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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Migrating Painted Ladies
Location: Elyria Canyon Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
February 14, 2015 10:00 AM
Though we have received many images recently from our readers, we made a decision to select our Bug of the Month for March 2015 from our own images because of the significant seasonal migration of Painted Ladies this year.  According to Julian Donahue, the Painted Ladies are: “particularly active on the wing now, and most appear to be migrating, pausing to nectar on their way farther north.” The Painted Lady,
Vanessa cardui, is a medium sized orange butterfly with a mottled wing pattern and distinctive “eye spots” on the underwings. Painted Ladies were seen taking nectar from the pictured Mule Fat or Baccharis salicifolia, Coastal Bush Sunflower and Manroot. Caterpillars feed on both native and non-native leaves, and the Arroyo Lupine, that is currently blooming, is one native host plant.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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: 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: 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