From the monthly archives: "November 2005"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help ASAP! Spider for School Project
Dear Bugman,
We love your site! Please help us identify this spider. My 6 year old daughter needs to write a paper on a spider this week and she decided to use this spider that has been in our backyard in Carlsbad, CA for about a month. After looking at your website, we think it is some kind of an orb weaver. What can you tell us. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Tamara,
We hope your daughter gets extra credit for getting her Silver Argiope, Argiope argentata, posted online. This is a female and the ziz-zag mark in her web is called a stabilimentum, leading to the nickname Writing Spider. It is one of the Orb Weavers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What Moth is this?
This is a newly emerged moth according to another entry I saw on your website, but which one? I saw him on the ground under a live oak tree in our yard outside Walnut Springs, TX.
Laureen Dozier

Hi Laureen,
We thought this newly emerged Saturnid might be a Buck Moth and Eric Eaton confirmed our suspicions. Here is what he said: “Looks like one of the buck moths in the genus Hemileuca, but again, I am no moth expert. The red “tail” is pretty diagnostic, though. It was found in late autumn, right? Eric”

After I saw the photo posted on the Whats That Bug? website I thought maybe the other two would be clearer. All these were taken in Bosque County, TX on 11-26-05. A bit of web surfing leads me to think this may be Grote’s Buckmoth. Especially since the antennae are so delicately & beautifully formed! I just learned that moths smell with their antennae-thanks for whetting my curiosity appetite.
Laureen Dozier

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mantid mating the killing mate
Thought you would like these photos for your sight. After 12 hours of constant copulation, the female bit off the males head, phallus, and ate him from the neck down. I have the entire sequence, but will send only 2 or three. These were taken with a Nikkon Cool Pix macro camera in sept 05
Ron Rogers

Hi Ron,
Sadly only one of your images arrived. We are very eager to get the whole image. Could you please resend them. This sex organ close-up is awesome.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

katydid diet
Hi Bugman,
My husband and I have been adopted by what I believe is a katydid (photos below). S/he’s missing a back leg but otherwise seems okay and has been living on our patio for the past two days. I’ve been feeding our new friend romaine and “spring mix” lettuces, which s/he consumes with great enthusiasm. Still, I am wondering what his/her native diet might be … There are no plants on our patio, and I would like to feed this elegant insect whatever food to which s/he is accustomed. Also, s/he spends the night inside of a little, open-ended box I provided — crawling inside of it on her/his own shortly after sunset, albeit *very* slowly, as though affected by the cooler evening temperatures… So, also, if you have information regarding this creature’s temperature requirements for optimal metabolism, I would appreciate it. This may sound odd, but we’re becoming fond of our little friend and would like to keep it happy and healthy for as long as it chooses to stay with us.
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving,
Kelly Neill
San Diego, CA (beach area)

Hi Kelly,
Yours is the second rescue letter we are posting today. This is a Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia mexicana. Your specimen looks like a female. The diet you are supplying is fine. Katydids eat foliage from many trees and shrubs. In our Mt. Washington garden, they are plentiful now and have a fondness for chewing rose petals and buds, which doesn’t make us happy. We don’t kill them as we love Katydids, but we shoo them off of our rose bushes with a hose. Usually they fly into the pine trees and return to the roses the next day. Temperature wise, they will survive the cooler winter temperatures, but they have a life expectancy of less than a year. Good luck with your new pet.

Thanks, Daniel, for your email and the information you provided. Our little lady fled the coup (patio) this afternoon… I now know she’s a she because I researched Scudderia Mexicana this morning after seeing an online photo named as such which resembled her, and then discovering that she has an ovipositer. Still, you are the only resource I’ve found insofar as her diet is concerned, let alone her lifespan… Now I’ll know what I need to know should another Scudderia happen along. I was thrilled to find your site. My husband and I moved back to California last month after spending almost a year in southwest Florida, where exotic little animals of every sort are abundant — and where we both rather unexpectedly became interested in interesting-looking bugs. I took lots of photos there of you-name-it moths, beetles, and wasps (“you-name-it” because I still have *no* specific idea of what some of these creatures were), but dropped the hobby after returning to California. I thought I’d never have a noteworthy encounter with a bug out here (over-familiarity making for a lack of appreciation), until this katydid showed up. I now hope to discover that which I previously ignored as a California native. Anyway, my husband and I very much appreciate what you’re doing with Thanks for sharing everyone’s photos, your gifts and your wisdom. You have two new fans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I thought this might be a cricket-it certainly sounds like one. It was on the wall outside the bathroom door. The wings are so fantastic & I couldn’t find any photos quite like this, so I’d appreciate help on this one too. Thanks! Just outside of Walnut Springs, TX.
Laureen Dozier

Hi Laureen,
What a gorgeous photo. It is our favorite in a long time. It depicts a Snowy Tree Cricket, Oecanthus fultoni, singing away. This cricket is also known as a Thermometer Cricket as it is possible to tell the temperature according to the number of chirps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination