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

Bug on House — Please Help Identify
Bugs like the attached are all over my house. They can fly. Please help me identify them.
Thank you!

This is an Eastern Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittata. We get so many identification requests in the fall that we have decided to make it the bug of the month for November. Boxelder Bugs are True Bugs with incomplete metamorphosis. The immature nymphs are wingless replicas of the adults, but appear more red as the wings are not covering the coloration on the abdomen. Boxelder Bugs are noteworthy in that they form large aggregations of nymphs and adults, and they seek shelter indoors as the weather cools. Turn to BugGuide for additional information. We have numerous advertisers who guarantee to exterminate them, but there are also several home remedies that have reported success rates.

Soap against Boxelder Bugs
(02/03/2005) A WAY TO ELIMINATE BOX ELDER
HELLO, I AM FROM NEW YORK STATE AND WE HAVE A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH THE BOX ELDER BEETLES. THEY ARE ALL OVER OUR TREES, OUR POOL DECK AND OUR HOME. OUR NEIGHBOR ONE DAY WAS DOING HER LAUNDRY AND SAW ONE IN THE BASEMENT SO SHE SPRAYED IT WITH A DETERGENT SOLUTION SHE HAD IN A BOTTLE. THE BEETLE DIED IN NO TIME. AFTER THAT WE WOULD FILL UP OUR 2 GALLON SPRAYERS AND PUT A CAP OR TWO OF LAUNDRY SOAP IN IT AND SPRAY THESE BEETLES. THEY DO DIE FROM THIS SOLUTION. THIS IS A CHEAP SOLUTION AND A NON TOXIC SOLUTION.
DEBBIE FENCLAU

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

identify my bug
Hi, I took this picture of a bug on the outside of my house. I live on the east coast of Florida in Brevard County. I have lived in my house for almost ten years and I have never seen anything like it. Can you tell me what it is? Thank you,
Tori

Hi Tori,
This is a Grizzled Mantis, Gonatista grisea. According to BugGuide the species, which is also known as the Lichen Mimic Mantid, “May be found in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. May also be found in Puerto Rico and Cuba.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth ID
Hi guys, My daughter Rosie and son Sam saw these moths on our door today…initially we thought they were leaves. We have tried to find a similar image on your site, and although it looks a little like a Pandora Sphinx moth we are not sure. This photo is from Duillier in Switzerland. We hope you can help with the ID. Thanks
Duncan, Switzerland

Hi Duncan,
The Pandora Sphinx does not range into Europe. These mating Sphinxes are Mimas tiliae commonly called Lime Hawk-moths. More information and images can be found on Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa and the UK Moths page. Lime refers to a favored larval food plant, the Linden Tree which is commonly called a Lime Tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

differential grasshopper laying eggs, mating
Thanks for reading my email! I didn’t see any pictures of grasshoppers laying eggs on your website, so we were very excited to find the latest captive in my daughter’s bugcatcher laying eggs! I’m also including some grasshopper pictures from earlier in the summer, the extreme closeup was taken when they were mating on my camera strap! I was bending down in the bushes trying to get pictures of an orb weaver, stood up to find the hoppers coming with me!

Mating Differential Grasshoppers Differential Grasshopper Laying Eggs

I don’t know what the "fuzzy" grasshoppers are. We found them in an area near a pond with lots of milkweed and sunflowers. Their skin isn’t smooth like the other grasshoppers and actually appeared fuzzy. We live near St. Louis, MO.
Angie and her junior entomologist Miranda who is very sad that the bugs are going away for the winter….

Hi Angie and Miranda,
We are thrilled to get your Mating and Egg Laying Differential Grasshopper images. We will need additional time to get you a species on the fuzzy grasshoppers. We will try to enlist the help of Eric Eaton.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

so how is it really spelled?
Help! I just bought a "bug" book for my 5 year old nephew and the spelling is different from what I learned. I was taught to spell: Preying mantis in my entomology class but on your web page it is spelled both ways and there is even a site that says although the insect does prey, it is pray. I really don’t want to give the little guy a book that is wrong so I really need to know. Thanks

Neither is truly correct as this is a common name. Scientific binomial names are the only true correct identifications.

Having taught comparative anatomy for over 25 years, I am well aware of scientific binomial names. You, however, do allow both spellings (which you now tell me are incorrect!) on your web site. I assumed that you would be able to tell me which (for a 5 year old!) would be the correct or preferred spelling for a common name. I will have to seek advice from another source.
Pam Rhyne, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Biology

There is no need to get snippy Pam. As you noticed, we use both spellings on our site. You didn’t even bother to ask if mantid was correct or if mantis is correct. When it comes to common names, as you are well aware because you teach comparitive anatomy, every language on the planet has a different common name for a creature and Eskimo people have over 200 words for snow, hence the reason for the scientific binomial system. In Norway, they call the preying mantis a “kneeler”. In a language as complex as English, and in a country as diverse as America where there are multiple dialects, one state might have a different name for the same object. In certain parts of the country, soda is called pop. We would hate to have to decide which is correct. At some point, preference must take precedance. We prefer “preying” because we like to distance ourselves from the religious connotation and believe it is more accurate to say that the creature does, in fact, prey, and without a question, does not pray, even though it appears to pray. The same might also be said of many of our religious leaders who merely appear to pray. When it comes to mantis over mantid, we make arbitrary decisions based on the other words in the sentence, most notably the word immediately following, and we base this decision solely on the audible sound. Not being parents, we hesitate to give parenting advice, but perhaps it is best to use this as a lesson in diversity or as an explanation that sometimes there is no one correct decision. Have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What am I?
This lovely critter was found on our bushes we were trimming in Rowlett TX. What is it? Any idea? Thanks for your info.
Suzanne

Hi Suzanne,
We believe this is a Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar, Manduca rustica.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination