Subject: Identifying
Location: Edmonds, WA
December 13, 2014 12:19 pm
Dearest Bugman,
I have lived in western Washington for 43 years. I have never seen this bug before. It was caught in a spiderweb and already dead. I have kept it in a plastic container since late summer DYING to know what it is. Can you help please?
Thanks so much,
Signature: Catherine

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

Dear Catherine,
This impressive female Wood Wasp or Horntail might be
Urocerus albicornis, which you can find pictured on BugGuide.  Though the antennae are missing, and we cannot say for certain that your individual had white antennae while living, and though the white “cheeks” are not apparent in your image, the distinctively striped legs are nicely illustrated, and that feature helped us to narrow the identification possibilities.

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

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Subject: Xmas Jewel

Location: Queensland, Australia.
December 14, 2014 3:36 pm
Merry Xmas guys. My first encounter at my place today with this Variable Jewel Beetle – Temognatha variabilis.
Displaying the true Aussie spirit with its green and gold colours these guys only appear around Xmas and can vary from yellow to deep red. Thanks for another great year of bugs, hope the next one is even better.
Signature: aussitrev

Variable Jewel Beetle

Variable Jewel Beetle

Happy Holidays Trevor,
We have received several beautiful related individuals in the genus
Temognatha in the past, but this is the first Variable Jewel Beetle of which we are aware in our archives.  There might be a long lost unidentified image somewhere in our extensive archive which will top 20,000 unique posts in early 2015.  As always, your lovely images and interesting information are greatly appreciated.

Variable Jewel Beetle

Variable Jewel Beetle

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Subject: Spider
Location: Shanksville, PA
December 14, 2014 6:57 am
Do you know what kind of spider this is?
Signature: Pat Hockenberry

Shamrock Orbweaver

Shamrock Orbweaver

Dear Pat,
We believe this Orbweaver is a Shamrock Orbweaver,
Araneus trifolium, a highly variable species that according to BugGuide:  “occurs in a variety of colors.”  This individual from BugGuide looks very much like your individual.  Orbweavers, though large and brightly colored, are considered harmless.  They are docile and rarely bite humans.

Thank you so much.  This is definitely our individual.
Pat Hockenberry

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Subject: Large grey moth
Location: Gawler, SA
December 13, 2014 1:06 pm
Hi,
I found this large grey moth sitting on the platform of a train station near Adelaide. I thought it was the giant wood moth but according to what I read this does not occur in South Australia?
Thanks,
Signature: Anne-Marie

Giant Wood Moth we presume

Giant Wood Moth we presume

Dear Anne-Marie,
We agree that this appears to be a Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, based on images posted to Butterfly House where it states:  “The adult moths have a variable vague pattern of light and dark grey or brown on the wings, including a darker spot near the middle of each forewing. The forewings each have a sinusoidal inner margin, and the hindwings a convex inner margin. The moths are very large. The females are larger than the males, and have a wingspan up to 23 cms.  The species occurs over Queensland and New South Wales.”  The map on Csiro supports that range information, and states “Not verified” regarding South Australia sightings.  Perhaps global warming and other climate changes are resulting in a natural range expansion.  It is also possible that this might be another member of the genus that has a greater range.  We are curious if our readership has an opinion on this matter.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your reply. I am also curious whether your readers will be able to shed some light on the issue. In any case I felt privileged to have been able to see it, as it was the largest moth I have ever seen!
Thanks, Anne-Marie

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Subject: identification of 2 caterpillars.

Location: Bangalore , Karnataka, INDIA
December 12, 2014 2:11 am
Dear sir,
I like to photograph nature ,in particular flora fauna around our campus,making it useful for our Bioscience faculty to use it for teaching the students in an excited way.
While doing so i came across 2 caterpillars with strange textures:
1. one had a greyish blue texture with ‘eye like’ spots at regular intervals running right from its snout like mouth till its tail in two parallel lines on the top of its body.
The mouth underneath revealed tooth like structures.This was revealed when it wanted to sense its way forward with its front end extended like a snout of a mouse. It also had a stinger at the end ,but more like a tail.
The area in which it was discovered had bushes of cactii,Aster flowers,Pine tree plants and the general wlid growth of weeds.
2.Second one i will upload in my next mail.
One important thing – These pictures from India – I hope you will be able to accommodate and identify. I am mentioning this because the 2/3 sites where I tried ,INDIA is not on the list of areas to be covered.
Kindly let me know.It will excite the Boys!!
Thanking you.
Signature: Nanda Gopal

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Nanda,
This is a Hornworm, and we believe it might be the Caterpillar of the Chitral Elephant Hawkmoth, Deilephila rivularis, or a closely related species in the genus.  Our first clue is this posting of the Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar on Totally Nailed It, which led us to a nice matching caterpillar image on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic.  Also on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic site, Caterpillars of  Deilephila elpenor look nearly identical.

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for responding and thank you also for the wealth of
information you have supplied along with it.
I also have a small video clip of the movement of the Elephant
Hawkmoth Caterpillar.If it is of importance i can upload it.But
then,how do i do it.?
Please guide.
Thank you once again.

Thanks for the video offer Nanda, but we are not currently featuring videos on our site.  Our tiny staff resizes, crops and formats all imagery for the site, hopefully improving the quality of the images sent to us, and we do not have the time to “edit” video footage.

 

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Subject: I know it’s not a bird or a plane :D
Location: Mumbai, India
December 12, 2014 10:55 am
But what is it? It was executing some low-to-the-floor flying manoeuvres and then settled down on my kitchen wall. Is it a wasp of some sort? What sort? Oh, also, my cats – normally enthusiastic bug serial killers won’t go near it. This is a good thing looking at that sting, but is is a clue?
Signature: – Lenny

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Lenny,
This beautiful insect is a Crane Fly, and we believe it probably derives some protection by mimicking the appearance of a stinging wasp.  India Nature Watch pictures an individual identified as
 Pselliophora laeta that looks just like your individual.

Sneaky! :) Thanks so much.

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