From the monthly archives: "September 2006"

Some sort of ladybug?
Hi Bugman,
I’ve taken a look through your ladybug page, and was not able to find a match to the photo I’ve sent you. I imagine that this is some sort of ladybug. I’ve never seen a ladybug like this one before…the white on it is throwing me off. Sorry the photo isn’t very good. Thanks for any help you can give. I’ll keep looking through the beetle pages, and maybe I’ll find a match there.
Barrie, Ontario

Hi Yvonne,
It is nice to hear from you again. This is an Eye Spotted Ladybird Beetle, Anatis mali.

Lophocampa Maculata caterpillar
Hiya! I used your site to identify the caterpillars which are currently roaming over my area (heavily wooded area outside La Conner, in western Washington). Thought you might like a copy of my best pic. Cute little guys! I’m also trying to identify the spiders which are at the height of their seasonal activity. I think it might be a kind of wolf spider (I’m quite familiar with those, we have them everywhere…) since they are similar in size, general shape, “boxing gloves,” and behavior (no webs, running around, hiding under stuff). However, while wolf spiders are gray and kind of furry-looking, these have brown/black bodies, reddish-orange legs, and a smooth/shiny appearance. I haven’t been able to get a good pic of one yet, but I’ll send it along as soon as I have a good photo opportunity. Thanks for all your hard work, your site is the best!

Hi Erika,
Thanks for sending us your photo of a Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar. The spiders you describe sound like Wolf Spiders.

Whats this?
Hy, I am Don from Franklin, La, and I have a second year growth of Thompson White Seedless grape vines that have and still has this pocket of caterpillars, they start with a group of egg pockets cluster about the size of a quarter and grow to small caterpillars and eat away at the leaves, I sprayed with daconil and also use seven dust (which is better) than daconil. What is it and what is the best control? I also saw a leafhopper.

Hi Don,
These are Grapeleaf Skeletonizers, Harrisina americana. The caterpillars will eat the leaves to the veins. We don’t provide extermination advice.

Kiwi-like bug
My name is Matthew Frias, I am a 16 year old high school senior. I would like to ask for your help with identifying a strange bug. Today, I came across a strange looking bug that had a striking resemblance to the kiwi bird (well, to me at least) I have never seen this bug before in my life. I found this bug sitting on my nightstand in my room. It walks very slowly and has the ability to fly. The long apendage coming from its head seem like it is used to feed on sugar food (flowers perhaps?) I tested this by giving it a bit of sugar-water. It doesn’t seem to be dangerous since i’ve picked it up before. Also, the apendage coming out of its head seems to have two antenae attatched to it. They come out a little less than half-way from the face. I have attached a sample picture of the bug. If you need more samples I have other pictures at different angles. Yet I feel this is one of the best angles I could get with my camera. Thank you very much.
Matthew Frias,
Alhambra CA

Hi Matthew,
This is an Acorn Weevil in the genus Curculio. The California Acorn Weevil is Curculio uniformis, but we cannot quickly locate an image nor the range. That species is still our best bet.

pine needle looking insect
Okay, I’m stumped. Can you identify this most awesome example of evolution? This was on my screen one morning in southern New Hampshire. It is the exact size and shape of a couple of pine needles crossed. Cheers,

Hi Dan,
This master of mimicry is a Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata.

My Apex pet…
Hello and good day, I just wanted to first say that your site is by far the best for mantis pictures and stories. Bravo! I have two mantis, both female. One of them is a Carolina Mantid and the one in these pics is physically different with its left wing having a spot on it that looks more like a eye. It is a yellow circle with a black spot in the middle. Its only on one side and she doesn’t have a black spot on its chest like my other pet mantids have had. I would appreciate the help. Now with the crazy story, I caught my first mantid of the year early in the summer nearly four months ago, she travels every with us, chilling out in her special travel case. Her name is Superwoman for the unusually large black spot on her chest. She will eat 2 Grasshoppers everyday if I feed her that much but I usually just give her three every two days and she stays pleasantly fat and too heavy to even fly! Believe it or not she has only flown away once and she made it about a foot and just fell and never tried that again. I have had her since the first molt and she went from solid green to dark mottled brown like the sticks I put in her terrarium. But it’s my other mantis, KILLena, that takes the cake as the apex predator in the house. I had three in total, two females and one male, last night I decided to try and mate the newest edition KILLena and a grass type mantis. I put the two of them together and as soon as I did Killena froze into position and starting swaying back and forth as if it were a mating dance. The male mantis, Rosevelt (because I found him in my rosemary herb garden tracking a butterfly), started to move into position for copulation. As it made its way down a stick near KILLena she reached out faster than I had ever seen one ambush its prey, and snatched him up by the head and claws and commenced to eating the head!! I thought they did that that after they copulated but not KILLena!! She then chewed off the front claws and rendered him defenseless, munching on its upper half with one claw and has his mid-section in the other claw. Rosevelt amazingly was still moving! Not just moving but walking around, slightly clumsier but still walking up and down sticks like it knew what was going on. Eventually he made his way to KILLena’s body and jumped on the back and began reproducing!!!! just a fraction of his upper half was left and he was still completing his routine!! In the midst of that she noticed the fresh grasshopper I dropped inside earlier that day and snatched it up as well!! this is how she got the name KILLena, while munching on a grasshopper, after eating the head of her new found mate, she was making babies!! How great is that!! These pics should really explain a few things about mantids as pets and how they work and the order in which they eat their prey. I got quite a few camera angles and she even seemed to pose and smile for to take more, meanwhile not missing a single bite in between snaps of the shutter. Please enjoy these pics and feel free to share them with the world. Ill be updating you guys when she lays the sack and we hatch them. Till then Have a great day and remember, watch where you step, there is a whole ‘nother world beneath your feet!!!!
Proud Parent from Missouri

Dear Proud Parent,
Thank you for the graphic story.