Here’s a recent question about strange creature identification.
Question from Mark: My wife and I are big organic gardeners in Fredericksburg and learn from you on the radio every weekend. We have an unusual bug we see periodically. We call it a "camo bug" since it covers itself with debris so you cannot see any of the bug except the legs - if you get real close. Do you know what this is?
Answer from Howard: It's probably the lacewing trash bug. Here's the information on the website DirtDoctor.com: Lacewing Trash Bug
Reply from Mark: That's it! We have seen about six of them over the past four years. Three in leaf debris under post oaks, and two in the garden. I also saw a pair once. I was on my stomach in the dirt at our back sidewalk trying to get pics of one of them, and here comes a second one moseying up. As you know, it is very hard to get a clear picture trying to zoom in on a 1/4 inch bug since the field of view is very short. My wife saw one replace a piece of trash that had fallen off. Thanks for solving the mystery!
This email reminded me of an important point about the Texas Bug Book. This insect isn’t in the book. I learned about it after the book was published. As I have mentioned on the radio show often, this book has a bad title because the information on beneficials and pests in the book is good, for the most part, from coast to coast and border to border. On the other hand, we keep learning new things. The key is to use the book and rely on the website to provide the updates.
Here are some reviews on the book and you can purchase it at the Green Living Store.
"Definitive ...This book is a must-have for any organic library!" - Texas Organic News
"Overall this book is probably the best of its kind. Given the excellent photography and affordability, it is definitely worth the purchase." - Whole Earth
"Texas Bug Book, unlike many of the characters it describes, is a keeper -highly recommended as a perfect companion volume to set beside your native plant books." - Native Plant Society of Texas News
"If you plan on ever stepping outside, or staying inside, or going to bed, Texas Bug Book is a wealth of information you can't possibly live without." - Austin American-Statesman
"This book is recommended essentially to all humans above the age of three. It conveys a wonderful message about our ecology and hope for living within our environment." - Choice
If you have any questions about this newsletter or any other topic, join me this weekend for my Green Living and Dirt Doctor Radio shows.
Join me on my Green Living Show this Saturday, January 15. My guest will be Barbara Stitt, author of Food & Behavior. Click here for details.