Desert Spider Beetle or Black Bladder-Bodied Meloid
June 20, 2010
I found some of these beetles in my garden and looked them up to see what they were. They are very pretty, however, I really need to know if they are going to do any damage to either my house our my plants. Thank you for your information.
Living in New Mexico
Central New Mexico

Desert Spider Beetle

Dear Denizen of New Mexico,
Your identification is correct.  this is a Desert Spider Beetle or Black Bladder Bodied Meloid, Cysteodemus wislizeni, which is profiled on BugGuide.  Adult Blister Beetles feed on plants, but we don’t know the preferred plant that this species prefers to feed upon.  The Sam Wells Entomology page does not indicate the food preferences.  We believe they probably feed on some desert annual species.  They will not harm your home.  Blister Beetles, of which the Desert Spider Beetle is one, are capable of causing a skin reaction if they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Yellow and Black Caterpillar
June 19, 2010
I took pictures of this in July 2009 behind my apartments at the powerlines. I am rather new to macro photography and find bugs a interesting subject.
I have been unable to identify this one. He has sparse hair as you can see in 3rd picture and is a yellow/orange and black stripped.
There was literally thousands of them among the plants of various types.
Keith98058
Renton, Washington

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Hi Keith,
These are Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars, Tyria jacobaeae, a European species that according to BugGuide was:  “Introduced from Europe as a control for introduced weedy Ragwort, the host plant for its caterpillars, which is toxic to livestock.
”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Larvae feed on Senecio jacobaea. HOSTS database also lists Salt-marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata), Hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale), Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus).

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

The Weed Species website pictures Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, and it looks like the plant your caterpillar specimens are feeding upon.

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars

Thank you so much for the reply, I really do appreciate the in-depth answer.  It never ceases to amaze me all of the non native species that were introduced to control one problem or another.
Keith

no-see-ums
June 20, 2010
Are there ANY pics or drawings of no-see-ums, to help me ID the miniscule critter I caught? (approx. size = the comma (,) or a 0.5mm pencil tip) It’s greenish, w/black dots @ head, mid, & rear. Distorted features – Hairy (or has
centipede legs). “Antenae” front and rear. Two jumping legs? Too small to
photograph. Hope the drawing helps!
Billy Wade
Scotch Tape (DUH!) Houston, Texas

Drawing of a Springtail perhaps

Hi Billy,
We get the biggest thrill out of some letters, and your letter is one of those.  We actually believe this is not a No-See-Um, but a Springtail.  You can compare your drawing to a No-See-Um image at the Great Salt Lake Marina website , and to this drawing of a Springtail by Gina Mikel commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  We believe you may agree that you drew a Springtail which is thought to be the most common arthropod on the planet.  Tom Pelletier of the Curious Nature website writes:  “It has been estimated that there are as many as 3 trillion springtails in a single acre of temperate forest.

P.S.  If we do a 2010 Calendar, we would like to use your image and letter.

Probably Springtail

“Billy Wade and the Springtails” – Live, One Night Only!
July 5, 2010
Dear Daniel,
I’m thrilled you’re thrilled! Yes; you may use my comments, letters, drawings, and pictures,
in any manner you see fit. And I’ll be watching and waiting for you to put that calendar out.
I think the “WTB” website is the greatest, and have told darn near everyone in Houston to
check it out! When I looked up springtails on WTB, I found, on page three, a picture from
Suzanne, posted: 09 October 2005, that is the spitting image of the critter that I drew up.
I compared the attached pictures. And?… I  HAVE  SPRINGTAILS! I can feel them hitting
my legs right now under my desk! Thank you, Tom Pelletier, for that “golden nugget” of
information, “..estimates of, as many as 3 trillion springtails per acre of temperate forest.”
Are you kidding me? The Houston, Texas area commonly has: 90 degree + temperatures,
90% + chance of rain, 90% + humidity, and, 90 + (thousand?) acres of temperate forests.
Multiplying numbers that big makes me feel very insignificant and…itchy!
Bug Update:
Since visiting WTB.com, I haven’t swatted, stomped, or squashed any of the bugs
that are now on or in: Tape, jars, lids, shot glasses, bags, caps, cups, plates, bowls,
counters, tables, desks, and, in the freezer! I’m hooked! My girlfriend HATES it, and
won’t eat here anymore! I should get her something nice. Maybe a calendar….
“New Bugger”
Billy Wade

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pseudoscorprion vs dipteran
June 22, 2010
I discovered these two guys going at on my bathroom counter while brushing my teeth. The fly kept taking off with the psuedoscorpion attached, but not getting very far and landing back on the counter. They did this a few times and every time they landed I took another photo. I never witnessed the endgame. My money’s on the fly ultimately escaping with 5 legs.
Tony
Greenwood IN

Phoresy with Pseudoscorpion and Fly

Hi Tony,
The first time we received an image of a Pseudoscorpion attached to the antennae of a Cerambycid Beetle, we were in awe at the ambitiousness of the tiny Pseudoscorpion’s hunting prowess, but Eric Eaton informed us that this was Phoresy in action.  Since then, we have received numerous Phoresy images.  Some creatures like Pseudoscorpions and Mites use other insects, especially winged ones, for transportation purposes.  We believe that is what is going on in this series of photos.  We will try to get an ID on your fly.

Phoresy: Pseudoscorpion attempts to fly with Fly

Costa Rican Butterflies
June 22, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I recently went on an educational trip to Costa Rica. While there, I saw many different species of butterflies but, now that i’m home, i haven’t been able to figure out the species or even what type of butterflies i had seen. This is a major issue considering the fact that i now must do a project on the different invertebrates i saw while there! The first one was spotted in my shower at a hotel in Arenal. It was hanging from the ceiling and the tear drop shaped “tails” were slightly metalic. I would estimate that it was around 3-4 inches across. The second, was spotted in Tortuguero. it was very small, only about 1.5 inches across and flew rather quickly. And the third we saw in a Butterfly garden. There were several that kept landing on us and they were about… 2 inches across. Thanks so much for your help!
Amanda K.
Costa Rica (Arenal, Tortuguero)

Cattleheart Butterfly

Ed. Note:
We did not respond a second time to Amanda after identifying her Eyetail Moth, but we wanted to post her photo of a Cattleheart Butterfly in the genus Paredes as well.  Cattlehearts are in the Swallowtail family and they frequently appear in butterfly pavilions.  This might not even be a species native to Costa Rica.  It resembles the drawing of the Green Celled Cattleheart, Paredes childrenae, that can be found on the Costa Rica Butterflies Fold-Out Pocket Field Guide webpage.

Karl provides some information
Hi Daniel and Amanda:
It is indeed a Cattleheart in the genus Parides and there are several candidate species that are native to Costa Rica. The Butterflies of America site has an excellent selection of photos of the genus, including several that look very close but none that are an exact match. It could be a Wedge-spotted Cattleheart (Parides panares lycimenes) but I think it is more likely in the P. eurimedes group (P. eurimedes; P. e. mylotes; P. e. mycale; P. mylotes; P. arcas). There seems to be some taxonomic uncertainty here as various combinations of these names (and more) are variously given as species, subspecies or synonyms. It could be any of these if they are distinct, or perhaps a hybrid. The Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) site has a near perfect match that it refers to as P. mylotes. Possible common names include True, Eurimedes or Mylotes Cattleheart. Regards.  Karl

Costa Rican Butterflies
June 22, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I recently went on an educational trip to Costa Rica. While there, I saw many different species of butterflies but, now that i’m home, i haven’t been able to figure out the species or even what type of butterflies i had seen. This is a major issue considering the fact that i now must do a project on the different invertebrates i saw while there! The first one was spotted in my shower at a hotel in Arenal. It was hanging from the ceiling and the tear drop shaped “tails” were slightly metalic. I would estimate that it was around 3-4 inches across. The second, was spotted in Tortuguero. it was very small, only about 1.5 inches across and flew rather quickly. And the third we saw in a Butterfly garden. There were several that kept landing on us and they were about… 2 inches across. Thanks so much for your help!
Amanda K.
Costa Rica (Arenal, Tortuguero)

Eyetail Moth

Hi Amanda,
We have a bit of an ethical problem doing too many identifications for your project, but we will assist with your first image.  Nothus lunus, the Eyetail Moth in the family Sematuridae, is frequently mistaken for a butterfly.  We posted a photo of a male Eyetail Moth from Costa Rica last October, and your specimen is a female.  The female is characterized by the white stripes on her wings.  The excellent Hétérocères de Guyane Française website has a great comparison image of the male and female Eyetail Moth.

WOW great thanks so much! that litterally has been keeping me up at night because it was a beautiful moth! :) and i totally understand the whole ethics thing! 😉 these were just the ones i was confused on and even this one ID will really make me feel better about the project! thanks again for the help!
Amanda

Actually Amanda, we also identified and posted your photo of a Cattleheart Butterfly in the genus Paredes.