Louse Fly! Self defense or carnage?
August 13, 2009
This handsom fellow decided to scuttle off a patient I was holding and onto my shirt. While I’m very bug friendly, something about a tick with wings was scary. The patient I was holding was a red tail hawk, so needless to say I couldn’t let him go as I was more concerned about raptor claws than the ugly flat bug. After searching it looks like this is some kind of louse fly, you only seem to have one from England on your web page so here is another. I hmm impaled it on a very small 25 g needle, though it looks like a railroad spike in the pics. I didn’t want it jumping ship and visiting some of our more domestic patients avian or otherwise. From your one post it looks like they are species specific like lice. I still call it defense, at least of the patients in the animal hospital, but maybe it’s carnage? Oh he’s 1 cm long and flat as a tick, flies at a moderate pace, and scuttles sideways when walking.
Jess
Rhode Island, USA

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

Hi Jess,
Extenuating circumstances are always considered when we try to decide if a posting with a dead insect should be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  You are off the hook on this one in our mind, but another jury may decide differently.  We believe this is a Pigeon Louse Fly, Pseudolynchia canariensis, an introduced species from Europe.  BugGuide has the following information on the Pigeon Louse Fly:  “Range  Found wherever pigeons are encountered in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas with mild winters worldwide. It occurs throughout the Southeastern United States. Imported from Europe.
Food  A common ectoparasite of pigeons and doves
Life Cycle  Louse flies have a very interesting reproductive strategy. The female produces one larva at a time and retains the developing larva in her body until it is ready to pupate. The larva feeds on the secretions of a “milk gland” in the uterus of its mother. After three larval instars, the larva has reached its maximum size, the mother gives birth to the white pre-pupa which immediately begins to darken and form the puparium or pupal shell. The pupa of the pigeon louse fly looks like a dark brown, egg-shaped seed. The pupa is found in the nest of the host or on ledges where the birds roost. When the fly has completed its metamorphosis, the winged adult emerges from the puparium and flies in search of a host.
Remarks  Both adult males and females feed on the blood of their host. They are adapted for clinging to and moving through the plumage and pelage of their hosts. Strongly specialized claws help them cling to the hair or feathers of their particular host species. Pigeon flies retain their wings for their entire adult life.  This fly is a carrier of a protozoan disease, pigeon malaria.
”  Since hawks prey upon pigeons, we suspect this Pigeon Louse Fly may have “jumped ship” when its intended host was snatched by the hawk.

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

We do have additional images of Louse Flies on our site, but when we migrated last year, we did not sub-classify the flies.  Our archive is so extensive.  We are trying to create subcategories for new postings, and the old ones may have to wait for a paid intern.  That sounds like an excellent opportunity for a grant for a graduate student.

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Two-Spotted Tree Cricket
August 13, 2009
i too live in Ohio, near Dayton. just last night, i found a male two-spotted tree cricket on my kitchen blinds. i searched the internet in hopes to identify it, and found my answer here. my cricket had the same body, but was different in color – light all over with red eyes! i don’t see where I can upload a pic to show you, but thanks for the help!
betsy

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Betsy,
We cannot be certain that this is a Two Spotted Tree Cricket, but it is definitely some species of Tree Cricket.

What bug is this please?
August 12, 2009
From Tobago, West Indies. I have another image without my hand in the picture if you would like it. The hand is for scale.
Mr. Sticks
Tobago, West Indies

Unknown Root Borer from Tobago

Callipogon armillatus from Tobago

Dear Mr. Sticks,
This is a Root Borer Beetle in the subfamily Prioninae.  It resembles the North American beetles in the genus Derobrachus, but we have been unable to quickly unearth any possible species matches in Tobago.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck in the species identification.

