only have room for a single 15-watt UV tube and not the big rig)!

20 May 2006

Austin and more...

Ok, since no one else is posting, it's me again. We took a trip to Austin last week to visit Nicki's sister and her husband in there new house. They found a nice and surprisingly quiet neighborhood that is very close to everything. Those who know me know I wouldn't go anywhere without scanning the ground............and the trees, and under logs, and rocks... (you get the idea). I setup a light in their backyard, just to see what I could find. Their yard is surrounded by an 8' (or more) tall fence so I didn't expect much but did see: June beetles, hide beetles (Trox) and quite a few mantis flies. I drove down to the bank (the one under 35, across from Fiesta where Travis picked up a Calosoma one year and made the whole car smell like bleach) where we used to find "black searchers" (not C. calidum) but didn't find any. The nights there were still pretty cold and a bit windy. That Saturday we drove out to "Hamilton Pool" for a hike. I saw a "eyed elator" and large millipede there. The next day we did "Wild Basin" where I found: an assassin, this katydid (below) and a few Onthophagus hecate. While we were there my friend Tim (Ft. Worth Zoo) sent me a box of Gymnetis flavomarginata grubs.

On the home front, most of the P. truncatus that Travis and I found as grubs have pupated and two have eclosed. I'm hoping to make it out to Travis's house this afternoon for some collecting.


08 May 2006

Washington Weekend Review

We took a quick trip to "the farm" this weekend. It was muddy and we didn't see much. I went to try to collect more C. scrutator grubs because I had seen more than I collected last time I was there. Only found two, and they were in Emma's sand box. I took a bottle full of Euthyrhynchus floridanus, (predatory stink bugs) that Michael had collected, to release them. I was able to snap this picture of one:

Other than that, not much else. I flipped over logs, boards and anything else I could find. I did see more native phasmid pairs than I have seen in a while. Hope this rain stops so we can all get back out there. Hope to see everyone soon.


05 May 2006


Posted: 5/5/06 8:20am
Travis, Michael and I collected last Friday (4/28/06). We setup a light at "the farm" then piled into one car and drove up to "the Chevron". We only saw one long-horn in the B.K. drive-thru, one sphinx moth under the diesel-side lights at the Chevron and a few mole-crickets. Michael and I shared potato fries and Travis had chicken fries. They (Chevron) have stored some things in "the corral" like signs and displays; might have good places for things to hide under to get out of the heat. We drove to the other gas station down the road and didn't see much of anything there.
We drove back down Washington and didn't have too much on the sheet either. Tons of toads and frogs calling though, and there were two toads on the sheet. The night was a bit too windy and a bit too cool. The upper pasture has cows on it again, so I'm hoping the dung beetles return.


03 May 2006

Bayou Gauche trip

The Audubon Insectarium staff had a great trip south of New Orleans (but only 33 miles from home) last week. Just next to Paradis, LA is the tiny town of Bayou Gauche, population around 200-300. At the end of LA hwy 306, we had about an hour to poke around before we had to go to dinner. It was mostly an acridid grasshopper and eastern pondhawk collecting session with some aerial and sweep net play mixed in.

After a heck of a buffet (Chinese place, but they had boiled crawfish too 'cause, you know, you ARE in Cajun country there), we drove to Des Allemends for a sunset airboat tour. What a treat! Gobs of four-spotted skimmers perching on leafless branches, blad eagle with chick, barred owl with a fresh kill, two really large egret/heron rookeries, lots of 'gators, deafening frog calling, good numbers of whirligig beetles, and some dip-netting for water scorpions were among the highlights.

When we hauled out we invsetigated a very well-lit truck stop that produced lots of large predaceous diving beetles (Cybister sp.) and a couple each of large water scavenger beetles (Hydrophilus sp.) and giant water bugs (Lethocerus sp.). By 10 or 10:30p.m. we had returned to the end of LA 306 and set up a UV/mercury vapor light rig with a sheet. The next couple of hours produced relatively little in the way of both moths and beetles. This was a surprise, especially considering that the regular street lights lining the bayou on our drive in were replete with the 3 genera listed previously. In fact, we went on foot just two hundred yards or so and were able to collect about 20 more Lethocerus. The Cybister count was 36 and the Hydrophilus numbered about 16 by night's end.

What a good time! Pretty, close, and easy pickings for several of the aquatic species we intend to display!


01 May 2006


This will be a section dedicated to Louisiana Coleoptera. I encourage all to post their pictures of species not seen here. Hopefully before long, we will be collecting some more Dynastes in LeCompte. Here are two pictures to kick things off: Eastern hercules beetle, Dynastes tityus (left) and six-spotted tiger beetle, Cincindela sexguttata (right).

This male Dynastes was originally collected by Steven Barney at the famous LeCompte Chevron we all know and love so well. After breeding the male to his females at home, he gave the specimen to me, where it promptly died two days later. The Cincindela is one of three I collected at the Barney property in Washington. This was the best specimen exemplifying the spots of the distal end of the elytra.


5/2/06 9:03pm

Here is a pic I took this weekend of one of the C. scrutator we found the "key weekend":
(click for big)