Subject: flattened out legless pill bug thing
Location: north texas
October 23, 2014 8:28 am
My parents have this device that makes compost from old bits of banana peels and whatnot, and every once in a while it will leak, so we put this metal tub underneath it. Now the tub has these strange bugs that move like caterpillars, or slugs, and have a back similar to a flattened out “pill bug”. We do not want the bugs in our garage, but are not sure what to do with them, because we don’t want to simply kill them.
Signature: nathan

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Nathan,
These are Black Soldier Fly Larvae, and they are commonly found in compost piles where they contribute to the decomposition of organic materials.  They will not negatively affect the compost or your family.  They are benign and they should be left to do the job that they do so well.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I found this spider 4 times
Location: Botswana, palapye
October 24, 2014 1:52 pm
I just want to know it’s dangerous or not… It moves very fast.
Signature: Don’t know

Solifugid

Solifugid

This is a Solifugid, and though they are commonly called Camel Spiders or Sun Spiders, and though they are Arachnids, they are not true spiders.  They do not have venom, but a large individual might bite a human, and they have powerful mandibles.  Solifugids are fierce predators, and we would encourage you to allow them to keep your surroundings clear of unwanted insects like Cockroaches.  As it appears the individual in your image has bee sprayed with insecticide, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Andrea Leonard Drummond, Jacob Helton liked this post

Subject: TINY BEE?
Location: Fannie, Ark.
October 24, 2014 5:46 pm
This little bee (when I say little I mean smaller than the head of a pin) appeared in a photograph I took of another insect (Bluet). I literally could not see it until I had cropped the picture. It was on a Sicklepod Senna leaf. I didn’t think bees could get this tiny!
Signature: Bill

Chalcid Wasp

Chalcid Wasp

Dear Bill,
This is not a Bee, but rather a parasitic wasp in the family Chalcididae.  We believe we have identified it as
Conura amoena, and according to BugGuide:  “hosts: hairstreak butterflies (Theclinae).”  Most parasitic wasps prey upon the immature stages of insects, and we are guessing that this Chalcid Wasp was searching for caterpillars, though of the genus BugGuide notes:  “most attack Lepidoptera pupae; a few parasitize Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae) and Diptera (Syrphidae); some are secondary parasites of Ichneumonidae and Braconidae.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this thing??
Location: south texas
October 23, 2014 2:26 pm
I only see these at night and there are tons of them!! They look evil!
Signature: Hannah Gohlke

Flatfaced Longhorn

Huisache Girdler

Dear Hannah,
This is one of the Flatfaced Longhorn Beetles in the subfamily Lamiinae, and we will try to determine the species for you.  We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he recognizes you beetle.

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:
Yes, I believe it is the Huisache Girdler:
Species Oncideres pustulata – Huisache Girdler – BugGuide.Net

Ed. NOte:  According to BugGuide:  “Primary hosts:  Leucaena lveruienta – Tepeguaje;  Acacia farnesiana – Huisache;  Albizia julibrissin – Mimosa;  Will also girdle mesquite, retama, ebony and citrus.

Subject: White and black insect in MN
Location: SE Minnesota
October 24, 2014 8:43 am
This insect was seen on October 22, 2014, in southeast Minnesota (Minneapolis). It was about 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch in length. It was on an aluminum storm door’s frame (the green background), at about 5:30 p.m. (less than an hour before sunset). It stayed in the same place (did not climb the door frame, etc.) at least through the time we went in at sunset to fix supper. It was no longer there the next morning (no surprise). Temperatures were probably in upper 50s Fahrenheit. The porch is raised about four feet above ground level. There is a dogwood tree next to it, with branches touching the porch roof and supports. The ground below the dogwood is occupied by hostas. The body texture appeared a bit like moth wings, i.e., as though there were small scales, but in the photo the body looks smoother. The body is more flat than round, in case the photo does not show that sufficiently.
Signature: Curious in MN

