Monday, December 28, 2009

My Town Monday: San Diego bugs (+ 2 contests)

In the middle of all the festivities, it's time for a My Town Monday post! So, I am closeting myself and my laptop away from my noisy family to spend a little time putting together the post and hanging out with all of you.

This week features...bugs and creepy crawlies around San Diego County.

Bugs, Christmas, New Year's Eve? Don't even look for a connection. There isn't one!

My adorable critique partner, Kathy Krevat, found a bug in her backyard, emailed me a jpeg of said bug and asked if I could identify it. I happen to be doing some research on assassin bugs (also called kissing bugs) for Sherry's fourth mystery, i so don't do famous (Surprise, Editor Wendy! ;) ). And there's your twisty windy explanation for how this post came about.

Here are a few facts about some bugs in San Diego County:

*Watch out for black spiders with an hour glass shape on the abdomen. These are western black widows. The poison from a black widow's bite is five times more toxic than the poison from a rattlesnake bite.

*If you find a cobalt blue pillbug, you've spotted a pillbug with a virus (iridovirus). Researchers from the University of California at Riverside and at Berkeley are hot on the trail of this ill pillbug (intentional rhyme).

*We have four species of fireflies, but not one of them flashes light.

*In the summer, you'll find lots of large green beetles called figeaters or green fruit beetles. They have a loud buzz and fly around as though they've spent too much time at the local watering hole.

Here is Kathy's mystery bug. Can you identify it? Tell us anything about it?

Please pop over to the My Town Monday blog to see what others in the group are posting about. ALSO, I'LL NAME THE MYSTERIOUS BUG THERE.

And abruptly changing topics:

Random House gave Blogger Bookworm Readers a copy of i so don't do spooky and and an ARC to use in a giveaway. The details are here. Thank you to Bookworm Readers and Random House.

WHILE AT THE ORTHODONTIST, Child #4 stumbled upon a contest to win a copy of i so don't do spooky through the American Cheerleader magazine. Enter online here.



sources:
http://www.sdnhm.org/research/entomology/entofaq.html
http://www.kaweahoaks.com/html/assissin_bug.html

21 comments:

Bookworm said...

Thanks for posting about the contest, Barrie! (: Hopefully that will inspire some more entries. And um....lovely pictures of the bugs. (;

Barrie said...

Hi Bookworm! I meant to comment on your blog that I linked to the contest, but you beat me to it! Thanks again! P.S. I am still in love with the trailer you made for I so don't do spooky!!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Barrie, that bug is NASTY! That's all I can tell you about it!

I just killed a black widow in the garage yesterday and then my daughter freaked out because there were spider guts on the ground. *sigh*

How cool to discover a contest for your book in a magazine! I just won it from Tabitha's blog. Yay!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Is that a croach? (A cricket and roach.)

Sounds like an interesting topic..assassin bugs.

Enjoy the family time!

Barrie said...

Chocolate Covered Daydreams--a croach! Sounds like a great creature for a sci fi novel!

Barrie said...

Sherry--agreed! I wouldn't want too many of those guys in my backyard.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm so glad our fireflies light up. I never knew they couldn't!

Barrie said...

Green Girl in Wisconsin--And I'd never noticed that ours didn't light up!

Charles Gramlich said...

I do believe that is a cricket.

Teresa said...

I also vote for cricket, and it looks like the Asian fighting cricket kind. They really aren't as cute as Disney drew them in Mulan.

Kelly H-Y said...

Yikes ... I Don't Do Bugs ... especially spiders!

Eileen said...

I can safely say if I saw that bug I would lose my mind.

On the upside I saw I so don't do spooky on the front YA table in my local bookstore. Go you.

Barrie said...

Eileen, I have roomed with you. I know you have depths of courage and could face any bug!

Thank you for the news about i so don't do spooky on the front table of your local bookstore. A friend of my from Toronto emailed to say it was not in her Chapters. Wah!!!

Bina said...

That bug is some type of mutant from crawling through some type of nuclear waste that was thrown down... heck, I have no clue, but it's weird looking!

Sarah Laurence said...

Yikes! This is one of those moments when I’m not envying your warm climate. Our creepy crawlies are frozen solid (so are my toes). Happy bug free New Year?

Allie said...

I was going to guess some form of cricket too.

It's kind of neat looking. I like bugs as long as they leave my personal space alone.

Happy New Year!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Hey, I picked up my copy from Chapters a couple days ago.

kelly hayes said...

The bug is a Potato Bug, also known as a Jerusalem Cricket. Etrememly icky, but toatally harmless. I've found one in my backyard before and it's an experience you don't soon forget. There are a few websites devoted to them. Just google Potato Bug, if you want to see more...God help you.

Kelly

Barrie said...

Oh, Kelly, you are so smart. That's why I love being your critique partner. And also your great writing and critquing. ;)

Margaret Dilloway said...

Eww, I recognized it too. I had one of those click-clacking under my bed when I was a kid and had to get my dad in there to squish it. It was hard to kill! I'm still scarred.

Anonymous said...

It's called a cave cricket.