Unknown Prionid from Tobago

Callipogon armillatus from Tobago

Daniel:
This looks like Callopogon (=Enoplocerus) armillatus. The common name appears to be Giant Longhorn Beetle; appropriate for one of the largest Cerambycids (up to 12 cm!). It ranges from Panama to northern Argentina, including Trinidad and Tobago. As you say, it is a root borer (Cerambycidae: Prioninae). Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

T-shaped, 4 legs
August 13, 2009
Hello, I saw this bug sitting on a wall at a train station yesterday. It has a rigid T-shaped body, it’s wings seem to be folded up along it’s body although it didn’t move so I did not see them unfold, and it appears to have only 4 legs. I was wondering what it was.
Jennifer Galler
Caledonian Road & Barnesbury station, London

Plume Moth

Plume Moth

Hi Jennifer,
Your Plume Moth makes a trifecta for us this morning.  We have posted three images of Plume Moths in the family Pterophoridae today, and like the previous two, we explained it is quite difficult to identify many members of this family to the genus or species level.  We can tell you that your Plume Moth does have six legs.

August 13, 2009
Hello, What’s That Bug!

PS. to atone for the dreadful quality of my specimen’s (Plume Moth)  image, I have also included two marvelous cropped images of a Peacock I took on a lovely day at a campsite, in a thistle hedge.
Sincerely, Sam, aged 13
Hadfield, Derbyshire, England

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Hi Sam,
Though we are unable to identify which species of Plume Moth you sighted, we are thrilled to post your photo of a Peacock Butterfly, Inachis io, a species found throughout Europe and Asia.  The BBC Science and Nature website has a nice page on the Peacock Butterfly.

Unidentified – Plume Moth
August 13, 2009
Hello, What’s That Bug!
This morning I found a small and rather beautiful plume moth in my room, resting between two bars on the side of my bunk-bed. I have identified plume moths before using handbooks but this smaller specimen has eluded any easy identification. I tried the internet but as usual, the taxonomy is shockingly unorganised so I didn’t really get anywhere.
I have taken a series of photos but they are all terrible due to awkward conditions, but one sheathed wing is in focus and the body is sharp enough to discern important features.
Here’s some info on the insect:
Colours: mottled grey and brown (a bit lighter in real life than in the photo)
Features: wings have a small, sharp indent missing on the sides and two ‘bumps’ coming out from the undersides, they look very much like ‘outline-breakers’ which along with the bark-like colouring would suggest camouflage for a woodland species.
Also, abdomen curves upwards slightly and has a small ‘chevron’ pattern running up it.
Measurements: 20mm wingtip-to-wingtip
10mm head-to-abdomen
(these measurements are likely less than 1mm out, they are just very convenient)
Thank you for any help you could provide, I spent quite a lot of time and effort writing and researching this letter so I hope it helps you out.
PS. to atone for the dreadful quality of my specimen’s image, I have also included two marvelous cropped images of a Peacock I took on a lovely day at a campsite, in a thistle hedge.
Sincerely, Sam, aged 13
Hadfield, Derbyshire, England

Plume Moth

Plume Moth

Dear Sam,
Sadly, we are going to fail you in the species identification department.  We have problems with our own North American species and generally never identify Plume Moths beyond the family level.  BugGuide states:  “A distinctive family of moths, but difficult to identify to genus or species.
”  If you post a comment to your own posting on our site, you will be notified if any Pterophoridae experts write in to identify your Plume Moth.  We do want to thank you for writing us such a smart letter.  Though we refrain from making comments regarding the matter in our responses, we are often horrified by the grammar and spelling errors in many of the letters we receive, some of which are nearly incoherent.  We will be posting your Peacock Butterfly in a separate post.
P.S.  Anyone of any age who uses the word atone in a sentence deserves recognition.

Daniel,
Many thanks for the hasty response and the site posting(s!), I am overjoyed to contribute a question to the site, even if it doesn’t neccesarily have an easy answer this time, as well as the photos. I will definately register for WTB and watch for comments. Again, thank you hugely for your dedication to amateur and professional entomologists across the globe with your resources.
As for the matter of writing etiquette, I believe that in a formal or public situation, even on the internet, that only the best care to writing should be given in nearly any circumstance; no excuses (short of ‘motor skill dysfunction’ and ‘two severed hands’). I’m glad you enjoyed a pleasant change from your usual quality of correspondence. :)
PS. I find the plume moths an almost exclusively beautiful and interesting family and believe such a large and varied sect of the lepiodptera should be taxoned and indeed studied much more thoroughly.
Thanks again.