Subject: Unknown Fritillary
Location: Douglas County, WI, on RTE#53 half way between Gordon WI and Solon Springs, WI
September 6, 2013 7:01 am
This Fritillary was found in a pine-oak barrens in Douglas County on September 3, 2013. It, and many others of the same species, were nectering on Liatris aspera (rough blazing star). For more information on the location and habitat go to http://fotbs.org/
Signature: Francie Barnes

Fritillary

Fritillary

Dear Francie,
Sadly, we don’t have the necessary skills to identify this lovely Greater Fritillary to the species level.  We spent several weeks in Eastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania in August and we were very disappointed that we did not see any Fritillaries.

Fritillary

Fritillary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Mexico Grasshoppers
Location: Southwestern New Mexico (Luna County)
September 5, 2013 6:53 pm
Hi, We’ve been experiencing an explosion of these grasshoppers following a wetter than usual monsoon season. They are actively engaged in mating at the moment, and I suspect that the hundreds I’ve seen on my land will soon become thousands. I really like their coloration, but can’t identify them. I’m familiar with the Barber Pole (AKA Rainbow or Painted) Grasshoppers from Arizona, but these are quite different. The average adult size is from 2.5” to 3” in length. Thanks!
Signature: Tim

Plains Lubber Grasshopper

Plains Lubber Grasshopper

Hi Tim,
These large, colorful, flightless Grasshoppers are called Plains Lubber Grasshoppers,
Brachystola magna, and according to BugGuide:  “Often appears locally in huge numbers for a season or two in areas where few were seen for many years, only to ‘disappear’ again the following year.” 

Plains Lubber Grasshopper

Plains Lubber Grasshopper

Subject: This is the Biggest Thing I’ve Ever Seen!
Location: Regina Saskatchewan
September 5, 2013 5:34 pm
I think this is a Achemon Sphinx catapiller. It’s very large! I live in Regina, Saskatchewan. When I first found it, it was a very pale beige. Within an hour it turned dark beige, by morning it was reddish.
It has a fake ”eye” on it’s back end with white markings along it’s sides.
If this is indeed what I think it is, is this common in Saskatchewan? I’ve never seen one before.
Signature: Darlean

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Darlean,
We agree that this is an Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar, and the fact that it darkened most likely indicates that it is preparing to pupate.  The Sphingidae of the Americas Saskatchewan page lists the Achemon Sphinx, but there is no information on its local population.  On the Sphingidae of the Americas species page, Bill Oehlke writes:  “This species is not often seen in Manitoba, but can be quite common further to the south in most of the United States.”  We are speculating that the same might apply to Saskatchewan.  There must be a larval food plant nearby, and providing a source of food is a good way to ensure that a species will proliferate in a given area.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Eumorpha achemon larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis).”  Since the species is not common in Manitoba, Bill Oehlke might be interested in your Saskatchewan sighting, so we are copying him on this response.

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blood sucking bug
Location: Glendale, CA
September 4, 2013 9:37 pm
My wife was bitten probably about 10 days ago on the head and developed large wheals that felt like a boil. Several days later she had a series of hives on the left shoulder area that were extremely itchy and caused massive swelling of the surrounding tissue; there were other single lesions on the rt arm and 4 days later on the rt leg and top of the foot. These lesions improved on oral steroids and a topical high potency steroid cream.
We used a fogger last night and today found a dead bug next to the mattress on the platform bed engorged and when pressed a lot of blood was expressed. Checking photos on the web we tentatively identified it as the kissing bug – triatomine. We called the Public Health Dept in Los Angeles but they no longer have an entomologist! We live up in the hills – foothill of the San Gabriel range.
Signature: Peng Fan

Kissing Bug

Kissing Bug

Dear Peng,
We agree with your self identification. This is a Western Conenose,
Triatoma protracta, and it is a member of the genus commonly called Kissing Bugs or Mexican Bed Bugs.  See BugGuide for more information on the species and the genus.  Though the chances of your wife contracting Chagas Disease are slim, she should probably see a physician for a professional opinion.

Bites of a Kissing Bug

Bites of a Kissing Bug

Subject: I dont know if my whip scorpion is safe
Location: pine island florida
September 4, 2013 10:22 pm
I have a whip scorpion and I was thinking of putting it together with my emperor scorpion and I didn’t know if they would attack each other
Signature: Jack Carlson

Whipscorpion

Whipscorpion

Dear Jack Carlson,
Putting two predatory species together in the same habitat sounds like a very bad idea to us.

Buggy Accessory:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
September 1, 2013
This Walnut Underwing was on the front door in the morning.  We spotted it before the sun rose.  We waited for better light to photograph it.  It makes a lovely accessory on Jennifer’s scarf.

Buggy Accessory:  Walnut Underwing

Buggy Accessory: Walnut Underwing

As moths go, Underwings are rather long lived, like many Noctuoids.  A Walnut Underwing visits our office certain summers.  We are confident it is subsequent generations, but we are also confident that Walnut Underwings are reproducing in Elyria Canyon Park.  When Underwings fly, they reveal their gaily colored underwings, a survival adaptation that attracts the attention of insectivorous birds that lose the moth when it alights camouflaged on a tree trunk.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing