Identify this bug
July 26, 2009
This is a tiny bug that has been running along the edge of my house and garage for a week or so. There are zillions of them. The largest is about 1/2cm long. I live in central FL and it’s late July. The colorful one appears to be a juvenile.
Bug in FL
Central Florida

Chinch Bug

Chinch Bug

Dear Bug in FL,
This is a Chinch Bug in the genus Blissus.  According to BugGuide: “nymphs and adults feed on forage, lawn, and wild grasses plus crop plants, including wheat, corn, sorghum, oats
” and we have also read that they are very fond of St Augustine Grass.

Chinch Bug

Chinch Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

destructive worm/caterpillar…moving fast…help!
July 26, 2009
Please help me identify this alien army that has shown up and destroyed my evergreen bush in less than three days….will they move on to my other flowers and trees??
Laurie
Southeastern Massachusetts (Plymouth County)

Redheaded Pine Sawfly Larvae

Redheaded Pine Sawfly Larvae

Dear Laurie,
We identified your Red Headed Pine Sawfly,
Neodiprion lecontei, on BugGuide, and now that you know what it is, you should be able to find much information posted online.  You do not need to worry about these larvae that are related to wasps moving to other plants in the garden.

Redheaded Pine Sawfly

Redheaded Pine Sawfly

They feed on “Preferred hosts are red, Scots and jack pines. Also attacked are shortleaf, loblolly, slash, pitch, Swiss mountain, Japanese black, mugho pines, white pine, larch, deodar cedar, and Norway spruce” according to the Forest Pests website.  The Forest Pests website also indicates:  “Larvae may defoliate an entire tree from the top downward (b). Young or stressed trees are preferred, and small ornamental pines may be completely defoliated and killed in heavy infestations. Trees that are growing in poor sites or under stress are attacked more readily than healthy trees. Damage can sometimes be reduced by getting rid of competing vegetation, planting in high-quality sites, and promoting early closure by close plantings. If infestations are light, manual removal of larvae may effectively control the pest.”  The Discover Life website also has much valuable information and control suggestions.

Damage caused by Redheaded Pine Sawfly

Damage caused by Redheaded Pine Sawfly

Striped insect found in swarms
July 26, 2009
We have just recently found these little bugs in swarms on all of our trees, especially the cedar trees. We don’t see any specific damage being done by them. These are located in Syracuse NY. Please advise if these should be of concern?
Jamie
Syracuse NY 13209

Barklice

Barklice


Hi Jamie,
Thanks so much for writing to us before you decided to take drastic measures to exterminate these benign Cerastipsocus venosus,
Barklice in the family Psocidae.  Generally when a large group of insects congregate on plants in this manner, they are feeding on the plant and potentially causing damage.  These Barklice are feeding on lichens, not on your tree.  They are immature and adult Barklice are winged.  You may find images of adult Barklice on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cicadas are my new best friend
July 24, 2009
i’ve never seen such a small cicada around here before, but i found this little neocicada hieroglyphica last night under the light by my garage, cornered by two toads who were trying to catch it. it crawled onto my hand and hung on tight for about an hour, any port in a storm i guess. it was a little less than an inch long, and crawled enthusiastically toward the clicking sound of my camera’s focus. i assume it thought my camera was hitting on it. cicadas have a one track mind.
rebekah
summerville, sc

Hieroglyphic Cicada

Hieroglyphic Cicada

Dear Rebekah,
Thanks so much for sending us your wonderful images of a Hieroglyphic Cicada and for providing such an entertaining narrative.  We are linking to the BugGuide information page on Neocicada hieroglyphica.

Hieroglyphic Cicada

Hieroglyphic Cicada

Possible plot for a horror movie? I think not.
July 24, 2009
It was like a horror movie gone wrong. Margaret, our volunteer receptionist, came into my office to give me a postage stamp she’d saved for my Mum. At 80, Margaret has a few mobility problems and she’s really not walking too well at the moment. As she turned slowly to go back out to reception, she yelled, “What’s that? Oh my god, kill it, kill it!”
I turned and saw she was looking at the floor. I jumped up, expecting to see some monster ready to attack. At the same time, my survival instinct kicked in and I prepared myself to push Margaret out of the way and escape if I had to – compassion only goes so far, you know.
And then I saw it – the monster. In Margaret’s eyes it was so fat it looked pregnant. It was hideous, as far as she was concerned, and it had to die or it would kill us.
No, I told her, I wasn’t going to kill it. I had an empty plastic cup on my desk so I used that to scoop it up, though I did have to chase it to get it.
“Don’t let it come near me!” screamed Margaret.
With my head held high, hero fashion, I took my captive out to the scrubby area near the old warehouse along the street and set it free to live another day, thinking that if it wanted to, it would find its way into the warehouse soon enough.
Such are the everyday dramas at the Oswego NY Branch of the American Red Cross.
Susan, house centipede rescuer

Dear Susan,
Thanks so much for sending us your gripping account of an Unnecessary Carnage intervention.

moth caterpillar
July 24, 2009
Hi-We think this is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar about ready to pupate. Hope you like the image and thanks for all the work you!
KICA maint.
Kiawah Island, SC

Imperial Moth Caterpillar, just prior to pupation

Imperial Moth Caterpillar, just prior to pupation

Dear KICA maint.,
Your identification is spot on.  This is the only image we have received of a now immobile Imperial Moth Caterpillar just before the molt that will lead to the pupa stage.  The outline is already suggesting the shape of the pupa.  Generally, before the caterpillar reaches this stage, it has already buried itself as the pupal stage is underground.  We are guessing that you either dug up this caterpillar, or that it was unable to bury itself before initiating the pupal molt.  Perhaps you even raised the caterpillar in a place that would not facilitate underground pupation.  Thanks for sending us this excellent image.  You can find more information on the Imperial Moth on BugGuide.