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Subject: UNKNOWN GRASSHOPPER
Location: Botriver Western Cape
January 30, 2015 6:24 am
Hi Bugman,
My hubby and I were in Botriver over the past two weeks ie. 14 to 25 Jan 2015.
We captured this stunning picture of what we believe is a grasshopper of sorts. Absolutely beautiful, never seen anything like it in my life.
Thought you might like to have a look at it and maybe identify it for me?
thanks so much.
kind regards
Signature: Judy

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

Hi Judy,
Your images are stunning and this Grasshopper is gorgeous.  It is a member of the family Pyrgomorphidae, commonly called the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers.  They feed on milkweed, and many species are ably to synthesize and store compounds from the plants that render the grasshoppers toxic.  They also have aposomatic or warning coloration to ward off predators.  Your individual is a Green Milkweed Locust,
Phymateus leprosus, and you can verify our identification on iSpot.

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stinging Slug Caterpillar
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
January 20, 2015 12:01 pm
Hi Mr Bugman,
Please could you clarify exactly what these demon spawn are… and more precisely how toxic/dangerous they are?
I was pruning a bush and was stung by 5-6 (out of around 100) of these devil bugs! An extremely painful sting that has left an itchy rash…
Any information is appreciated.
Thank you
Signature: Twice bitten, thrice shy.

Stinging Slug Caterpillars

Stinging Slug Caterpillars

Dear Twice bitten, thrice shy,
We just posted several images of identical Stinging Slug Caterpillars that also appeared in large numbers in Johannesburg, but we were only able to identify them to the family level of Limacodidae, but we did not search our own archives at that time.  Back in 2011, Karl identified an image of a Stinging Slug Caterpillar as
 Latoia vivida,  and he provided us with this link to Photo Camel and this link to Outdoor Photo.  The adult is pictured on African Moths.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green moth
Location: Gilroy CA: Watsonville Road near Uvas Creek
January 17, 2015 3:11 pm
I rescued this green moth from our cat last night. I’ve never seen one like it. It was around 10 PM, high scattered clouds, and about 65° out.  My cat was chasing the green moth, which I was able to catch and release. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Signature:  Bob

Pacific Green Sphinx

Pacific Green Sphinx

Dear Bob,
This gorgeous moth is a Pacific Green Sphinx or Bear Sphinx,
 Proserpinus lucidus.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas:  “adults fly as a single brood from late January to March and nectar at flowers. Moths can be spotted much earlier (mid December) in more southerly locations (San Diego, California; Mexico) when weather conditions are right. ”   Because you were kind enough to rescue this Pacific Green Sphinx from your cat, who we imagine was a bit miffed and missing out on a thrilling toy, we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Pacific Green Sphinx

Pacific Green Sphinx

Hi Daniel,
Thanks—that was quick!  I just made a $25 donation to <whatsthatbug.com> to show my appreciation.
Keep up the good work.
Sincerely,
Bob Crane

Thanks so much for your generosity Bob.

You’re sure welcome.  I saw that you have a book published with some great reviews, so I ordered 2, one for my grandkids and one for me.  Quite a price range, from about $7 to $80!
Thanks to the Internet it was pretty easy to have my moth identified.  I took entomology in college, but I can’t imagine identifying the moth like we did in the olden days, trudging to the library, looking at numerous books, taking pictures, having the film developed….
Bob

Hi again Bob,
You are correct that I did write The Curious World of Bugs, and though it was well reviewed, it did not become a best seller, hence there was but a single printing.  I guess the high price means it is becoming collectable.  Perhaps there will be a second printing if there is a demand.  Digital imaging and cellular telephones that have the capablity of taking images and distributing images on the internet has changed the face of research.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID Bug. please?
Location: Ventura County, CA
December 28, 2014 11:14 am
Hello. Happy New Year.
Can you ID this bug for us. They seem to be increasingly multiplying on our property in the
north end of the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. We grow some organic
fruits and want to make sure they are not a plant eating insect, or what we would have to do
in an organic way to handle them.
Thank you.
Clay
Signature: email

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Dear Clay,
Though it is lacking an recognized common name on BugGuide, we have been calling the invasive exotic species
 Scantius aegyptius by the descriptive name Mediterranean Red Bug based on its site or origin and its common family name.  According to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside:  “Recently, another brightly colored, mostly seed feeding bug belonging to the family Pyrrhocoridae or “Red Bugs” has become established in southern California and is drawing attention due to large aggregations of the bright red and black nymphs and adults feeding on annual broadleaf weeds in open space areas.  Scantius aegyptius, an old world pyrrhocorid bug, native to the eastern Mediterranean region, was documented for the first time in North America in Orange County during June of 2009.  Reports of this insect from other southern California locations (i.e., Riverside County) suggest that this insect has been established for a year or more prior to these Orange County collections.”  We suspect sightings of this Mediterranean Red Bug will be increasing in Southern California this winter, which makes your submission a very appropriate Bug of the Month for January 2015.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Spider
Location: Malawi, Africa
December 25, 2014 10:52 pm
I live in Malawi, Africa. Recently I have moved to a more rural part of the country than what I have been previously acquainted with. There are many unknown bugs to me here. Although I do not have a particular fondness of these creatures, my curiosity has got the better of me. Attached is a picture of a large spider. I believe it is typically nocturnal. It moves very fast and has dangerous fangs. The largest one I know of was three inches. The people here do not have a name for it in English, in the native tongue it is called “Chichotsa Mfumu”. Which being translated means, “The Thing That Drives the Chief From His Chair”. Like I said earlier, I am curious and would like to know if it has an English name.
Thank you for your time,
Signature: Sarah – Malawi, Africa

Solifugid:  The Thing that Drives the Chief from His Chair

Solifugid: The Thing that Drives the Chief from His Chair

Dear Sarah,
We love your exotic letter with its colorful, local vocabulary.  This Arachnid is a Solifugid in order Solifugae, and though the members are commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions in North America, they are neither spiders nor scorpions with which they are classed in Arachnida.  In the Middle East they are called Camel Spiders and there is much internet hysteria surrounding their alleged traits.  Solifugids, including your local Things that Drive the Chief from His Chair, are formidable predators, and though they lack venom, we would not welcome a bite from a large individual.  We are featuring your submission and dubbing it our favorite end of the year posting.

Thank you for your prompt reply and for your assistance in helping me identify this creature. I am so pleased with your services I may call on them again. Thank you very much.
Sarah Sjoblom

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Logo
August 5, 2014 10:06 pm
I am a graphic designer trying to build up a portfolio. I’ve been enjoying your site for years; you even once posted a pic of a Luna moth I took. I’d like to offer my services free of charge, to make a new header graphic for your site. If you’d be interested, please let me know!
Sincerely,
Elizabeth
Signature: Elizabeth Goldberg

Bugman Daniel Marlos on What's That Bug? quilt

Bugman Daniel Marlos on What’s That Bug? quilt

Thanks for the offer Elizabeth, but the scrawly What’s That Bug? logo is actually derived from the embroidered name on a quilt made by Daniel, and it has sentimental value.  If we have a chance, we will take an image of that embroidered design to post.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination