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Subject: identification of Insects
Location: nort of Mozambique
November 6, 2014 3:35 am
I write to bugman for help.
I’m university student of Biological Sciences, University Lurio. please help me identify the animals / insects that will send.
once identified, served to write my thesis
Signature: Domingos Nandinho Arlindo

Ant

Ant

Dear Domingos,
Congratulations on your university studies where we are presuming you have gotten training in the Biological Sciences on the proper identification of insects.  We are artists with no formal training in the Biological Sciences.  With all due respect, you should be doing your own research in this matter.  The most popular posting on our site, even though there is no image, continues to be What’s That Bug? will not do your child’s homework.

Thank you

Emma Hoyle, Crystal V Owen, Emily Camille, Jen Moody, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Saturniid Caterpillar

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Subject: Not sure about this little friends
Location: Panama, Chiriqui province
November 3, 2014 7:48 am
Here in Panamá is common the encounters with worms if you live near forest zones. Here two species that I want to know more about. I think the fist one can be a hawkmoth caterpillar and the second one maybe a silkmoth caterpillar. Thanks in advance, bugman.
Signature: KLS

Possibly Automeris species

Possibly Automeris species

Dear KLS,
We agree with your identifications, but alas, we haven’t the time right now to investigate further.  Your images and the caterpillars are both wonderful.  We believe the Silkmoth Caterpillar may be in the genus
Automeris, or a closely related genus. Perhaps one of our readers can investigate this further.  We will also try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he has any ideas.

Hornworm

Hornworm

Nice pictures of amazing animals!
The Saturnid caterpillar is probably of an Automeris species indeed.
The Sphingid caterpillar is most likely a Manduca pellenia.
Nice wishes from Berlin,
Bostjan

Thanks Bostjan,
We will search for some appropriate links.

Ed. Note November 4, 2014:  Identification submissions to What’s That Bug? can include three attachments and very few folks actually attach all three.  In instances where three images are submitted, we generally only post two.  We are retroactively amending this posting to contain the third image as all three are so beautiful.

Ito Fernando liked this post
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Subject: Monarch Migration
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 28, 2014 9:48 pm
Hello, this isn’t a usual inquiry in that I’m quite sure that these are Monarch Butterflies.
I’ve never been able to photograph one before, but today they were all over the yard. I’ve often seen them fly past our yard, usually quite high above the ground during migration times, but today many stopped to drink from our newly-watered lawn. It was incredible.
I haven’t seen so many Monarchs since I was six years old, in Illinois, and clouds of Monarchs dashed south ahead of a severe cold front.
So beautiful!
Here is a link to recent “clouds” of Monarchs in the news: http://goodnature.nathab.com/are-they-clouds-of-monarchs-mysterious-unidentifiable-blobs-spotted-by-radar-over-the-midwest/
Thank you and best wishes.
Signature: Ellen

Monarch

Monarch

Hi Ellen,

There has been much talk lately of diminishing populations of Monarch butterflies, and this year we observed many more Monarchs in our garden than we have ever seen in Los Angeles.  It seems populations might be increasing across the country.  Thanks for this newsworthy posting.  It must have been a spectacular sight.  We took a bit of creative license with our most recent Bug of the Month posting of a pair of mating Wheel Bugs by designating their month as Halloween, which frees us up for a November Bug of the Month, and your submission is an excellent choice.

Monarch

Monarch

Subject: Monarch Migration, Part 2
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 30, 2014 2:04 pm
Hello, and thank you so much for your reply.
I’m sending another few photos of the Monarchs in our yard, and an additional link to the Fall of 2014 migration news. This link adds up-to-date migration news and photos as they are reported. The great news is that observers are currently seeing a large migration.
Sending highest regards.
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/News.html
Signature: Ellen

Male Monarch

Male Monarch

Hi again Ellen,
The image of the male Monarch in flight (notice those scent patches on his lower wings) is a nice addition to the images you sent earlier.  Thanks for the additional link.

Jacob Helton liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Don’t Lose Your Head on Halloween
Subject: Wheel bugs mating
Location: Charlottesville VA
October 29, 2014 1:34 pm
Hi – my daughter found these two (very slowly) making their way across the sidewalk. I checked your site right away and was expecting to spend some time trying to narrow down what they could be. I was happy to find that this was one of the featured bugs on the front page of the website. Thank you for that! Not sure if you needed any more pictures of them mating, but here are a few my daughter took with my phone.
Signature: Hendersons

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Hendersons,
Your study of mating Wheel Bugs is a tangle of limbs that would make a novice bug watcher suspect a sighting of some prehistoric, mutated creature.  This is a Perfect Halloween Feature, so we are making it the Bug of the Month for November 2014 and posting it early.  We wish you had a camera angle that could distinguish actual mating with mere coupling.

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

That’s terrific! My daughter will be ecstatic. Here’s another picture, but I’m not sure it gives you anything more to see. We were afraid to get too close, not knowing anything about them!
Thank you so much for your response. There will be a happy kid here after school today when she hears about the Bug of the Month.
Take care and keep up the good work!
Jennifer Henderson

Hi Jennifer,
We try to keep a kid friendly site, though we do write for adults.  We like making kids happy.

Scott Henderson liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Epic bug battle
Location: Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Northeastern Oregon, in a river canyon
August 14, 2014 6:56 pm
Dear bugman,
In late April of 2009, my best friend and I went backpacking in the remote Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness of Northeastern Oregon, along the Wenaha river canyon. It was a spectacular trip made even more spectacular when it ended in near disaster; during a flash flood, my backpack with all of its photographic equipment was swept away and we narrowly escaped the same fate. Remarkably, the backpack was found one month ago by some hikers who pulled out one of the photo memory cards and brought it to the local sheriff, who tracked me down on facebook.
ANYWAYS, during the intervening 5 years, one of our greatest regrets about losing the photos was that we had witnessed an epic struggle between the largest spider I’ve ever seen in Oregon, and an enormous (for Oregon) long, cylindrical fly with a bright orange head that I had never seen before and couldn’t easily identify with online searches. We doubted anyone would ever believe how completely legendary and unbelievable the struggle was as these two titans locked themselves into a dance of death for at least 10 minutes. They did not care that we were there one bit. The battle was too fierce. We were able to get right up next to them with cameras and take photos….. and now we finally have those photos back! Unfortunately, my good camera with a macro lens was permanently lost, so the photos we have are only ‘decent,’ but I think they will work. I’ll be forever grateful if you can help give even more life to this newly revived fabled cha pter of my life by identifying these two mighty contestants.
Thanks so much,
John Felder
P.S. If it helps, I also have a low quality video – no fine details in focus but it give a better sense of the size because of the movement that’s visible.
Signature: John Felder

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Dear John,
If forced to choose which we are more impressed with, your amazing images or your fantastic story, we are going to have to go with the story, which is why we are featuring this posting on our scrolling feature bar.  The fact that you witnessed this “Epic Bug Battle” and then lost the images and then reclaimed the images after five years is truly an amazing story worth relaying.  The spider is a Wolf Spider in the family Lycosidae, and based on the size and eye arrangement (see BugGuide) we believe it is in the genus
Hogna.  The Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, is found in Oregon, and you can see images of it on BugGuide which states:  “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.” The Carolina Wolf Spider is also represented on the Spiders.Us site which states:  “This species is uncommon in the Pacific Northwest, but we have included those states in our range listing because it is still possible to find them there.”  We are going to check with spider expert Mandy Howe to get her opinion on the species.  The prey is a Giant Stonefly in the genus Pteronarcys, and it is most likely the California SalmonflyPteronarcys californica.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  One interesting note is that this sighting obviously occurred near the river, which is the correct habitat for the California Salmonfly, however, Spiders.Us indicates of the Carolina Wolf Spider:  “This spider is typically found in arid habitats such as deserts, prairies, glades, and open fields and pastures.”  Thanks again for providing your fascinating story for the entertainment and awe of our readership.  On a final note, we really hope we hear back from Mandy regarding the identity of this Wolf Spider because it may represent and new or little documented species as it was observed in such a remote location.

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Hi Eric,
This is a truly amazing story with some wonderful images.  I’m not certain how good you are with Spiders, but since you lived in Oregon, I am hoping you can provide some input.  Can you confirm or correct the identity of this Wolf Spider:  Carolina Wolf Spider or other???  I have also contacted Mandy Howe.
thanks
Daniel

Eric Eaton Disagrees
Hi, Daniel:
Definitely “other.”  I’m not even sure there are any recent records of the Carolina Wolf Spider from Oregon.  Hopefully Mandy can put it to genus.
Eric

Ed. Note:  We are guessing that Eric agrees that this is a Wolf Spider, but not that it is a Carolina Wolf Spider.

Wow!  Thanks so much!!!!
I found the salmonfly online shortly after I submitted the photo and then I felt guilty for potentially wasting your time, so I’m glad you liked it!!!
A couple of things that add up based on what you’ve told me:
1) the habitat for Hogna Carolinensis:  the area around the Wenaha river is usually quite arid in terms of ambient humidity throughout the year and probably rainfall as well.  It’s the type of canyon that’s covered in dry brown grasses, rocks, and pine trees in the gulches but not on the exposed ridges.  In spring, the river swells from the melting snowfall of winter in the mountains, but rain is usually fairly sparse. EXCEPT for the week we were there, when it rained almost nonstop, causing the flood conditions and raising the river to probably historic levels.  So I think that if Hogna Carolinensis likes arid conditions, it probably likes the Wenaha area.
2). From what I’ve read, emergence of salmonfly larvae from the water tends to occur when rivers are at peak or rapid flow, which was definitely the case at the time we were there, further confirming the identity of the salmonfly.
I am going to send you a link to the (shoddy) video I have. Quality is poor but you can see their movements as they battle. Very compelling.
The hikers who found my pack were unable to open the rusted body of my metal dSLR to remove the memory card, so we unfortunately only have the lower quality images that my friend took with his plastic lower-megapixel point and shoot. Otherwise, we would have glorious, high definition, macro lens shots and video, but at least we have something.
Thanks again for the help and for featuring the story. You guys are great. I’ll send a link to the video when I get home.
Best,
John

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iQSxBXFy6c
Cheers,
John

Thanks for the update John.  We were under the impression that the images you sent were from the card retrieved from the missing camera.  Your most recent email indicates that you were always in the possession of the images.  Do you by chance have a dorsal view looking down on the top of the spider?

No no, your initial impression was correct.  I only just got the images this week after not having them for 5 years.
What I was attempting to convey is that there were two cameras in the missing backpack and the hikers who found it only retrieved the memory card from one of the cameras, which happened to be the poorer quality one.  If they had been able to get the images out of the other camera (they didn’t because it was rusted shut and they couldn’t get the memory card out and didn’t want to carry out the entire camera), we would have been dealing with better quality images.  That’s all.  The story, as it is posted on your website, is completely accurate.
Here are the closest I have to a dorsal view (focus not great):
John

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Wolf Spider eats Giant Salmonfly

Thanks for the clarification.  Bummer:  Too bad they didn’t bust the camera body to get the memory card.  Thanks for providing the dorsal view.  We wanted to be able to show the markings on the carapace.

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