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

clear winged butterfly from Ecuador
Hi Bugman,
I photographed this beautiful butterfly in the rainforest of eastern Ecuador, near the north bank of the Rio Napo, on Feb 23, 2007. I haven’t been able to identify it. Can you tell me what species it is? We’d love to be able to put a species name and common name with the photo on the web site. Thanks,
Stephanie Donaldson

Hi Stephanie,
Identifying tropical insects is often very difficult for us since there is not as much information available online or in text books as there is for North American or European species. We will post your image and try to identify it in the future. Additionally, many times our readers provide us with answers for unidentified species. Many Clearwing Butterflies, also known as Glasswings, are in the subfamily Heliconiinae, a division of the Nymphalidae.

Update: (04/30/2007)
We had a commitment today to supervise a computer lab. While the students worked, we whiled away the hours doing some web research. We did not positively identify this species, but we are nearly certain this is a Clearwing Satyr in the genus Cithaerias.

Update:  January 5, 2015
We just received a comment indicating that this is
Haetera piera.  We browsed that name and found several images from the same genus on Ecuador Butterfly Photos.  Butterflies of Amazonia provides this information:  “The tribe Haeterini is confined exclusively to the neotropical region. All members of this tribe are elusive crepuscular butterflies which spend their lives skulking deep in the undergrowth. There are 5 genera – Pierella, Pseudohaetera, Cithaerias, Dulcedo and Haetera. All butterflies in the latter 4 genera have rounded transparent wings, with small ocelli at the apex of the hindwings.  The genus Haetera comprises of 2 species – macleannania and piera. Both are extremely similar, but macleannania has a reddish flush on the hindwings, while in piera this is amber in colour.  Haetera macleannania is found from Costa Rica to Colombia, and is replaced further south by piera which is found in Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Picture from Microsoft Picture It!
We live in Mission Viejo, Ca. Our 3 yer old found this beetle and has been living in his bug house for over 2 weeks. Do you know what it is and what it eats? He just found another so now it has company. Our son LOVES insects. His favorite thing to watch is our 4 tape series called Insectia with George Brossard. Thanks for any information you have to offer.

Hi Janet,
This is an Ironclad Beetle. Hogue identifies a species that looks very much like this as Phloeodes pustulosus. They are thought to eat fungus laden wood.

(04/29/2007) Ironclad Beetle of 4-28-07
In regards to the Ironclad Beetle photo and response of 4-28-07…. I’m surprised you didn’t tell the woman not to let her three year old son live in a bug house. First, how did he fit in it? Second, couldn’t the child catch some horrible disease or something? After all, bugs don’t shower and they have a lot of anonymous sex…. I fell in love with your website last summer when after a partial hysterectomy (“kept the girls, got rid of the junk” I like to say) I could not sleep and spent my evenings in the front yard with a LED flashlight and my trusty camera. Wow! Talk about screwed up sleep cycles! But I digress…. I sure hope to get some good photos for you this year and God! Am I looking forward to the cyclical cicadas this year. (I live near Chicago.) I’m sure you will get a ton of “What the hell is this?” emails so I’ll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Pure hell I imagine, to open your inbox and see 45,763 emails with the subject “What IS this???” and crappy photos. I’ll try to send you a few awesome pix. I’m a professional drinker…er, I mean /photographer,/ and because of your web site I have fallen in love with photographing bugs ‘n’ stuff. I have a lovely tree cricket photo I’ll send in soon. My Canon camera (my “peashooter” as I lovingly call it) has a super-macro setting which focuses from 0 to 1.5 inches so all I have to do to get a good close up is remind myself that the chances of this bug actually killing me is slim to none. Warmest regards,
Joanne M. Pleskovich
Darien, IL
ps….I mention your website to my patients when they start freaking out about bugs or spiders etc. I’ll link to you when I get my site up and running, too. You guys (and/or gals) rock my world!

Hi Joanne,
We try not to give too much parenting advice on our website. In the past, we have raised the hackles on our readership several times due to our wry senses of humor. We look forward to any submissions you send our way in the future, though sadly, our image receiving ability is currently severely impacted.
Daniel and Lisa Anne

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I am an American living in Japan. I recently spent some time in Queensland, Australia and took this photo of a spiny leaf insect. This was the most spectacular insect I’ve ever seen.
Melody McFarland

