Pearl Crescent
September 18, 2009
Hello, Dan & Lisa,
I have a few photos, and I know you can’t publish them which is okey-dokey,
One I do know for sure has been identified by the Minnesota representative for the Butterflies and Moths of North America web site as a Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth. If you go to that site, look on the map and you’ll see a little blue dot in Minnesota. That’s my moth!
The next one is a pearl crescent, I think, but I’m not sure.
And last, but not least is what I call, Big Daddy Bee, a Bombus auricomus. I love those gentle giants!
These were all in my front yard garden in Minnetonka Minnesota.
Anyway, I don’t recall seeing these on your site so I thought you might enjoy my photos.
Take care
Laura
Minnetonka Minnesota

Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth

Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth

Hi Laura,
We will be posting all of your images, but we are going to do them as distinct posts and we will edit your letter accordingly for subsequent postings since having three different species from different categories in the same letter negatively impacts our archiving.  As we don’t have any previous postings of Lesser Maple Spanworm Moths, Speranza pustularia, we are quite happy with that submission.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red Jumping Spider
September 17, 2009
Middle of September, ’09, Central Oklahoma, USA. Found in grassy back yard near structure while mowing the lawn. It really irritates me that I don’t know this one. When I was in grade school an entomology professor/uncle of mine had me catching these guys for a paper he was writing on them. I think that he was naming the species. Now it’s nearly 50 years later and he’s gone and I don’t remember if he ever told me what he was doing with these red jumping spiders. There seems to be a few closely related species that inhabit the same area and vary only slightly in the markings. I have always thought that this was an exceptionally aesthetic little creature. As memory serves they are very fond of woodpiles. I would love to get a common name for this one but considering the connection a species name would be golden. Thank you.
J.Hopkins
Central Oklahoma, USA

Red Jumping Spider

Red Jumping Spider

Dear J,
We are most touched by your letter.  Though we haven’t the time at the moment to try to research your request, we will post your letter and photo and perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply you with the answer.  We are linking to the BugGuide section on the Jumping Spider family Salticidae as well.  We believe your spider is in the Subfamily Dendryphantinae.

My research is indicating Phidippus apacheanus as the species. I still haven’t a clue as to who named it.
Thanks so much for your atttention.
J. Hopkins

Update from Karl
September 18, 2009
Hi Daniel:
It looks like another jumping spider in the genus Phidippus (Salticidae: Dendryphantinae: Dendryphantini), possibly P. clarus or P. pius, but most likely P. cardinalis (the Cardinal Jumping Spider). Based on the numerous photos on the Bugguide site, this looks like a male. Regards.
Karl

Thanks Karl,
I am familiar with P. cardinalis, we have them here, too.  Generally P. cardinalis is a bit
larger, esp females and has markings on the abdomen that are not present in
P. apacheanus.  P. cardinalis has a light line running around the for part of the abdomen and sometimes tiny light spots about middle dorsal of the abdomen.  I am not familiar with any markings on P. apacheanus, just the red head and abdomen and black legs.
I believe we have Phidippus clarus as well, or I have seen it somewhere, and it has a black cephalothorax as do many Phidippus, as well as bright markings on the abdomen.
Phidippus pius lacks the black legs but accounting for individual variation is a possibility but I think that pius is a larger species.
It is not my intent to be argumentative or mistrusting of the experts.  I’ve never taken a single class in entomology and only worked with a few relatives and friends that were entomologists.  However, to me it still looks like P. apacheanus and I have only a marginal degree of faith in that identification.
There is some speculation that P. apacheanus is a velvet ant mimic which are common here and sport the come color and pattern.  I have my doubts on this as the spiders seem to stay off of the ground where the wingless wasps frequent.  The spiders are about half the size as well.
I’ll attach a few links to Phidippus apacheanus pics:
. . . and thanks so very much.  Alternate opinions from interested and well-trained persons is highly valued.  It could well be that you know something that I don’t.  Thanks again,
J. Hopkins

Another Update from J. Hopkins
September 19, 2009
Sorry,
www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/misc/rbjspi.html
bugguide.net/node/view/232814/bgimage
But I am seeing several examples where it appears that cardinalis and apacheanus have been misidentified one for the other.  I am not sure that some of the web posted identifications can be trusted.
Thanks again,
J. Hopkins

What is this bug?
September 17, 2009
It is bright orange usually walks up on it’s legs but can fly too. Has 6 dark black legs, wings, and 2 antennas. Likes to hang out in my garden or on my key lime tree. I have seen it out in the hot summer months here: June, July, August.
Carrie Labani
Houston, Texas

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Hi Carrie,
Your insect is a beneficial predator known as a Milkweed Assassin Bug that will help keep your plants pest free, though they will also prey upon beneficial pollinating insects.  Treat the Milkweed Assassin Bug with respect as they might give a painful bite if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large green/yellow hornworm?
September 17, 2009
I noticed that our forsythia plant appeared to have died, but upon closer inspection, found a large yellow/green critter on it. Can you help me Identify the caterpillar?
Brian
rock hill south carolina

Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar

Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Brian,
We looked at all the possible Sphinx Caterpillar candidates found in South Carolina on Bill Oehlke’s website before deciding that the Rustic Sphinx, Manduca rustica, is the likeliest possiblity for your individual.  The real decisive factor is the food plant forsythia.  Forsythia is in the olive family Oleaceae, and the Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar feeds on the leaves of plants in that family.

Black and orange beetle
September 16, 2009
Found on the top of high grass in the summer on Croatia’s Mediterranean coast, these beautiful beetles seem to not be bothered by the hot midday sun. They can and will fly away if given the opportunity when captured (not the stuff seen in the first picture, those are remains of potato chips). They cannot bite, and often leave traces of a yellow substance similar to ear wax when captured. They are usually about 1-2 centimeters long.
ROX
Croatia, Mediterranean coast

Blister Beetle we believe

Blister Beetle

Hi ROX,
We believe this is a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae.  We will try to get a second opinion.

Eric Eaton Confirms Identification
Right again!  See how good you have gotten?:-)  Have a great day….
Eric

beautiful moth from southern Turkey
September 17, 2009
Hello! I took this picture of a moth on the hills above the southern coast of Turkey. I was told it was native to that part of Turkey and one island of Greece and nowhere else. I use it in the masthead of my blog, so would love to be able to name the species.
Hope you can help – thanks,
Cath
southern Turkey – near Eşen / Fethiye

Tiger Moth

Cream Spot Tiger Moth

Hi Cath,
This is a Tiger Moth in the family Arctiidae.  We will contact Julian Donahue, a lepidopterist who specializes in the family, to see if he can provide a species identification.

Julian Donahue responds
It’s the Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia villica); widespread, from southern England through Europe and western Asia and North Africa.
Julian P. Donahue