Subject: A Ctenucha moth?
Location: Panajachel, Guatemala
February 3, 2016 1:15 pm
I’m a Canadian living in Panajachel, Guatemala, in the Western Highlands near Lake Atitlan. We found this beautiful moth on our porch today mid-afternoon on a very sunny day. He was very lively! Did not want to sit still for a picture.
Black and red wing, very bright iridescent blue body.
Am I correct in thinking this is a type of Ctenucha moth?
Signature: Cristel

Ctenuchid

Ctenuchid

Dear Cristel,
You are correct that this Tiger Moth is in the subtribe Ctenuchina, and we believe that it is in the genus
Cyanopepla based on the image posted to Emtomofausac Insectos de Guatemala and the image on Neotropical Lepidoptera that is identified as  Cyanopepla bella, though we are not fully convinced that is the correct species.  We located several members of the genus online that look very similar, but none have the bold, unbroken red marking on the forewing.  We will contact Arctiinae expert Julian Donahue to see if he can provide a species.

Ctenuchid

Ctenuchid

Julian Donahue Responds
Locality?? Also, hindwing markings important in this genus.
I may be able to come up with a name if I know the locality.
Julian

Thanks Julian.  The location is “Panajachel, Guatemala, in the Western Highlands near Lake Atitlan.”

Sorry, Daniel. It looks very familiar, and I’m pretty sure there’s an identified specimen of this in the LACM collection that you can check out.
Otherwise, without the hindwing I can’t be positive about anything else, although I think you have the right genus.
Good luck,
Julian

Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896).jpg

Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896).jpg

As luck would have it, I think I’ve come close.
This is the original figure of Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896), described from Panama, which, it has been noted, is virtually identical to the figure of Cyanopepla beata Rothschild, 1912, also described from Panama.
At present, the two taxa remain as separate species in separate genera! If they are the same species, then the Druce name would have priority, but that still leaves the proper generic placement in question.
Note that your Guatemalan specimen has much more blue on the inner margin of the forewing, and may, in fact, be something completely different. But this is the closest I can come for now.
Hurray for the bobcat; we’re still waiting to see one here on our property, although we’ve seen them on some local birding walks!
Julian

Wow, thank you so much!
I looked through all the pictures I had taken, even the blurry ones, to see if I got a shot of the hindwing but no luck. :(
I’ve been blogging about my time in Guate and I think I will post this conversation up as a topic of interest to anyone looking for bug identification.
Thanks again!
Cristel

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that bug
Location: New Brunswick
February 3, 2016 12:06 pm
Hi I have these little bugs infesting my apartment. They are in my pantry, my floor, my closet, and around my cats food. I’m so annoyed by them and want to get rid of them.
Signature: Helppp please

Possibly Sawtooth Grain Beetles

Possibly Sawtooth Grain Beetles

These sure look like Sawtooth Grain Beetles, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, to us, though there is not enough detail to be certain.  They might also be the closely related Merchant Grain Beetle, Oryzaephilus mercator, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae feed primarily on cereal products, particularly oatmeal, bran, shelled sunflower seeds, rolled oats, and brown rice; usually associated with oilseeds and less with cereal grains and in most regions damages processed cereals, especially those with high oil content; also feeds on seed-borne fungi”  You may compare your image to the images posted to BugGuide.

Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
January 29, 2016 1:29 pm
Hi bugman,
I am a service manager for a pest management company in Pittsburgh. We have a current issue with an insect in a restaurant. It is tiny with wings and is attracted to light. They are finding them along the windows along storefront and in light fixtures on first floor. No activity in basement. No second floor. Some old barn wood is inside but it has been there for several years. It appears to have an ovipositor.
Signature: thank you, Joe Ryan

Unknown Parasitic Hymenopteran

Unknown Parasitic Hymenopteran

Dear Joe,
We are not certain we will be able to provide more than a very general identification.  This is some species of Parasitic Hymenopteran, and the prominent ovipositor is used by the female to lay eggs.  Finding them indoors leads us to believe that they are preying upon some other insect or arthropod that is living in the restaurant.  Though this insect does not present a problem, it is a sign that there is something else living in the restaurant that is providing food.  Cockroaches would be a likely food source, but this is most definitely NOT an Ensign Wasp, a species that parasitizes the oothecae or egg sacs of Cockroaches.  You can try browsing the pages of BugGuide for Parasitic Hymenopterans. 

Thanks for the reply Daniel.
Although this restaurant has had problems in the past with Oriental roaches in the basement there has not been any activity reported for a year. None of these insects were found in basement along windows. I have some samples on a monitoring trap that I have to get to our Univar rep.
thanks again.
Joe

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s the insect that came as a bonus with my Christmas Tree?
Location: Austin, Texas
February 1, 2016 2:41 pm
Hello there,
For the second time in my life I have managed to purchase a live Christmas tree that weeks later developed an insect issue. This time the insect is different than the first. In my Google search to determine what it was this year, I came across your site and another individual’s issue with a Christmas tree pest–which for them turned out to be the Giant Conifer Aphid.
Thanks to their picture and your site I now know what my insect was the first time. Now I’m wondering what this new one is. The aphids never left the tree and I didn’t notice them until I was taking it down. Those were also on a different type of tree for me–a Fraser Fir.
This year I bought a rare type of tree–a Natural Noble. While Noble Firs are common enough for purchasing, Natural Nobles are not–at least not where I live. It’s a beautiful and expensive tree that I discovered at a particular local nursery in Austin, Texas. I’d never seen one available before at a Christmas tree stand or a nursery. This is now the 3rd year I’ve bought this type of tree but the first time it has come with bugs.
The other night (4-5 weeks after purchasing the tree) I noticed what I thought was a large mosquito in my kitchen. Then I noticed a second one. Then the lightbulb went off in my mind to go look at the trunk of the tree as this time of year there aren’t mosquitos. Yep, sure enough there were insects parading up and down the trunk, in different sizes. They were fast movers. While the image may make them appear large they really aren’t. Like I said, they look about like a giant mosquito.
They are winged, or at least many of them were, but I never saw them flying. They were either dead under the tree or dead in another room. The ones on the trunk were very active but not flying. I don’t think those had wings or were so juvenile they couldn’t be seen yet. Overall they’re pretty fragile and when you touch a dead one its legs cling to the skin.
I looked online quite a bit for insects that come in with Christmas trees but couldn’t find anything that looked like this or that had wings. Any idea what this is?
Signature: Michele (Austin, Tx)

Giant Conifer Aphids

Giant Conifer Aphids

Hi Michele,
A living Christmas Tree is host to many creatures that continue to develop in the warm indoor conditions of the heated home.  For the past few years, we have gotten submissions of Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus
Cinara plaguing homemakers.  Your image depicts winged adult Giant conifer Aphids similar to the one in this BugGuide image.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the positive identification and your very timely response. I’m so sorry that I didn’t offer you more of a challenge. You get emailed about these bugs a lot and I was convinced they were something other than the Giant Conifer Aphid. These winged adults look so different in size and shape from what I experienced the first time.
Nonetheless, thank you again for taking the time to respond to me. I’ve had a lot of fun perusing your website.
-Michele

Subject: thought it would be easy
Location: coldwater ontario canada
February 1, 2016 6:35 pm
Hi we have these in our house occasionally, we think they are coming in on our firewood. The wood is ash and oak. The house is only a year old and was built in the winter
Signature: Keith Prentice

Longhorned Borer Beetle:  Sarosesthes fulminans

Longhorned Borer Beetle: Sarosesthes fulminans

Dear Keith,
We turned to our copy of Arthur V. Evans excellent book “Beetles of Eastern North America” as it is easier to scan than many online sources.  We believe we have correctly identified your Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae as
Sarosesthes fulminans which is described as having:  “a distinctive eyespot on the pronotum and angulate bands on elytra.  Larvae tunnel under bark and in sapwood of hardwoods, especially chestnut (Castanea), oak (Quercus), and walnut (Juglans).  Adults are attracted to light and bait traps in late spring and summer.  Quebec and Ontario to North Carolina, west to Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas.”  This image from BugGuide looks very much like your individual.  You are most likely correct that your indoor, winter sighting is related to oak firewood.

Subject: Identify Grasshoppers
Location: Costa Rica cloud forest
February 2, 2016 9:32 am
Can you identify the mating grasshoppers please? I have asked several ‘experts’ in Costa Rica where I took the photo without success.
Taken at 4500 feet in cloud forest at the Bosque de Paz private reserve, 1 1/2 hours drive from San Jose. It lies between the National Parks of Juan Castro Blanco and Volcan Poas.
Thanks
Signature: Moira

Mating Grasshoppers

Mating Grasshoppers

Dear Moira,
We have not had any luck identifying what species you have documented.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information.