Hi Melody,
Thanks for sending us your great image of a Spiny Leaf Insect, Extatasoma tiaratum. This is a type of Walking Stick.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Afghan Solpugid
I found your site while looking up info on my favorite group of bugs that creep me out, solpugids. I found this one in my command post here in Afghanistan and it scared the crap out of me. Of all the things in Afghanistan to be scared of. Anyway, there are tons of them around here, here being in Laghman province at about 900 feet elevation. This one was pretty small, I think the body couldn’t have been more than an inch and a half long, but the legs make them look a lot bigger. Even small, though, they’re still pretty creepy looking. Thanks,

Hi Jim,
Thanks so much for sending your image our way. In the past, we have posted several letters and images of Solpugids from the armed forces that have caused paranoia among our readers. It is refreshing to have your objective letter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hey bug guru
I cant tell you how much I appreciate your dedication to one of my geeky passions. Your time and work does not go unappreciated. Please evaluate the attached photos. I hope they meet your guidelines for size. I found a few small eggs on a leaf in a ficus tree in the front yard. Lucky me, I just purchased a new microscope.

The egg pictures were taken at 100x and the hatch was taken at 50x. I live in Mesa AZ. I found the eggs on 4-21-07 and they started hatching on 4-27-07. The little bugger started to warm up and moving subjects at 50x are hard to capture. When he, sorry, or she was fully stretched out it looked like a miniature wasp. Im thinking some kind of boring wood wasp, but Im sure you will set me straight. The attached photos are composite images of over 60 taken on each final photo. The 5mp camera and the Image-Pro Express software are impressing the you know what out of me. The eggs are about half the size of a pin head. In some of the photos you can see small particles of dirt on the side of the eggs. Thanks to you and yours for all your work Thanks
Empire Fluids Lab

Hi Danny,
These are pretty awesome images, though hearing that they are composite has us a bit troubled. We hope the integrity of the actual even is faithful. We suspect that this is some species of Chalcid Wasp. Chalcid Wasps parasitize other insects, and according to the USDA: “All chalcidids are parasitic. Most attack pupae of Lepidoptera and Diptera, but some parasitize other Hymenoptera or beetles. Parasites of Lepidoptera usually attack young pupae, while those of Diptera attack mature larvae (Clausen 1940).” often Bugguide doesn’t have any documentation quite like this, and as the wasp and host are quite specific, we will see if Eric Eaton can assist us in identifying the eggs and wasps. We will also try to contact Bill Oehlke who operates an awesome Sphingidae page since these eggs look like they might be Lepidoptera eggs, and the Ficus Sphinx is a moth that feeds on Ficus. Thankfully, you not only provided us with awesome images, but with enough background information to continue sleuthing until we exhaust our means in the identification.

Thank you so much for you work on this. I want assure you that my integrity is of the highest. I have sent you picture’s in the past. This Leica will not let me take a clear single image and to appreciate the details of the egg I spent a bit of time stacking multiple images. Im dedicated to the appreciation of mother natures gifts. … Thanks again for all your time dedicated to informing the world on BUGS. It is nice seeing others around the world send pictures and how the site is growing. Thanks

Hi Danny,
Consider us chastised. There has been much publicity in the world of photo journalism due to photographers combining images digitally that, while they convey the truth of the experience, are still considered tampering. Your photos are quite gorgeous and the effort you have expended to assure detail in every portion of the image is obvious. We hope that both Bill Oehlke and Eric Eaton respond to our queries. Though we do not know the exact species here, we are still confident that your images are of a Chalcid Wasp. Thanks again for writing.

Update: (05/09/2007)
Chalcids are out of my league, sorry! There are a few critters that just aren’t easily grasped in terms of ID, and those are among them.

Update: (05/10/2007)
I have never seen Pachylia ficus eggs so have nothing to compare these with. All of the Sphingid eggs that I have seen have been green, very smooth and without the upper ring, but I have not seen any under such high magnification. I am not an expert on wasps but I do know that some wasps parasitize eggs. Sorry I cannot be of more help. I suspect caterpillars of many species from many different families feed on Ficus.
Bill Oehlke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

blue sow bug
I just wanted to know if a blue sow bug is rare? Or why it is blue. I thought it was very pretty looking.
Thank you,

Hi Melissa,
Our guess on this, and we must emphasize the guess part, is that your Pill Bug might be freshly molted and has still not darkened to gray.

Update: (04/28/2007) blue wood lice dear folks
in regard to the blue woodlouse you posted: it is infected with an iridovirus. here is a link to a page with more woodlouse information– although these little blue guys are pretty–the first time i saw one, i thought it was a lapis bead and tried to pick it up; boy was i surprised when it uncurled!–they are, unfortunately, on their way to being compost. thanks for all your good bug work!

Hi Patty,
Thank you so much for a most awesome update, correction and link to information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination