Japanese apricots bloom in February!

Where else would a bee be but at Tudor Place, DC where spring comes early in February? I had no idea! My mouth fell open at the sight! It was definitely a banner year for this early bloomer. The fortunate tree and the gleeful bees took advantage of a shocking break from winter as temperatures hit the 80s. We stood there amazed, in a late February snowfall of pink petals.


It’s fuzzy but it’s Spidey!

So exciting to open my kitchen door on 1/27/18 and see my exit blocked by a dangling spider! It is climbing up its web to a Chinese fir. Seems like a warm January though it is actually average. I assume many of you are happily enjoying this most bug-free time of year. For that reason I haven’t shown you the beetles I saw on 1/1/18, snuggled up under dead tree bark, in diapause. But I plan to share them eventually…

Unexpected! Lady bug baby!

Insect Austin bug 1

Weird black bug with a furry red square on its back/abdomen has been enlarged A LOT. It is a Lady bug larva!!!!! Really!!!!!

Insect Austin bug 2

The Asian lady beetle (AKA Asian Lady Bug) larva resembles a small, spiny alligator with a blue-black body and two rows of small, orange to reddish spots on its back. Newly hatched, they are about 1/8 inch long and grow to about 0.5 inches.

When fully grown, the Asian lady beetle larva molts into a pupa then transforms itself into an adult beetle. The pupa is usually attached to a leaf or other substrate near an aphid colony. The pupa is orange with black spots and similar in size and shape to the adult.

Halloween may be over but Phidippus Audax is still out there!

insect jumping spider 3

Halloween may be over but daring jumping spiders are still out there! Meet phidippus audax! (Try saying his name! It’s fun!) Does he look like a little tarantula to you?

insect jumping spider 2

Note identifying yellow dot on top of abdomen/back.

insect jumping spider 4

Per Wikipedia: Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider. The average size of adults ranges from roughly 13–20 millimetres (0.51–0.79 in) in length. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs.