Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Subject: is this stinging slug bug
Location: kukke subramanya, Karnataka, India
October 11, 2014 12:46 am
dear Mr. Bugman
me and my friends had been to trekking and we happened to come across this particular slug.
i was wondering if you could give me a clear idea as to what it exactly is and if the species has been identified .
we found this bug in Kumara parvata, kukke subramanya, karnataka , India
Signature: Aditya

Dear Aditya,
You are correct that this is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, but we are not having much luck with a species identification.  Your individual looks similar to, but not exactly like, this Stinging Slug Caterpillar from China on FlickR.
  It also looks similar to this Wattle Cup Caterpillar, Calcarifera ordinata , that is pictured on the Brisbane Insect Website.

Amy Gosch, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Tim Rogers, Kathleen Travis Perin, Julieta Stangaferro, Victor Santoyo liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Subject: Identify bug
Location: West Tennessee
October 11, 2014 7:55 pm
In the yard. Don’t know what it is.
Signature: Mike

Hi Mike,
Because of its highly distinctive outline, including the coglike projection on the thorax, it is unlikely that an adult Wheel Bug will be confused with any other North American insect.  Wheel Bugs are in the predatory Assassin Bug family and they should be handled with caution since a painful bite might result from careless handling.

MaryBeth Kelly, Amy Gosch liked this post
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Subject: Bug for identification
Location: Seattle, WA
October 10, 2014 7:09 pm
Hello!!
I live in Seattle, Washington and we have had a warm summer for us (80 degree days) and we are now entering our fall season and the temperature has dropped to the 70’s. I have had a few of these bugs at my house and many of my friends on Facebook have said they have them too and none of us know what they are and are hoping you can help us! We appreciate any information you can provide!!
Thank you!
Signature: Brenda

Dear Brenda,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug,
Leptoglossus occidentalis, is a native species to the Pacific Northwest, but beginning in the 1960s, perhaps due to increased mobility and travel, the range began to expand.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is now well established in much of the northern part of North America, and in the early part of the 21st century, it became established in Europe as well.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often go unnoticed until weather begins to cool and they enter homes to hibernate.

MaryBeth Kelly liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Poisonous to Humans?
October 11, 2014 3:37 am
I just had to destroy all my Tomato plants because of a mass infestation of HUGE  Leaf Footed Plant
Bugs. There were 7-8 of these bugs on ONE Tomato–many Tomatoes.  I only had 7 Tomato Plants in containers, but they COVERED them all. I live in the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada, and everything I’ve read about them says they are not on this side of the country! The Nevada Extension says they are rare, but not unheard of.   They are now on my Bell Peppers, though not nearly as many.
However, I cannot find out if the toxic enzyme that they inject into the fruit , also allowing pathogens into the fruit safe for human consumption.  I can’t see any obvious damage, and I am very diligent about keeping them off the Bell Peppers.  I don’t want to get myself or family sick. Do you know if they’re poisonous?
Your quick response would be greatly appreciated.     Thank You,  Diane Huff
Signature: Diane Huff

though the damage to fruit is unsightly, and probably does not taste very good, to the best of our knowledge, the enzymes injected will not negatively affect the health of a human.

Dear Mr. Marlos,
Thank you so very much for your VERY quick reply!  You’re the first person to commit to any other reply than, ” I don’t know”.
I feel much better about preparing my family a Stuffed Pepper dinner, with a salad containing raw peppers.
What do you know about “Anthracnose” fungus on Bell Pepper leaves? I know that’s not a bug, and I see NO lesions on the peppers
like I see in all the photos that I’ve researched online.  The small damage is only on the leaves and maybe a tiny bit on a mark
on a very few of the peppers.
I probably have no right to ask you about fungi, but all I get everywhere else is “I don’t know”. If you do not, I figured it couldn’t
hurt to ask, could it?      Sorry if it is…
Again, I thank you so very much—you’re the best!!!
Diane Huff

Hi Diane,
We actually gave you a very quick response without any research, and now we feel we need to remedy that.  We hunted our archives to find appropriate images to illustrate your questions since you did not provide any images.  We can tell you that we personally have eaten pomegranates that fed Leaf Footed Bugs, and we did not suffer any ill effects, though we did not eat the parts of the fruit that looked bad, dried out and generally unappetizing.  We have been buying oranges that are eerily dry in some parts, and we suspect that Leaf Footed Bugs might be the cause, but since we just juice the oranges, and we don’t have to eat the dried parts, other than getting less juice from an orange, we haven’t noticed a difference in flavor.
  We don’t know anything about the fungus, but perhaps one of our readers will comment.

 

Amy Gosch, Kyla Gunter Gatlin, MaryBeth Kelly, Michelle Ramsey Pedersen liked this post
Banded Sphinx Caterpillar

Banded Sphinx Caterpillar

Subject: large caterpillar swimming
Location: Western Kentucky
October 10, 2014 1:33 pm
I had never seen a caterpillar swim before. We were walking along a creek when we saw this large caterpillar “swimming”. It would bend it’s self almost in half to the left, then straighten out, then bend in the opposite direction and straighten out. It propelled it’s self through the water this way. It crawled along a leaf and stick, then set off swimming again for the bank. It was the size of a tobacco horn worm, but much more colorful. I have gone through several pages of your caterpillars and can find nothing close to this one. It was very colorful in the striping, and had a red head, can you tell me what it was, and which one of the large silk moths or sphinx moths it will become? It was seen In Western Kentucky in September of this year (2014)
PS: I have sent this picture and request twice before with no response. I am sending it again as I really want to know what it was.
Signature: Janet Fox

Hi Janet,
First we want to apologize for not responding on your first two attempts.  We really do have a skeleton crew and we do not have the man power to respond to every request.  Even if we did not have gainful employment forcing us to leave our comfortable home office, we still would not be able to effectively respond to all the mail we receive.  Had we known that you had such an exceptional image of a Banded Sphinx Caterpillar to accompany your unusual sighting, you would most certainly have gotten a response on your first attempt.  The Banded Sphinx Caterpillar,
Eumorpha fasciatus, is a variably colored and marked caterpillar with this particular bold and colorful pattern being the most memorable.  You can see more images and read more about the life history of the Banded Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the United States site.  The adult Banded Sphinx is a gorgeous moth.  This is the second account we have received of Banded Sphinx Caterpillars found in water.  We wonder if they are subject to parasites that cause them to drown themselves like Potato Bugs have when infected with Horsehair Worms.

Daniel,
Thank you for helping me identify my swimmer.  I thought it would have had to have been a silk moth or sphinx moth due to it’s size.
I had never seen one swim before.  I was so amazed, later I kicked myself for not taking a video of it instead of still shots.
Live and learn.  Next time, if I ever see another one swim, I will video it.
Thanks again.
Janet Fox

Rob Nease, Amy Gosch, Megan Coushew, Julieta Stangaferro liked this post
Female California Mantis eats Monarch

Female California Mantis eats Monarch

Subject: Preying Mantis: eat, prey, love
Location: South Pasadena, CA
October 11, 2014 6:49 pm
Hello Daniel. Although I have a good population of mantises and monarchs, these were unusual sights for me. Only time I’ve ever seen a mantis eat a monarch, and only the second time I’ve seen the headless mating. This was last month, within the same week, and I think the same female mantis.
Signature: Barbara

Mating California Mantids with headless male

Mating California Mantids with headless male

Hi Barbara,
We get numerous wonderful submissions each day, but your submission with its excellent images is one of the best we have received in quite some time.  We believe these are native California Mantids,
Stagmomantis californica, and you can compare your female to this image on BugGuide.  The headless mating is is quite some documentation.

MaryBeth Kelly, Debra Emery, Jennifer Smith liked this post