From the monthly archives: "December 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s that jungle insect?!
December 31, 2009
I was walking through the jungles in Peru this summer when I noticed these insects on a small plant. Their long, white, fuzzy antennae-like protrusions could move independently of one another, and moved quite a bit when I moved quickly toward them or made a loud noise. There appeared to be a bead of some sort of fluid at the point where these strange “antennae” connected to the insects’ heads. Also, these white antennae-like things also seemed to be growing from the bottoms of the leaves of the plant, as if the insects were harvesting them and carrying them on their head like antennae.
I also have a short video showing the way in which they move, if that would be any help. Thanks!
The Monkey Whisperer
Manu National Reserve, Peru

Unknown Hemipteran

Unknown Hemipteran

Dear Monkey Whisperer,
We wish your photo was more detailed, revealing the anatomy of an individual, but alas, it is not so.  We are guessing that this is some species of Free Living Hemipteran, perhaps a Treehopper, Leafhopper, or Aphid, but we are uncertain as to the family, much less the genus or species.  Perhaps one of our readers has more information.  We believe they are immature specimens which could mean the adult looks quite different.  We also believe the antennae you describe are wax filaments which are produced by many Hemipterans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ecuadorian Giant Red Grasshopper
November 9, 2009
We noticed this insect crawling around our lodge one night. The natives told me that it was called a ‘lobster bug,’ and that it may be the adult version of a grasshopper which loses it’s wings at an old age. The wings do appear to be shriveled, and it’s movements were slow. It is several inches long, easily over 8 inches. Hope you can help me identify this beauty.
P.S. His name is Bladerunner
Anthony L.
Napo Valley, Ecuador

Longhorned Orthopteran

Panoploscelis specularis

Dear Anthony,
We randomly selected your letter from our older unanswered mail to post today.  This is some species of Longhorned Orthopteran and we are going to write to an expert in the order, Piotr Naskrecki, to see if he can give us a species or genus identification.  Based on the presence of an ovipositor, we hve to inform you that Bladerunner is a female.

Longhorned Orthopteran

Panoploscelis specularis

Identification thanks to Piotr Naskrecki
Hi Daniel,
This is a female of Panoploscelis, almost certainly P. specularis
(Pseudophyllinae: Eucocconotini). It is an interesting animal, one in which
the female has fully developed stridulatory organs on her wings, albeit ones
that are not homologous with those of the male. It really is a huge animal,
although probably not 8 inches long, more like 5, ovipositor included (at
least I have never seen an individual longer than that.)
Happy New Year!
Piotr

Ed. Note
Now that we have a name, we searched for some online information and found a detailed scientific paper.  We also found a reference to a common name Spiny Lobster Katydid.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found a very beautiful bug and was wondering what it is.
December 30, 2009
Hi There,
I found this beautiful bug on some Texas Privet flowers and was wondering what it is. I found it in La Jolla ,California in August of this year.
Sean
La Jolla, Califonia

Ctenucha

Ctenucha

Hi Sean,
This is a Tiger Moth in the genus Ctenucha in the rubroscapus/multifaria species complex as pictured on BugGuide.  It flies in California and Oregon in the summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Son (partially) ate this blood-containing insect. Help!
December 28, 2009
Photos are of a non-eaten, but same, insect. Flea? Tick? Found indoors in Berkeley, CA home during cold, intermittently rainy weather. Had not noticed any before in 4 years here; recently have seen several. Dog present in home. Have not noticed any bites on people in home.
Possibly an intermittent stage (a pupa?)as the whitish covering seems to conceal a brown, patterned surface. Very slow-moving; 1/4th of an inch long, a little under 1/8th inch high. Bean-shaped body (i.e., not flattened).
Contained enough of what I think was animal or human blood (reddish brown, iron-scented and tasting) to cover my 13 month old’s chin. Worried about tapeworms, Lyme diease, other things I don’t even know about!
What is it??
Worried mom
Berkeley (Northern coastal) CA

Dog Tick

Dog Tick

Dear Worried Mom,
This is a Tick, probably an American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis.  Though dogs are the preferred host, they will bite humans.  Ticks are known vectors for disease, and you should try to rid your dog and home of this blood sucker.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you!  I looked at pictures of ticks on the internet, but all the descriptions seemed to
be of a much smaller insect.  Our local vector control, which offers an insect ID service, is closed for the holidays for budgetary reasons.
I will now look into safe ways of getting rid of ticks.
Gretchen

Hi again Gretchen,
Ticks increase in size when they are engorged with blood like the specimen in the photo you provided.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a true or stink bug?
December 30, 2009
We found this dead bug in our warehouse a couple of weeks ago. Then we found your website today and spent most of the afternoon going thru submitted pics and responses. What a way to spend a quite afternoon at work!
Handly Working, Dave
Columbus,Ohio

Tree Stink Bug

Tree Stink Bug

Dear Dave,
We can’t help but wonder if you were handily working, or hardly working.  This is a Tree Stink Bug in the genus Brochymena.  They often seek shelter indoors when cold weather approaches and they will not damage the home, its furnishing, nor the inhabitants.  As a point of clarification, all Stink Bugs are True Bugs, but not all True Bugs are Stink Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pseudoscorpion on Monitor
December 31, 2009
Dear Bugman,
I thought you might enjoy this pseudoscorpion as much as I did. I usually have one or two of them in the bathroom, but this is the first time that one showed up on the computer monitor.
These critters certainly look creepy, but ever since I read up on them after discovering the first one in said bathroom, I do enjoy them a lot. They’re busy little things, always moving around with such industrious determination that I diligently avoid treating them with the derisive contempt I employ for the ever-present cluster flies. It’d be like insulting a German housewife – simply unacceptable! :)
Iratwo
Northern Minnesota

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Iratwo,
Thanks for sending us your great photo of a harmless Pseudoscorpion.  We are also joyed to hear about your tolerance in the home.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination