From the monthly archives: "October 2006"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Potato bush insect?
Hi Bugman!
While pruning my solanum rantonnetii (commonly called blue potato bush) in San Diego, California, this warm October morning, I encountered clusters of insects I have never seen before. Not that I am an entomologist and should have known these, I am just a humble biochemist. I wonder what you can make of these? They appear to walk blunt end forward. I cannot tell if there is a relationship with the ants all around them. I can’t see any nectar production from these insects, for example. Is there somebody you can forward these pics to that can make an ID if you cannot? I am curious whether these are beneficials that I should encourage. I have several nearby fruit trees, grapes, tomatoes, and herbs. I wonder if they came for a sampling of these plants, though I have never seen them on my crops, or if they came to eat the pests that may be attracted to my crops. Should I be alarmed at these? Thanks for any help you may offer!
Dan Adminex

Hi Dan,
These are immature Treehoppers, most likely Keelbacked Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, an insect commonly associated with solanaceous plants. They suck the vital juices from the plants stems. Adults are green and winged. The ants are attracted to the honeydew they exude. They may spread viruses to your plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bicolor Purseweb
I was looking on line and saw the bicolor purseweb spider. I photographed one of these on my balcony in the Nashville, TN area last year and attached is the photograph. I was surprised that it was extremely aggressive and rared up and struck out when I tried to move it off the balcony because my inquisitive dog was on his way outside at the time. Less than a week later, another was spotted less than a mile from my home in the parking lot at work. Attached is the photo. Enjoy!
Evan L. Underwood

Hi Evan,
Thank you for sending us your photo of a Red Legged Purseweb Spider. We are in awe of this species. You must have encountered them during mating season when the males wander in search of the females.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange bug in Northern Utah (cricket?)
I came across a very strange bug in the Bear Lake Valley in northern Utah at our cabin (photo attached). While I have seen my share of crickets, most recently by the tens of thousands crossing Nevada from our California home, I have never seen a bug like this. Is it a cricket?
Randy

Hi Randy,
The Jerusalem Cricket is not a true cricket. It is commonly called a Potato Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpllar ID please
I have been searching all sorts of photos on the web. I have not been able to find anything that remotely resembles this fella. I live in Central PA.
Ellen

Hi Ellen,
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar. Over the years, we have received at least 4 images and have them in our archives buried somewhere on our 7 caterpillar pages.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

caterpillar
Bugman,
My 2 year old daughter found this out near her swingset today. We’ve only lived in coastal Virginia for 2 yrs so we’re not entirely familiar with local bugs. Can you help us to identify this character? We don’t know what to feed him. It’s over 2 inches in length and very thick in circumference. Thanks.

This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar. It will metamorphose into a lovely large yellow and purple moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hope your not too busy
Dear Bugman,
I have browsed your wonderful pictures and now know where to look when friends have an insect id they want me to do. I also am known by friends and family as “The Bugman” as I have had an interest in insects since birth. It has been great to see some of the interesting ones I haven’t seen yet on your site. This brings me to my querie. I was recently in my backyard observing a wasp chew up a caterpillar it had paralyzed. It was a caterpillar I had not seen before. I walked closer to the honeysuckle bush (or close relative) that it had been munching on and began to see many others materialize. The largest where 2 inches long and I photographed both color phases that I noticed. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and dear fellow colleagues, if you have the time, I would appreciate your assistance. I have a landscape business and if there are some insects you have an interest in photographing out this way let me know I will do my best to send some your way. They are still currently munching away in mid October. Many thanks,
Craig aka The Bugman

Hi Craig,
Thank you for sending your wonderful photos of Snowberry Clearwing Caterpillars, Hemaris diffinis. The adult moth is sometimes called a Bumblebee Moth and the moths are often confused with hummingbirds. Bill Oehlke’s site lists honeysuckle as a food plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination