The Bug Blog

The purpose of the Bug Blog is to provide information about and a forum for discussing the insects and other arthropods commonly encountered in Marin and Sonoma counties. Insect identification is a free service offered by the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District. If you have an insect or arthropod that you would like identified, you may mail it to District headquarters (attn: Eric Engh) or drop it off (in an enclosed container) at our front desk during regular office hours. Specimens will be identified as time permits.  

Oak moth

on Fri, 2013-05-24 13:49
Where found: 
On and around coast live oaks
Size: 
Approx.13mm long (body length)
Scientific name: 
Phryganidia californica

Oak moths are the adult stage of the California oakworm.

California oakworm (larvae)

on Fri, 2013-05-24 08:21
Where found: 
On and around coast live oaks
Size: 
Approx. 20mm long
Scientific name: 
Phryganidia californica

California oakworms are the larval (caterpillar) stage of the oak moth. These caterpillars feed on oak leaves, especially those of the coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia).

Varied Carpet Beetle

on Wed, 2012-11-14 14:11
Where found: 
Indoors
Size: 
Approx. 4-5mm (body length of mature larvae)
Scientific name: 
Anthrenus verbasci

Carpet beetles are an important part of nature's "clean up crew", but can damage certain items such as natural fabrics, carpets, and even preserved animal specimens (like that wild boar head mounted above your fireplace).

Classification: 

A Seed Bug

on Mon, 2012-03-26 07:54
Where found: 
In the house, falling from a skylight
Size: 
3-4mm (body length)
Scientific name: 
Metapoplax ditimoides

The seed bug Metapoplax ditimoides (family: Oxycarenidae) is relatively new to our area. Originally from the Mediterranean, it was first detected on the west coast in Oregon in 1998, and in Sonoma County in 2002. 

Classification: 

Leafhopper Assassin Bug

on Wed, 2012-03-21 13:17
Where found: 
In the house- in bed!
Size: 
13mm (body length)
Scientific name: 
Zelus renardii

Although this predatory insect is generally considered to be beneficial, it had an encounter with a Santa Rosa resident that was not beneficial for either party. The insect likely wandered or flew indoors and decided to seek refuge in a bed.

Classification: 

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