Bug of the Week: Discoveries

Bug of the week this week shows what you can discover if you only look.

I started out looking at some old agave flower stalks we had saved in the back yard. (It is a cloudy day today, so some of the photographs turned out a bit dark.)

agave flower stalk

Then I noticed a hole under one of the branches.

carpenter bee entrance hole

It an entrance hole. Inside is where a female carpenter bee had made her nest. I knew the bees were long gone and I was curious so I peeked inside.

carpenter bee nest

It was surprisingly clean inside, although you can see the brown marks where the nest chambers had been.

carpenter bee nest

More tunnels.

The female carpenter bee that excavated these tunnels might have looked like this one from a photograph I took earlier this year:

carpenter bee

Carpenter bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers to make into a mixture called beebread. The female bee places the beebread within the chambers within the agave stalk and then lays an egg on it. The bee grub hatches and feeds on the beebread within the protected nest.

Now the chambers are home to some other insects, however.

While I was taking photographs I noticed this caterpillar.


It looks a bit strange because it is nearly ready to pupate. I found two pupae nearby.


I am not sure what kind of moth it is.

When I was looking at the photos I noticed another insect, too. Can you spot it in front of the caterpillar?

pink caterpillar

Here is a closer look.

book louse

This tiny little insect is called a psocopteran, or more commonly a barklouse. You don’t see them very often because they are small, and spend much of the time in cracks and crevices of bark, or under rocks in the soil.

Isn’t it amazing what you can find with just a few minutes and a camera?

1 Comment

  1. Helen Buchanan

    I was really very interested to see the small pink caterpillar on your website. I live in Spain and see them every year at about this time, almost always climbing up walls in the house. I have been trying to identify it for a long time, I am not aware of moths in the house. I have even considered keeping one and letting it pupate thinking I may be able to identify the moth more easily, but I am not sure of diet and care required.
    If you could help me with identification I would be most grateful.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.