Black moth with red spots
Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:49 AM
Since it’s resting with its wings open, is it a moth? Also, what’s a good website that helps you learn the major categories of butterflies and moths? I don’t know where to begin with this one.
Kiskadee
Lake Yojoa, Honduras

Diurnal Moth

Diurnal Moth

Dear Kisdadee,
This looks like a Diurnal Moth to us, but we haven’t the time to research the exact species at the moment since it is the end of the semester and work has piled upon us. One of our faithful readers, Karl, has been doing a wonderful job of identifying many unidentified species we have posted lately. Perhaps he will write in with an answer. Though Honduras is outside of the range that is covered by the web site, we like BugGuide for our identifications of North American species. After writing that, we began to think that this moth reminds us of the Faithful Beauty, Composia fidelissima, and we tried to research that genus, but without any luck.

Hi Daniel:
This is actually a butterfly called the Red-Bordered Pixie (or just Pixie), Melanis pixe . It is a metalmark (family Riodinidae), and it ranges throughout Central America as far north as the extreme south of Texas. Regards.
Karl

Update: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 7:28 AM
Dear Daniel,
Met a local butterfly expert. He tells me it’s a butterfly (not a moth), Melanis pixie, belongs to the Riodinidae family and the catterpilar eats on plants of the Fabacea family. It is slow flying and tends to rest on the underside of leaves. It is fairly common even in San Pedro Sula, it goes from sea leavel to 1400 meters over sea level.
Kiskadee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unidentified Hemiptera
Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM
Hi!
I was hoping you can help me identify this insect. I know it belongs to the true bug or Hemiptera group.
They are abundant in a small area of tall grasses and spiny bushes near Ciudad Guzman, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, within sight of the Zapotlan lake. Although they are most common during the warm season, this one I photographed during winter.
There seem to be several species with different markings on their wings and body. This one is rather dull colored (except for the metallic blue section between the wings, which Im afraid didnt get too well represented in the photos), there are others with bright white, black and orange spots. Some are much bigger than this one.
They usually hide underneath leaves or spiny branches, and if they see you look at them, they move so that they remain hidden. If handled for too long, they shoot a red-orange or brown liquid that smells like a marker and is seemingly absorbed by skin within seconds. I haven´t felt any kind of effect after being shot with this fluid.
They fly, but not often. They seem to be fond of spiny bushes and acacia, but I’ve also found them in pine trees, sometimes in groups. I’ve seen some eaten from the inside by fungi.
I hope this information is useful.
Dragonfly Man
Near Zapotlan lake, Jalisco, Mexico

Giant Mesquite Bug

Giant Mesquite Bug

Dear Dragonfly Man,
This is a Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus acutangulus. The winged adults are considerably less colorful than the wingless nymphs, which are black, orange and white as you describe. The thorny shrub you describe is probably mesquite, the favored food plant.

PLease tell me what this bug is and where it’s coming from??
Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 10:45 AM
Hello, we are purchasing a foreclosure home that has been vacant since May 2008, vacant except for an infestation of these little critters (see picture). They are only outside, seem to be hovering around the overgrown bushes and weeds and living in the gaps of the wood beams. By infestation I mean thousands. They are slow moving and huddle in groups.They are grey/black with red markings and about 3/4 inch long. They don’t appear to fly. If you could please tell me what they are, why they are there and if they are dangerous I would appreciate it.
Karen Wondergem
North Glendale, Arizona

Small Milkweed Bugs

Small Milkweed Bugs

Hi Karen,
These are Small Milkweed Bugs, Lygaeus kalmii, and they are perfectly harmless.  The insect feeds on the pods of Milkweed Plants, and it is possible that the previous owner had a butterfly garden.  It is also possible, though you did not indicate the actual circumstances, that this home is part of a new development that was originally natural open space.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “it normally feeds on the pods, stems, and seeds of the milkweed.  As this plant seems to be declining locally in the face of human progress, the insect will no doubt become increasingly rare.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Horrible monster in our driveway
Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 9:55 PM
Dear Bugman,
My boyfriend stumbled upon this palm-sized insect (2.5 or 3 inches?) today at our house in Los Angeles, CA. He was crawling around in circles and scared my boyfriend half to death. The pictures should be self explanatory. We’d like to know as much as possible about this creature. If our dog sniffed it would she get stung or pinched? It looks diabolical.
Shaken in California
Los Angeles, CA

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Shaken,
Now that you know this is a Potato Bug or a Jerusalem Cricket, you will be able to find way more information posted online than you have time to read.  On our own web site, we have a specific section devoted to Potato Bugs, and we also have them in our Top Ten category as this is one of our most frequent identification requests from the American Southwest.  Though they can bite, Potato Bugs are harmless.

Pimpla Instigator?
Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 4:03 PM
We found 5 or 6 of these guys in our house over the past 24 hours. It’s a 6 legged insect with wings and a longish ‘stinger’ tail. I took a picture and found it to have very large ‘eyes’ and long antennae. We’re wondering if this bug is common (we’ve never seen it before) and if we should be worried about it with our pets? Any help would be appreciated!
Jason
Northern Ontario, Canada

Ichneumon, probably subfamily Pimplinae

Ichneumon, probably subfamily Pimplinae

Hi Jason,
While we cannot say for sure that this is Pimpla instigator, we are fairly confident that it is an Ichneumon in the Subfamily Pimplinae. BugGuide does not provide much information on this subfamily, but Ichneumons are parasitic on insects and other arthropods, and will not harm humans or their pets.

South FL: Wasp-ish w/ proboscis, Black, Red, White Spots
Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 10:17 PM
I just came across your website the other day and low and behold I head out to garden this afternoon and see this little guy in my backyard! I’ve lived in West Broward (South Florida) all my life and never seen one like this…
It was lying on my pool deck and seems to be on his (or hers) last limbs. :( I placed the little guy on a plant after I took these pics.
It has two pairs of wings (which is reminiscent of a wasp, but it also has a proboscis, and very, very long antennae and legs.
What is this South Florida creature? Is it even from here?
Sunny South Florida
South Florida, West Broward County

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Hi Sunny,
You have found an Assassin Bug and we believe it is a Milkweed Assassin Bug, Zelus longipes. Assassin Bugs are predators, and though most species do not bite humans unprovoked, if they are carelessly handled, they can deliver a painful bite.  The Milkweed Assassin Bug is a local species for your location.