Currently viewing the tag: "bug love"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found this on my sisters doorstep
Location: Newport news va
April 24, 2016 8:13 am
I need help. My sister found this on her doorstep yesterday.
Signature: Help

Luna Moths

Luna Moths

Thanks for sending these great images of a pair of Luna Moths.  The male is the individual on the left with the more feathery antennae.  Like other Giant Silkmoths, Luna Moths do not feed as adults, and when a female emerges, she has only a few days to mate and lay eggs.  She releases pheromones, and the male is able to detect her presence, often from many miles away, because his antennae are sensory organs that can sense the pheromones. 

Luna Moths

Luna Moths

Thank you for your response.  I really do appreciate it.  Have a great day

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: More kissing bugs?
Location: Pennsylvania
April 20, 2016 11:11 am
Hi,
I sent a photo earlier today of a bug to see if it was a kissing bug. Here are a couple more photos. There are dozens of these guys all around my house. If you could help me identify them I would appreciate it. I’m terrified that they are deadly kissing bugs!
There are a bunch of these on the screens outside my house. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I have occasionally found them inside. Some are bigger without the red markings, but up too high so I can’t get a good photo. If it is a kissing bug, how worried should I be. And how should I get rid of them? Thanks!
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Michelle

Mating Boxelder Bugs

Mating Boxelder Bugs

Dear Michelle,
You have nothing to fear from these mating Eastern Boxelder Bugs.  They are harmless, though they can pose a considerable nuisance when they form large aggregations on exterior walls of homes.  They tend to favor walls with light colors and sunny exposures, exactly like those in your image.  You may or may not be amused that Eastern Boxelder Bugs are also known as Democrat Bugs because of the large aggregations they form.  Seems they are making a timely appearance with your Pennsylvania primary election occurring next week.

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate you getting back to me!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flies that love “docking”
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
April 6, 2016 4:54 pm
In the past two weeks or so (since mid-February), my apartment in Santa Barbara, CA has become home to these little flies (~3mm long) that seem to like to spend all their time docked posterior-posterior. Solo, they’re pretty active and prefer windows, mirrors, or just flying around roughly at head height; docked, they like walls and (especially) ceilings, and seem to spend 8–10 hours totally stationary—though when they do move, they do so as one, rather than separating first. They must go somewhere to hide overnight, because I only see them during the day. Also, unlike the fruit flies that sometimes invade my apartment, I’ve never figured out what these eat.
I’ve just never seen anything quite like this—in fact, for the first week or so, I thought it was a single long, skinny insect, and was very surprised the first time I saw that it was actually a pair. Maybe you can shed some light on what these are?
Signature: Curious in California

Probably Mating March Flies

Mating Minute Black Scavenger Flies

Dear Curious in California,
We believe these Dipterans are mating March Flies, but we really wish your image had higher resolution allowing us to see the details better.  March Flies in the family Bibionidae are sexually dimorphic, meaning there is a distinct visual difference between the sexes.  Males have much bigger heads and eyes than females, and the head in the upper Fly in your image is difficult to discern.  According to BugGuide, the species is found in Santa Barbara and BugGuide has an excellent image of a mating pair.  Of the family BugGuide notes:  “Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose ‘swarms’ and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber (
Plecia lay eggs on the soil surface). Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).”  Perhaps the most notoriously famous March Flies are the Love Bugs in the genus Plecia from the southeast, including Florida, that emerge by the millions and seem to be perpetually in flagrante delecto.  While we were much amused at your “docking” euphemism, since the insects in your image represent opposite sexes, the term is really not accurate.  A much better visual representation can be found in these mating Big Poplar Sphinxes.

Possibly March Fly

Minute Black Scavenger Fly

Thank you for the reply! I had in fact wondered whether they were love bugs (since I was able to guess what they were really up to), but the pictures I found online looked different enough to what I was seeing—and the stated range on Bibionidae also being larger than the 2–3mm of my “guests”—that I wasn’t sure. Unfortunately, the only camera I have access to is the one on my outdated iPhone, so those pictures are probably as high-resolution as I can get. In person, even under low magnification, I can’t quite tell whether their heads (which are both under 0.5mm) are different sizes. However, on the basis of descriptions like “The male and female attach themselves at the rear of the abdomen and remain that way at all times, even in flight” (from Wikipedia), which comports exactly with what I’m seeing, I’m satisfied that these are in fact Bibionidae. So, thank you again for resolving the mystery.

