I asked Trisha if we could examine a centipede some time, and even though they are not insects, she kindly collected one in her yard and put it under the microscope for us to sketch.

There are about 1000 species and subspecies in the family Lithobiidae, mainly distributed in the northern hemisphere. (The house centipede I posted last week is in a different family.)

Fun fact: centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. Millipedes have two.

pseudomethoca simillima

Justin Orvel Schmidt is an American entomologist, author of The Sting of the Wild, and creator of the Schmidt sting pain index. According to him, the sting of a velvet ant is a 3 out of 4, equivalent to having boiling oil poured all over your hand.

Just another fun fact shared by the irrepressible Trisha Nicols on Insectopia.

phyllocnistis citrella

The citrus leafminer is a very small, light coloured moth that arrived in California from Mexico in 2000 and has now spread throughout most of California. I’ve never seen an adult, but the larval action is very evident in my yard, especially on the young lime trees. They only infest fresh growth, which of course is just about all a little tree has!

I’ve been removing the affected leaves, but today I read that it’s not a good idea, because it just creates even more fresh growth for the larvae to mine. Apparently the insects will die off over the cooler months; here’s hoping, too, that natural predators come along to help create balance.