In photography by webmeister Bud

The aliens have landed. On my car. Okay, there’s only one. And it’s not really an alien. But STILL!

20090818 - funkybug-01Canon EOS 450D (XSi) · Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
50 mm · 1/2000 s · f/2.2 · ISO 100

Imagine my surprise when, at a stop light on Quadra Street one fine warm day, the craziest, creepiest, most awesomiest bug I’ve ever seen alights onto my windshield.

My first thought was that of panicked desperation: I’ve gotta pull over and get some photos of this thing!

Thankfully, its sticky feet kept it where it landed and, two blocks later, I’m out of my car and snapping off shot after shot of this whateveritis I’ve never seen before.

No less than five people passing by asked me what it was.

It’s a logical question, I guess, but I’m no botanist! How would I know? I’m just glad the aliens chose me.

What we have here is the Rosalia funebris, or banded alder borer to the laying-down person. Plus, it’s Canadian, eh?

How was I set straight on exactly which species of alien this was? Why, friend Steph, of course! With her vast knowledge of geography, she— no, wait. Geography has nothing to do with bugs.

Oh, that’s right. One scared the everloving crap out of her on a bus. Read on for the full story.

20090818 - funkybug-02Canon EOS 450D (XSi) · Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
50 mm · 1/1600 s · f/2.2 · ISO 100

Possible bug-to-English translations: 1) ‘sup? 2) Aroo? 3) You lookin’ at me?

And now, Bug Identification 101 with friend Steph:

I know that beetle!! I have a story!

It is called a Banded Alder Borer. You’ll be glad to know It is harmless (unless you’re an Alder tree, or one of the 20 or so other plants it bores into to eat/lay eggs), but that’s beside the point.

I was on the bus home from work with a guy who had recently moved in down the road. I had met him a few weeks prior, and we’d chat on the bus to/from work.

So we’re sitting there and all of a sudden I notice this freaking enormous bug (the one in your pics!!) CRAWLING UP HIS BACK!!! So I started freaking out and saying random freakish/gasping/bug like noises and getting huge freaked out eyes and started trying to flick it off him, but being too scared to touch it, expecting it to be poisonous and killer, naturally, kept missing it and it kept crawling closer to his neck.

So by this time, he’s seen it and is alarmed by my reaction, so we’re both “AAH!”-ing and stuff, and I managed to flick it on to his leg (probably best not to ask me to help defend you from killer-looking bugs) and then he flicked it on to the floor.

Then, lo and behold, it was our stop we got off the bus, with this deadly-rabid-baby-eating insect crawling up the bus hallway. And all the passengers were left thinking that either we were completely insane, or fearing their lives.

I looked the thing up as soon as I got home and LOL’d so hard to find it was completely harmless.

Apparently they’re very attracted to the smell of fresh paint, because it is similar to their sex pheromone! So you can find them on freshly painted walls in droves.

Thanks, Steph! Educational, to be sure.