From the monthly archives: "January 2007"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Insect help
Any thoughts on what these might be? We are in Oregon, USA? Thanks so much for you help – I love your website!

Hi Chris,
These are immature Hemipterans. They are probably in the family Lygaeidae, the Seed Bugs. Possibly, they are one of the genuses that include Milkweed Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Potato Bug
We wanted to add our Potato Bug to your file. We found this one in Brea, California. As you can see he his quite big. He is making a noise, like a hissing sound. Is this my imagination?

Hi Betsy,
Certain insects are able to make a hissing sound by rubbing portions of their body together, a method known as stridulation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar
First of all I would like to say how much I enjoy your site. I’ve been interested in entomology for about 40 years, much to my Mom’s dismay during those early years. LOL I do a lot of nature photography and spend lots of time taking pictures of insects and spiders. I have been trying to ID a caterpillar that I have narrowed down to the Hesitant Dagger Moth. I used the Caterpillars of Eastern Forests to get this ID, but they also mentioned that there are several Dagger Moths that have similar looking caterpillars. At any rate, I just ordered Caterpillars of Eastern North America by Wagner. I’ve been wanting a good book to ID caterpillars anyways. If I still don’t get a positive ID from that, I just may be sending you a picture of this caterpillar. In looking through all the caterpillars you have, I thought maybe I could send you a photo from time to time of things you don’t have pictures of. The photo I’m sending you today is the Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar. Definitely one of the coolest caterpillars I’ve found, and be careful if you find one of these they do have stinging spines. Feel free to use this photo on your site. I belong to several photography groups on the internet and when someone posts a picture of an insect or spider, they usually come to me to help them find out what it is. Some of them even call me the bug lady. LOL Wonderful site you have here, keep up the good work!
Judy Whitton aka the “bug lady”

Hi Judy,
Thank you so much for filling a hole in our archives with your photo of the Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar, Euclea delphinii. We are much obliged. We also eagerly await any other deficiencies you choose to fill. Thanks again and have a wonderful day. Though you did not provide us with a location, we are guessing you are in Florida or some other southern state.

Hi Daniel, you are very welcome. I wish I could say I’m from Florida or one of the other southern states, but I’m from Northeast Indiana in Fort Wayne. We have a wonderful nature preserve here in town called Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 110 acres, that I do most of my bug shooting at. That is where I took that picture. I also go to a few state parks and nature preserves close by. I’ve also been fortunate to find the Saddleback Caterpillar and the Skiff Moth Caterpillar, but I noticed you already had plenty of those. I’m keeping my eye open for some of the other slug caterpillars that are in my area.
Judy Whitton, the Bug Lady

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Very interesting website. I stumbled upon it while trying to find out some information. My friend had given me a silkworm cocoon from our work (we sell feeder bugs) as a joke, thinking it wouldn’t open….. and WOW. I haven’t looked at the cocoon for a few days and all of a sudden its there.

Thanks for sending this image of a Domestic Silk Moth, Bombyx mori, though our readers will never encounter one in the wild. According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “This is a totally domesticated insect that cannot survive without man’s constant care. The species has been selectively bred for centuries to imporve the quality of its silk. But in the process it has lost its self sufficiency: although its wings remain, they are stunted and weak and no longer serve their original purpose of flight.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Here’s a beauty..
Took hours of taxonomical research, but I’m so impressed by this guy it was worth it..just wanted to share this beautiful creature..

Hi Dana,
We wish you would have shared the results of your research with us, or at least provided us a location.

Oops. I sent you a pic just now and forgot to tell you that it is a Scolopendra alternans, 9 inches long. Crawled out of my bag in Key Largo. Sure! Just didn’t want to send all that if you didn’t use it. This is a Scolopendra alternans. It’s a beautiful specimen, being a full 9 inches long. He crawled out of my carryall bag after I’d played a band gig at an older wooden building in the Florida Keys. Some species of Scolopendra are hard to I.D. due to the many color variations (brown or gray based) but I finally narrowed this one to S. Alternans from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science website. (Leach, 1815): “The distribution of S. Alternans in the contiguous U.S. is limited specifically to Monroe, Collier, and Dade counties in the state of Florida.” I live in Monroe county, and after much research found 2 other I.D. requests for this animal online–both from Key Largo. After taking a few photos, I set him free in the woods across the street. Hope you enjoy his unique beauty as much as I did!
D. Armenta

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Chrome Bug
This was taken while on a Ficus hedge in Florida today. It appears to be some type of borer as it stays on the tender stems of new leaves. Got any ideas? This was my second sighting while shooting Macro shots for fun.

Hi Chris,
When a specimen of Eurhinus magnificus was sent to us in April 2005, it created quite a stir. This Central American Metallic Weevil originates in Costa Rica, Panama and Southern Mexico, but was introduced to Florida. Probably as a result of global warming, the tropical species has expanded its range northward. We wonder if ficus is the host plant.

Metallic Weevil, Eurhinus magnificus
Thanks for the confirmation.
Both sightings have been on the tenderest portion of a ficus plant. Attached is a better image of the beast. I’ll keep my eyes open for them on other plants. Attached is a bit better image of the Weevil. I have good shots from about 5 angles if you want them.

Thanks Chris,
The subtle movement of the antennae is a nice addition.

Dear bugman-
I saw the picture of Eurhinus magnificus and your question about Ficus being its host. If the Ficus hedge is the ubiquitous Ficus benjamina, it is native to Asia and Australia. This would make me think that the hedge is not a natural host for the weevil. It may be opportunistic or just hanging out. Also- It is far more likely that the beast was brought into Florida through trade from its native range rather than a natural expansion. This happens in Florida over and over and over… Hope this is useful.

Update: 17 June 2009, 7:27 AM
In trying to identify an unusual Weevil from Costa Rica today, we stumbled upon this great link with the life cycle of Eurhinus magnificus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination