From the monthly archives: "June 2007"

beetle and caterpillar from Mexico
Hi there,
I know you are specialized in the bugs of North America but while browsing your great site I noticed you sometimes have exotics as well, so I thought I might give it a try. Since August last year we live in Quintana Roo, Southern Mexican Caribbean and just love the wide variety of animals especially the insects here. We always try to find out what we have seen, but there are some we couldn´t identify so far. Any ideas about this huge beetle or the big caterpillars that all gathered at this tree. The cute yellow and black one was quiet small. Thanks a lot!

Hi Jacquiline,
Your beetle is a Cerambycid, one of the Longhorn Borers. It looks suspiciously like the Hardwood Stump Borer, Mallodon dasystomus, which is the only species of the genus found in North America. We could not locate any images online of Central American species, and perhaps one of our readers can provide an answer. Regarding the Striped Caterpillar Aggregation, we received another photo of this caterpillar in August 2006 and it is still unidentified.

Update: (06/30/2008) Arsenura armida Caterpillars
With our fourth submission of Caterpillar Aggregation images, we are convinced that this species is Arsenura armida, a Neotropical Silkmoth that ranges from tropical Mexico to Bolivia and Southeastern Brazil. We just located a website with valuable information written by James T. Costa , Department of Biology Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC.
Ed. Note:
July 8, 2009
Back in November 2007, Eric Eaton wrote in to identify another image of this beetle as Callipogon barbatus.  According to an online website, the species if found in Guatemala and Panama though our submissions hail from Mexico.

Net-Winged Beetle and Unknown butterfly
Hi Bugman!
I spotted this Net-winged Beetle (Calopteron reticulatum) in my yard today! Once again, I was able to identify it using your site! I didn’t, however, see any photos of my Mystery Butterfly – thought maybe you could help to identify it? I followed this spastic little thing in my yard for an hour trying to get a good shot of it! I was lucky enough to get this one before it took off again, but was unsuccessful in getting a closed wing shot. The underside of its wings are white, and seemed to have a small black mark near the edge of the lower wing. We are in Southwest Missouri. Thanks for your help!
Kris L.

Net Winged Beetle Eastern Tailed Blue

Hi Kris,
You did well on the Net-Winged Beetle identification. Few people would have even guessed it was a beetle. The butterfly is a female Eastern Tailed Blue, Everes comyntas. The Western Tailed Blue would be our second guess as the two are difficult to distinguish, but we don’t believe the Western Tailed Blue ranges as far east as Missouri. The caterpillars feed on leguninous plants.

what the heck are these?
Mr. Bugman.
My son and I were in pasadena,calif and we saw on a utility pole about 5 of these very scary looking bugs.. In one picture these bugs were fighting head to head and they even wrestled on the ground. What are these bugs and have you ever seen anything like these before?
thanks kayla and jason

Hi Kayla and Jason,
Even though your image is blurry, the distinctive markings of the Banded Alder Borer allow for instant identification. The two male Banded Alder Borers in your photo are battling over territory and a mate.

what’s this bug?????
Dear Bug Man,
We found this at strip mall in Temple City,California. What is it? Thank You,
Dominic Valenzuela, 41/2 yrs. Bye!
Jennifer M. Luna-Valenzuela

Hi Dominic and Jennifer,
This beauty is a Banded Alder Borer, Rosalia funebris.

First encounter with Bald Faces
Found your site looking for info on what folks commonly call
“hornets”. I found this nest accidently and almost reached into it. It is about 3ft from ground level and in a holly tree. I find them very placid, and don’t seem to be aggressive at all like the ground yellow jackets, I would not have gotten away being that close with that species! They are very busy in the morning though but dart around me like I am not there. Thought you would like this photo. I am going to try to keep them around to Winter freeze, if my Wife and/or Father-in-law don’t kill them first.

Hi Scott,
It is wonderful to hear about your tolerance. We love your photo of the paper nest of the Bald Faced Hornet.

whats this bug??
I am 14 years old and i live in Ohio. I was in my yard yesterday, and i found about 20 of these purple caterpillars on a plant (i think it might be poison ivy). i searched all over the internet but i could not find out what it is. But, i did find your website. Could you tell me what kind of caterpillar it is?? thank you =]

Hi Brittany,
We love the striking and clashing magenta and orange coloration on your Argid Sawfly Larva. It seems we have seen this hip color combination on products sold at Target. Sawflies are not caterpillars. They are non-stinging relatives of wasps. This larva most closely matches a specimen on BugGuide called Arge coccinea that feeds on Sumac. It is possible that the color has changed just prior to pupation, or it might be a different but closely related species.

Update: December 24, 2008
We just received a new photo and letter, and our web searching led us to the identification of the Poison Ivy Sawfly, Arge humeralis. Photos of adults can be seen on BugGuide.