Someone else has told me the insect is probably a wingless female linden looper moth, Erannis tiliaria.  Photos of the wingless female linden looper elsewhere (e.g., at the end of the page at http://www.wci.colostate.edu/shtml/LindenLooper.shtml and at http://www.invasive.org/browse/TaxThumb.cfm?fam=210&genus=Erannis) appear to be the same general size, color, and pattern, and there are indeed linden trees in the boulevard strip about thirty feet from the porch, up and down the street. Not that I’ve seen info yet to say that the linden looper feeds on or uses for egg-laying only linden or basswood trees, despite the “tiliaria” name; it might be tolerant of other species, too, even dogwoods.  Also, the mating season is said to be in the fall, and I probably should not have omitted from my original post that the porch is roofed, with a low-wattage light that attracts moths, including presumably any male Erannis tiliaria in the vicinity.  So you can probably mark this one as closed.

Female LInden Looper Moth

Female LInden Looper Moth

Dear Curious in MN,
While this file is closed for you and may not require any additional information on our part, we are still thrilled that you followed up with the identification of the wingless, female Linden Looper Moth and that you provided so many helpful links so that we can prepare a posting for our readership.  The introduction of invasive, exotic species continues to be a significant threat to agriculture and native species diversity.
  We did locate a related species in our archives, a female Mottled Umber Moth, Erannis defoliaria, which is in the same genus and which is native to Europe.  It is possible that that particular posting from our archives is of the Linden Looper Moth as well.  In doing our research, we discovered your image already posted to BugGuide.

Oops.  I may have jumped too early to a conclusion.  A search for Erannis on your site found a page for a tentative identification of a wingless female of a mottled umber moth on November 29, 2009 in California, that looks very similar, too.  And from the photos of Erannis defoliaria and Erannis tiliaria found elsewhere, I’m not sure I could tell them apart just from a photo of the back. Perhaps you will be sensitive to details in the photographs that might distinguish the two.

We don’t think that we are able to distinguish between the two species, but at least we can be certain that we are dealing with a member of the genus Erannis and that it is an invasive species in North America.  Since you have nearby Linden trees, we would favor your original identification of a Linden Looper Moth.

You’re right, I did ask two places, at your wonderful site and at BugGuide.  I hope that’s not a problem.  If you’re preparing a post, you might be amused to add a link to a picture of E. defoliaria from a British guide (John Curtis’s British Entomology Volume 6, says the Wikipedia attribution of the image) over a hundred years ago: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Britishentomologyvolume6Plate703.jpg, that includes the wingless female, but not at sufficient detail in the image (I can’t speak to the print original) to be able to say what details are distinguishing for the female E. defoliaria and E. tilaria.  Thank you for operating a wonderfully useful site.

We love BugGuide and we have no problem sharing your image.  Thanks for the compliment and additional link.

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Subject: caterpillar
Location: Northwest Houston, TX
October 24, 2014 5:51 am
I found this in a parking lot in Houston, TX. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen anything like it. It looks like some of the Sphinx Moth caterpillars I’ve seen in Google Image Search, but it doesn’t quite match any of them. Could you help me identify it?
Signature: Jeremy

Hornworm

Hornworm may be Banded Sphinx

Hi Jeremy,
We agree that this is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, even though it appears to be lacking a horn.  Our first impulse was that this resembles a pre-pupal Waved Sphinx Caterpillar, but the lack of a horn and the orientation of the light slashes behind the spiracles and running from front to back in orientation would eliminate that as a correct identification.
  A prepupal Modest Sphinx Caterpillar pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas also has the white slash marks oriented the opposite direction.  As we must leave for work now, we are going to write to Bill Oehlke to get his assistance.  We wonder if it might be an unusually colored Ficus Sphinx, Pachylia ficus.  We were unable to locate its identity on the Sphingidae of the Americas Texas page.

Wow, thanks!  I honestly didn’t expect such a quick response. You guys rock! Let me know what Bill thinks.

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