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

Subject: What is this bug??
Location: San Angelo, Texas
November 28, 2014 11:54 pm
I live in West Texas, and this little guy was making a HORRIFICALLY loud continuous chirping sound for hours until we found him. Can you identify it for us?
Signature: Delilah

Thermometer Cricket

Thermometer Cricket

Dear Delilah,
Though you letter is not clear about the specific location, we are speculating that based on the information you provided that this Snowy Tree Cricket was found inside the home, hence the rigorous and lengthy search.  Snowy Tree Crickets are found in much of North America.  Snowy Tree Crickets are also known as Thermometer Crickets.  Charles Hogue, in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin writes that you can tell the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit “if one counts the number of chirps in 13 seconds and adds 40.”  According to BugGuide:  “These are the crickets you hear in movies and on TV when they want to show that it’s out in nature and very quiet.”  Lowering the thermostat will slow the chirping.

Bea Oliver, Amy Gosch, Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Monarch Migration
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 28, 2014 9:48 pm
Hello, this isn’t a usual inquiry in that I’m quite sure that these are Monarch Butterflies.
I’ve never been able to photograph one before, but today they were all over the yard. I’ve often seen them fly past our yard, usually quite high above the ground during migration times, but today many stopped to drink from our newly-watered lawn. It was incredible.
I haven’t seen so many Monarchs since I was six years old, in Illinois, and clouds of Monarchs dashed south ahead of a severe cold front.
So beautiful!
Here is a link to recent “clouds” of Monarchs in the news: http://goodnature.nathab.com/are-they-clouds-of-monarchs-mysterious-unidentifiable-blobs-spotted-by-radar-over-the-midwest/
Thank you and best wishes.
Signature: Ellen

Monarch

Monarch

Hi Ellen,

There has been much talk lately of diminishing populations of Monarch butterflies, and this year we observed many more Monarchs in our garden than we have ever seen in Los Angeles.  It seems populations might be increasing across the country.  Thanks for this newsworthy posting.  It must have been a spectacular sight.  We took a bit of creative license with our most recent Bug of the Month posting of a pair of mating Wheel Bugs by designating their month as Halloween, which frees us up for a November Bug of the Month, and your submission is an excellent choice.

Monarch

Monarch

Subject: Monarch Migration, Part 2
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 30, 2014 2:04 pm
Hello, and thank you so much for your reply.
I’m sending another few photos of the Monarchs in our yard, and an additional link to the Fall of 2014 migration news. This link adds up-to-date migration news and photos as they are reported. The great news is that observers are currently seeing a large migration.
Sending highest regards.
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/News.html
Signature: Ellen

Male Monarch

Male Monarch

Hi again Ellen,
The image of the male Monarch in flight (notice those scent patches on his lower wings) is a nice addition to the images you sent earlier.  Thanks for the additional link.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Don’t Lose Your Head on Halloween
Subject: Wheel bugs mating
Location: Charlottesville VA
October 29, 2014 1:34 pm
Hi – my daughter found these two (very slowly) making their way across the sidewalk. I checked your site right away and was expecting to spend some time trying to narrow down what they could be. I was happy to find that this was one of the featured bugs on the front page of the website. Thank you for that! Not sure if you needed any more pictures of them mating, but here are a few my daughter took with my phone.
Signature: Hendersons

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Hendersons,
Your study of mating Wheel Bugs is a tangle of limbs that would make a novice bug watcher suspect a sighting of some prehistoric, mutated creature.  This is a Perfect Halloween Feature, so we are making it the Bug of the Month for November 2014 and posting it early.  We wish you had a camera angle that could distinguish actual mating with mere coupling.

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

That’s terrific! My daughter will be ecstatic. Here’s another picture, but I’m not sure it gives you anything more to see. We were afraid to get too close, not knowing anything about them!
Thank you so much for your response. There will be a happy kid here after school today when she hears about the Bug of the Month.
Take care and keep up the good work!
Jennifer Henderson

Hi Jennifer,
We try to keep a kid friendly site, though we do write for adults.  We like making kids happy.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Squash Bug family?
Location: Bucerias, MX
September 30, 2014 2:11 pm
I’ve spent several hours online doing my due diligence before asking for help. Help!
Signature: Freda

Flag Footed Bug from Mexico

Flag Footed Bug from Mexico

Dear Freda,
This magnificent insect is a Flag Footed Bug,
Anisocelis flavolineata, and it is in the same family as the Squash Bugs, Coreidae.  Here is an image of a Flag Footed Bug on iNaturalist.  Your image is quite lovely, which is why we have decided to feature it as the Bug of the Month for October, 2014.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: So unusual
Location: Central PA
August 30, 2014 11:04 am
I have never seen this before but such unusual color and pattern. Quite lovely.
Taken 8-29-14 in Central, PA not far from a lake in early afternoon.
It was about 3 inches long.
Signature: Abby

Hooded Owlet Caterpillar

Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Abby,
This is a Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Cucullia, and after browsing through the species represented on BugGuide, we believe the closest match is to Cucullia omissa, which according to BugGuide goes by the common names Omitted Cucullia or Alberta Falconer.  This image from BugGuide depicts an individual with coloration that matches the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars in your image, though other examples indicate the coloration of the caterpillar may be variable.  Another strong possibility is the Gray Hooded Owlet, Cucullia florea, and there are several images on BugGuide with a similar color pattern including this one from Maine and this one from New Hampshire.  It might even be a Goldenrod Hooded Owlet, Cucullia asteroides, based on the coloration of this individual from BugGuide.  There are also some individuals pictured on BugGuide that look like your caterpillars that are not identified to the species level.  The genus as a whole is described on BugGuide as:  “Adult: mostly drab gray moths with some fine black streaking; forewing long and narrow; tuft of hairs projecting from thorax forms a large pointed hood over the head, giving adults a streamlined “aerodynamic” appearance (a distinctive feature).  Larva: usually smooth (hairless) and very colorful, with mixed patterns of spots, stripes, and/or patches of mostly yellow, red, green, blue, and black – the range of variation between species is too complex to describe in general terms.”  BugGuide also notes:  “larvae feed on flowers of composite plants (family Asteraceae) and leaves of several trees – varies according to species,” and the individuals in your images appear to be feeding on a plant in the Asteraceae family.  Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars are among the most beautiful caterpillars we have represented on our site, and for that reason we have selected your submission as our Bug of the Month for September 2014.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large black beetle
Location: East Coast of Virginia
July 31, 2014 1:13 am
We had this beetle stuck in our air duct system. It was 2-21/2 inches long We live in temperate zone. Our home in on creek with marsh and trees. Temperatures are in 80-90’s with hug humidity.
Signature: Jennifer in Virginia

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

Dear Jennifer,
Hot, humid summer days in the eastern portion of North America is peak beetle sighting season, and that is the time large Scarab Beetles like your Triceratops Beetle are active.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide and according to BugGuide‘s information page, the Triceratops Beetle is:  “Black, distinctly flattened, both sexes with three prominent horns on head. Elytra deeply striated. … Both genders have horns. This is unusual among horned scarabs.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Food:  Adults of this genus will take fruit and meat in captivity. One sources says adults eat other insects.
Life Cycle:  Adults come to lights. Larvae feed in rotten logs, reported, in particular, from dead oaks. Presumably, males (?) use horns to defend breeding sites. Lifespan of adults is reported to be quite long (up to two years) in captivity. Reported to have structures for sound production (stridulation) (2). Stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, Durham, NC 11 July 2007).  Larvae and adults are also “carnivorous” and will – if not preferentially – feed on grubs & pupae of other scarabs (incl. D. tityus).”

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination