July 24, 2010
Two weeks ago, as Lefty and Digitalis were preparing to lay more eggs, I decided to get a new 10 gallon nursery aquarium since Daryl asked for the borrowed aquarium back.  On July 9, I wrote:  “
I caught 17 more fry for relocation.  Total 63.  There are at least 21 remaining.“All of the fry left with the parents and they eventually vanished as did the new batch of eggs.  It’s a mystery.  Meanwhile, there was some mortality among the 63 fry that were put in the nursery aquarium in the bathroom.  There are probably at least 30 fry still alive, though it is difficult to count them.  I took some photos a few days ago.

Month old fry in Nursery Aquarium

The fry are eating well and growing and the largest are beginning to look more like Angelfish.  I would like to move them into the grow out aquarium within two weeks, but first I will need to take the largest youngsters to Tropical Imports to trade them for store merchandise, perhaps a Clown Loach to eat snails even though the Clown Loach is not an Amazon species.

Month Old Fry in Nursery Aquarium

Update: August 5, 2010
The spawning that prompted moving the fry a few weeks ago vanished, but about a week and a half ago, I placed a piece of slate in the aquarium with Lefty and Digitalis.  Within days, they spawned.  This was last weekend.  Many eggs were not fertile, but they did hatch and the wrigglers were moved around for a few days.  Monday, August 2, they began to swim and for the past two days, they have been eating newly hatched baby brine shrimp.  There are about fifty fry.  The fry that were moved to the 10 gallon aquarium should probably be moved to the grow out aquarium, but not until I take the largest inhabitants to Tropical Imports.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pretty Bug
Location:  Wake Forest, NC
July 24, 2010 9:52 am
From Wake Forest, NC, this bug is pretty! I love the colours, but I had no idea where to start identifying on this one.
erica stjohn

Japanese Beetle

Hi Erica,
The Japanese Beetle,
Popillia japonica, the species represented in your photograph, is currently prominently featured at the top of our homepage as the featured Bug of the Month for July 2010.  WE got tremendous amusement at your infatuation with its coloration and your comment that it is pretty.  It is an attractive beetle, but any points it might score in the beauty category would be quickly outweighed by its status as an invasive exotic species that swarms in the summer months and defoliates hundreds of different species of cultivated plants including roses, grapes, clematis, blueberries, peaches and almost any ornamental plant that is kept in home gardens.  Our mother refers to the leaf damage as “lace doilies” since the beetles leave nothing behind on the leaf but the veins.  We suspect that your letter might even generate some hate mail for gardeners who are plagued by the yearly appearance of swarming Japanese Beetles.  Native to Japan, the Japanese Beetle was first found in New Jersey in 1916, and it quickly spread through most of the eastern parts of North America.  Manufacturers even have products that are designed to attract and trap Japanese Beetles in an effort to keep them from feeding on cultivated plants.  The adult beetles are not the only problem.  The beetle grubs feed on the roots of plants and grasses, often causing brown lawns.

Butterfly And The Pink
Location:  Raleigh, North Carolina
July 24, 2010 9:44 am
I would guess this is a monarch, but I am not sure.
Thank you for your help :)
erica stjohn

Monarch Butterfly

Hi Erica,
Your identification of the Monarch Butterfly is correct.  There appears to be an odd filter used on your photograph that give the tonalities a postarized effect.  We do not like to use photographs on our site that have exaggerated post production digital special effects, but since we don’t have many images of Monarch Butterflies, we are making an exception since most of the postarization is in the background and not in the Monarch itself.  We also noticed that you sent us numerous emails this morning.  We will probably not be able to answer all of them, but we will give it a shot.

Thank you for your response. I do apologize for all of the numerous emails. I lost what Info I had off my old site, and I am trying to build the new site better and including more ID and credit to others
That photo might have the posterized look to it. I will see if I can find the original as I sort and send the original to you. I had forgotten that one did.
Thank you for your time and willingness for any help. It is appreciated more than you could imagine!

Hi Erica,
There is no need to send another photo.  We just like informing our readership that they shouldn’t creatively alter the images too much in the interest of correct documentation.

Thank you! You have really made my day! :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth identification
Location:  western north carolina
July 23, 2010 11:55 am
this was a very friendly moth that was so happy with my camera that it hopped right on it. i love the splash of orange and the black and white antennae. what is it?

Gray Hairstreak

Dear Mike,
This is actually a Hairstreak Butterfly in the subfamily Theclinae, but we are reluctant to identify the species as so many look alike.  You can see the many examples on BugGuide.

Species Identified by Eric Eaton
August 11, 2010
Hi, Daniel:
Went through the site and found only a few minor corrections/clarifications, most recent to oldest: …
… Hairstreak Butterfly, western North Carolina:  Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus.
Otherwise, either very good or “I can’t help with that:-)”
Is the book out for everybody yet?  If so, I’ll link it to my blog, share on Facebook, etc.  I did get the pre-order e-mail from you.

Thanks Eric,
Now we can link to the species page on BugGuide for the Gray Hairstreak.  The book will be available in October 2010.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Lexington NC
July 23, 2010 5:53 pm
He was a bit leery so I could not get a real good shot, but hope you enjoy this one.

Tiger Swallowtail

We know first hand how elusive Swallowtail Butterflies can be when there is a camera present, so we are happy to post your image of this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail to acknowledge your accomplishment.  It appears as though he may be puddling, an activity engaged in by many male butterflies that often congregate in great numbers near damp places so they can drink fluids that contain necessary salts and minerals.

Unknown insect
Location:  Banks of the Potomac River in DC
July 24, 2010 9:27 am
Found this bug on the branch of a willow tree while having a picnic along the Potomac River in DC It has an abdomen similar to a dragonfly, two transparent wings and the head similar to a grasshopper. Any ideas???

American Pelecinid

Greetings Todd,
Your letter is the third identification request we responded to this week inquiring about the identity of the American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, but the photos on the earlier two letters were blurry and of a general poor quality, unlike your stunning silhouette against the capital’s skyline.  The American Pelecinid is the only North American species in the genus and family, and it does range as far south as Argentina.  It resembles no other insect, so our identification of your silhouette should be undisputed.  It shows the female wasp, who uses her long abdomen to bury her eggs beneath the surface of the ground into the burrows of the grubs of June Beetles that are feeding on the roots of turf and grasses.  Interestingly, according to BugGuide:  “In North American populations, males are rare, and reproduction is apparently largely by parthenogenesis (Brues, 1928). In tropical populations (or species), males are more abundant.

Thanks Daniel, I was with my girlfriend who is a scientist at the National Zoo in DC and she assumed it was a type of wasp but neither of us had ever seen this insect. We appreciate your email. Feel free to post the picture! I will be using your site alot now that I have found it.