Update:  April 9, 2016
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, we agree that these are mating Minute Black Scavanger Flies in the family Scatopsidae, which is represented on BugGuide where it states:  “Larvae feed on decaying organic matter, such as detritus or excrement.”  Minute Black Scavenger Flies and March Flies are classified together in the infraorder Bibionomorpha.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some bug love
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
April 1, 2016 7:51 pm
Thought you might get a kick out of a very odd pairing discovered where I work. A male common Morpho (Morpho peleides) mating with a female atlas moth (Attacus atlas). Photographed at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, Arizona. I know it’s April Fools day but the pictures are not “photo shopped”. (For some reason the Commodors song “She’s a Brick House” keeps running through my head). Of course they are not genetically compatible but it’s fun to imagine what offspring would look like……
Signature: Butterfly wrangler

Morpho mating with Atlas Moth!!!

Morpho mating with Atlas Moth!!!

Dear Butterfly Wrangler,
We cannot imagine what would have spawned this Unnatural Selection.  Though it is not photoshopped, can you also state there was no human intervention involved?  Forgive us for being suspicious, but we are frequently targeted with pranks and hoaxes.

Unnatural Selection

Unnatural Selection

Lepidopterist Julian Donahue comments
Spring is in the air!

Interoffice Communication
Hey Max, I sent a couple of photos of the moth/Morpho pairing to “what’s that bug?” Web site . Their response is below.
If this wasn’t an elaborate April Fools joke would you like to respond to the email below to assure them the pairing was not manipulated?  (If this was a joke it was a good one!) If you would rather be anonymous and not email them I’ll understand. If you don’t mind answering them, I think you mentioned seeing a different pair of inter-species breeding on the same Palm. They may be interested in what those species were as well.
Let me know. 😊
Paula Swanson
Assistant Curator
Butterfly Wonderland

A second substantiation
Dear Daniel,
There was no manipulation in the Atlas-Morpho mating. It is actually the second time I have seen this. See attached photo from May 2015( which also has a second morpho trying to squeeze in). The only thing I did, was after the photos were taken I used my tweezers to gently move the wings to see if the genitals were actually in union, which they were. I have another photo of an Atlas mating with a Mormon, but I can’t find it. I will look for it when I get to work later.
Sincerely,
Max B. Shure
Butterfly Curator
Butterfly Wonderland

Documentation of another Morpho Butterfly and Atlas Moth pairing

Documentation of another Morpho Butterfly and Atlas Moth pairing

Thanks so much for the follow-up Max.  This is so fascinating.  We wonder if perhaps there is some similarity in the pheromones released by the two species.  Since they occur naturally on different continents, they would not normally interact with one another, but captivity in the Butterfly Wonderland has brought together two species that would never naturally interact with one another.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID of Locust?
Location: South Africa, Entabeni reserve, Limpopo
February 9, 2016 12:31 pm
Hi took these photos in South Africa February 2015 on the Entabeni reserve, Limpopo region but cannot find a name for them, can you help please.
Signature: Roger

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

Dear Roger,
We had to look through numerous images of Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers or Foam Grasshoppers from the family Pyrgomorphidae on iSpot before we found an image that appears to be the same species you encountered, however it is only identified as being a member of the family.  Bright aposomatic warning colors and patterns are characteristic of this family.  We found a similarly colored individual pictured on Midlands Conservancies Forum.  It is possible that this is a highly variable species and not all individuals have striped antennae and abdomens, or even the same color combination.

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify Grasshoppers
Location: Costa Rica cloud forest
February 2, 2016 9:32 am
Can you identify the mating grasshoppers please? I have asked several ‘experts’ in Costa Rica where I took the photo without success.
Taken at 4500 feet in cloud forest at the Bosque de Paz private reserve, 1 1/2 hours drive from San Jose. It lies between the National Parks of Juan Castro Blanco and Volcan Poas.
Thanks
Signature: Moira

Mating Grasshoppers

Mating Grasshoppers

Dear Moira,
We have not had any luck identifying what species you have documented.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination