From the monthly archives: "August 2006"

Oh Bugman, ever since I found you, you’re the first one I think of when I discover somethin new !
Gosh, ever since I moved to a more "private" place (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia), I’m realizing that it’s not so "private". Well, with all the visitors and all. I’ve attached two pictures of an insect I’ve never seen. It moved rapidly and jerky when approached and avoided me at all costs. In my attempt to make him/her (let’s just say "it" to expedite things) "famous" by photographing it, it’s leg was snagged by a web thereby alerting the spider (which I’ve never witnessed). In my haste and attempt to deter a homicide, I spooked the spider away. Okay … so it was so I could have my "professional" photo displayed on your site. In any event, after apparently being extremely annoyed with me, it just flew away. Why did it wait so long before saying, "enough is enough"? Most importantly, what the heck is it?

Dear Anonymous,
Your photo of an American Carrion Beetle is blurry, but we don’t care because we love your letter. Carrion Beetles eat rotting flesh, so perhaps there was a dead thing nearby.

Sorry to bother you, I found an interesting bug!
Ok, it’s interesting to me. I’m in Northern Virginia, and I found this shiny green guy on the windowsill of my son’s room. I searched your site, but couldn’t find anyone like him, I’m sure it’s just a lack of looking in the right place. Anyhow, here are some pictures. Please be assured that we had nothing to do with its demise, I only observe, and I release anyone who gets trapped, but sometimes I don’t find them in time. 🙁 You can see by the other pictures on my house critters page that I don’t harm anything, I appreciate the symbiosis. I didn’t put anything in the pictures for a scale reference, I realize now, but curled up like it is, it’s about the same size as my pinky nail, fairly small. Anyhow, many thanks if you have the time to let me know what it is!

Hi Bri,
This pretty little creature is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae. We have several photos on our wasp pages. In this rigor mortis pose, it rather reminds us of the Mickey’s Malt Liquor mascot.

are these related?
I sent pictures earlier this year of a pair of mating grapevine beetles and was thrilled to see them on your site. I’ve never seen them before in this area (Shore of Georgian Bay, Ontario), but shortly after that my son sent me an email saying they had one flying around their back porch light. Earlier in the summer I scared up this large moth while hosing down my front porch, and got this picture (aren’t digital cameras great?). Just this morning I went out on my back deck and found this huge caterpillar on my deck. I have been on your site and think that the caterpillar may be an Io moth caterpillar? Is this correct and I was wondering if these two bugs(the moth and the caterpillar) are related? Your site is very informative and educational and the pictures are incredible—digital cameras have made photographers of us all. The person who states she will not visit your site again IS way too sensitive and needs to chill out—and she is definitely the one losing out on a good thing. Keep up the incredible work—it gives those of us who are fascinated with our cameras and taking pictures of wildlife, both large and miniature, an outlet to show off our stuff. Thanks again

Hi Gloria,
Nice to hear from you again. We love repeat correspondance. Your caterpillar is an Io Moth, and it is an excellent shot, but we have just prepared another Io Moth Caterpillar for posting today. Your moth is a Blinded Sphinx, Paonias excaecatus, and it is a different family that the Io. Thank you also for your kind words regarding our volatile situation.

Moth in Houston, TX
Hello, Bugman.
Attached are two pictures of a moth we found in our backyard in Katy, TX (west of Houston). Can you tell me what kind of moth it is and a little bit about it? Thanks!
Jennifer Watson

Hi Jennifer,
We would be happy to tell you a bit about your female Io Moth, Automeris io. The male can be recognized by his yellow upper wings while the female’s are brown. This is a Saturnid or Giant Silk Moth. They do not feed as adults, but have ravenous caterpillars. We have just received several caterpillar photos and posted one.

spider eating robberfly
I was walking by one of my flower beds and happened to see this spider grab a Robber Fly. I was wondering what kind of spider it is. I only got the one picture before the spider ran away dragging his meal along with him. I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks…..
Marsha Denney, SW. Missouri

Hi Marsha,
This is a Jumping Spider in the genus Phidippus. It might be Phidippus apacheanus, a female.

Zeleus Longpipes enjoys a bee snack!
Dear WTB- I was outside gardening (with my camera- ha ha) and discovered this Milkweek Assassin Bug enjoying a late breakfast! He must have surprised the bee by hiding underneath the leaf of the Passion Flower Vine. Thought you might like the picture!
Luzie Benavides
Katy, Texas

Hi Luzie,
Thanks for sending in your great Food Chain image. If we ever tried gardening with a camera, we wouldn’t get much gardening done.