Insect Insights, A Bi-weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, A Bi-weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

March is a great time to observe the incredible insects inside ponds and pools. Even temporary puddles are host to some really cool characters. I found predaceous diving beetles (PDB’s) in a couple different places around Mount Pisgah recently, and they sport some flashy features like tail-breathing and larvae with 14 eyes!

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Insect Insights, a Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, a Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

The star of this week’s column is a diminutive wasp in the Gelis genus. Specifically, with thanks to Ross Hill at BugGuide.net, this is Gelis tenellus. These parasitic wasps don’t have a common name, which is a good sign that they’re not very well studied. However, in researching them, I learned enough to know that they’re worthy of more attention.

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Insect Insights, a Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, a Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Mayflies are in the insect order Ephemeroptera, which is Greek for “short-lived, winged” creature. While the common name is misleading, the scientific name is spot-on. They are ephemeral indeed. Imagine an animal that spends more than 99% of its life underwater, looking like a shell-less lobster, then matures to live above the water for just one or two days.

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Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Today’s column focuses on a true bug (in the Hemiptera order) that looks like a reptilian
insect or tiny dinosaur. The first time I saw this Phymata genus bug, on coyote brush in
Mt. Pisgah’s south fields, I only got a good look at its back. I figured it was some kind of
shield bug, but I didn’t get any good pictures of it from the side before it flew away.

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Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

The Diurnal Firefly is one of my favorite finds at Mount Pisgah recently. These black insects with red “bracket” markings on their thoraxes are beetles, not flies. And because the fireflies we have in Oregon don’t light up, you could say they are neither fiery nor a fly. Still, there’s plenty about them to spark some interest. Our Oregon beetles

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Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Note: These pictures were taken a few days before wildfires made it unsafe to visit Mt. Pisgah. Green lacewings are one of the rare insects that are doubly blessed. They’re beloved as predators of aphids and other pests, and they’re nice to look at. Lucky for us, they’re fairly common in Oregon. They also have some fascinating and unique traits. 

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Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Insect Insights, A Bi-Weekly Buford Blog by Karen Richards

Welcome to the second Insect Insights! This post is about a creature nearly everyone has heard, but most people likely haven’t seen.   Tree crickets don’t always live in trees, and probably don’t fit your mental image of a cricket. They’re in the same family as grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and in the Oecanthus genus, pronounced “ee CAN thus.” One species of

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