Aphid, we believe

Aphid, we believe

Subject: Just found these on my medical cannabis.
Location: Maine
October 14, 2014 7:19 pm
Hey bug man. Just found these crawling on the pots of my cannabis plants. Look like mites. Larger ones have two pronounced “tails”. You can see one of these tails in the photo below.
I am hoping to get an answer as I haven’t been able to find much online.
Thanks so much for your time.
Signature: Conor

Dear Conor,
We believe this is an Aphid, and you mentioned “larger ones” in your request which means there are also smaller ones.  Aphids reproduce parthenogenically without fertilization, with females giving live birth to offspring, so there are often various sizes of Aphids found together.  Young are nymphs that go through simple metamorphosis, so except for size, different ages look quite similar.  We found much literature online regarding Aphids and the culture of Marijuana, including this page on the I Love Growing Marijuana site.
  Aphids plague many gardeners of roses and plants other than marijuana, and there are many predators of Aphids that are helpful for people who do organic gardening.  Try purchasing Lady Beetles or Lacewings to eat the Aphids.

Emily Camille, Kathleen Travis Perin liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Bess Beetle

Bess Beetle

Subject: Beetle Variant
Location: Reston, VA
October 14, 2014 11:27 am
Hello! I have enjoyed several of your posts helping to identify bugs. A friend of mine found this beetle in in October in her garden, Northern Virginia. She raises Monarchs and wants to find out if this one is one of the caterpillar hunters – or other threat to butterfly life. It does not appear to be a ‘hunter’ and nor does it seem to match the photos I saw of the plain ground beetles. Look at the gold/orange coloring on legs and antennae. It also doesn’t seem to have the extended head of a ‘big head ground beetle’. We would like to know what variety it is and if it is friend or foe to our butterfly friends. Thank you so much!
Signature: many thanks, L Phillips

Dear L. Phillips,
Tell your friend this Bess Beetle in the genus
Odontotaenius whose identity we verified on BugGuide, is no threat to the Monarchs.  Caterpillar Hunters like the Fiery Searcher are very different looking.  Members of the Bess Beetle Passalidae care for their young and they feed on rotting wood.  According to BugGuide:  “Lifestyle of this family is unique for beetles: live in small colonies where larvae are cared for by adults of both sexes. Long life cycle, apparently more than one year. Larvae eat a rotting wood pre-chewed by adults. (Some references state larvae eat feces of adults as well.) Larvae and adults also cannibalize injured larvae.  Adults reported to fly very seldom, however they are capable of flight, contrary to statements in some sources. Adults are found at lights on occasion. They may disperse by walking, but have been observed flying under lights (image), and they are sometimes taken in light traps (MacGown and MacGown, 1996). A nuptial flight has been observed in Mississippi, with a group of 12-15 individuals flying at dusk, and one pair even mating in flight (MacGown and MacGown, 1996). Mating is also observed in the tunnels ….  Both adults and larvae stridulate, and this is said to serve as communication between them. Adults also stridulate when picked up, and especially, blown on. Adults stridulate by rubbing abdomen against the wings. Larvae stridulate with reduced third pair of legs–these scratch against other legs.”  Our editorial staff spent many family holidays in Reston in the early 1970s.

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Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Subject: Dinosaur like bug
Location: Columbus, Ohio
October 13, 2014 3:26 pm
This guy showed up around 5 pm on October 13 in Columbus, Ohio. It was tracking the camera and waving it’s legs at it. It was about 2″ long.
Signature: Lena

Dear Lena,
Whenever we get a subject line like yours, we immediately suspect the creature is a Wheel Bug and we are usually correct.

Jill Brinjak Setaro liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Ello Sphinx Caterpillar

Ello Sphinx Caterpillar

Subject: Caterpillar in San Diego
Location: San Diego
October 13, 2014 2:32 pm
I was out harvesting the last of our peppers when I heard something rustling through the leaves. I look for it expecting a lizard when I find this caterpillar moving across the ground at warp speed. I’ve seen a lot of caterpillars in our yard, but this is the first time I’ve seen one like this. I’m hoping someone can tell me what it is. Thxs!
Signature: Amit

Hi Amit,
This is an Ello Sphinx Caterpillar, and we confirmed the identification on the Sphingidae of the Americas website where it lists the food plants as:  “Larvae feed on papaya (Carica papaya) in the Caricaceae family and on Cnidoscolus angustidens and other plants in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) including poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), guava (Psidium species) in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and on also saffron plum (Bumelia angustifolia/Bumelia celastrina) in the Sapotaceae family. : EUPHORBIACEAE. Manilkara bahamensis has also been reported as a host as have Willow Bustic (Bumelia salicifolia) and Painted Leaf (Poinsettia heterophylla).”
  We are guessing you may have a nearby papaya tree, or perhaps a guava.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the identification!  Yes, we have a guava tree in our yard, which is loaded with fruit right now.
Great service your site provides!

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Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Subject: Spider info needed
Location: Satara, Maharashtra, India
October 13, 2014 12:48 am
We got this spider clicked at Satara, Maharashtra, India. Not sure what species and name of this Spider.
Size of this spider is about 6 – 8 mm.
Need details of this Spider please.
Signature: Chetan

Dear Chetan,
This is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, and like your individual, many members of this family have camouflage coloration that allows them to hide in flowers where they ambush pollinating insects.  We will attempt to identify the species for you.


Amy Gosch liked this post
Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Subject: What kind of insect is this?
Location: Valley center California
October 13, 2014 11:08 am
Hello I live in San Diego California and I seen this insect in my driveway it had a moist look to it I want to know if you are able to identify it.
Signature: Markel buie

Dear Markel buie,
We just finished posting another image of a Potato Bug from San Diego earlier today.