The Funky Bugs of San Francisco

As Frank Zappa sang, "Come to San Francisco."

Posted by Chaya Kurtz | G+ | Nov 06, 2012
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To begin, cue a little musical accompaniment.

I wish that our CMS would allow for uploading videos. In the mean time, click on the photo and the song will open in a new tab.

Much like the people who have historically populated the city of San Francisco, the insect population there varies from run-of-the-mill-regular-guys to totally-out-there-creatures. It is not particularly fun to discuss the average man, nor the average bug. Instead, I have hand picked some of the more exotic characters. It's time to turn on, tune in, and bug out.

This is the lovely and vivacious velvet ant. (Photo: Jeffery Turner/Flickr)

Let's begin with the velvet ant, known by people who actually read their textbooks as "Dasymutilla aureola". The velvet ant looks like an ant who is wearing a shag carpet. He is not technically an ant (he is actually a wasp), and is not much of a target for San Francisco exterminators, since he is pretty rare for most of the year, and is more fashionable than dangerous.  He would fit in exceptionally well at, say, Burning Man. In fact, I found a photo of a man at Burning Man who wore a similar getup to his wedding, which was at Burning Man.

This gorgeous photo of the buckeye butterfly was shared on Flickr by Tobyotter.

Let's move on the the Buckeye Butterfly. The Buckeye Butterfly's wings come printed with a psychedelic eye motif. In fact, such an eye motif would make a gloriously confusing and deliberately hallucinatory wallpaper print or custom paint job. Cool.

Isn't he pretty? Spotted cucmber beetle photo by JulieFinestone/Flicr


Our last crazy critter is the Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Although he looks sharp, he's actually an invasive, crop-eating pest. Let's focus on his fashion statement, though. His electric yellow-green shell, conceptually, reminds me of the kind of leopard print and creepers that hipsters in the Mission wear. Am I right?

Chaya Kurtz edits

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