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

Smelly Green Fly
Hi,
I’m from Wisconsin and this fly landed on my desk out of nowhere. I squished it and it instantly released this smelly odor. I’ve never seen anything like this. It smells similar to a musty old basement (if not worse). Can you tell me what kind of bug this is? (Pictures are attached) Thanks!!
Maggie

Hi Maggie,
If you hadn’t squashed this beneficial Lacewing, your sensitive nose would not have been subjected to the offensive odor it emitted as a defense mechanism. Lacewings are important biological control agents for Aphids, which if their populations were left unchecked, just might overpopulate the planet. We are going to take the liberty and be blunt here. If someone squashed you, you probably woundn’t smell very good either.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you identify this photo for me?
I live in Columbia, South Carolina and found this caterpillar on an azalea bush this morning. My sister says it devours all the leaves on azaleas. When I went back to find it later, it was nowhere to be seen. What is it, please? Thanks.
Lane Bowden

Hi Lane,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus Datana. The posture is quite distinctive. According to BugGuide, the species is Datana major, the Azalea Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

a new pet?
In early July, we took this closeup of a bug in our Kansas backyard and then couldn’t find him (or his kin) again until today (9/6). This bug is about the size of a half dollar. The girls were so excited to see him again, they wanted to keep it as a pet! That is until all of a sudden we found out surprisingly that the bug has wings and flew away! What type of bug is this, and can we expect it to stick around?
Cindy

Hi Cincy,
Most of our reports of Cottonwood Borers come from Texas and Oklahoma. This distinctive looking beetle is not to be confused with any other in the U.S.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this bug on my patio, nothing to show reference to size. It was about 3 to 3 1/2 nose to tail and the wing span was about 5 inches. Just curious what it could be. I live in Wisconsin, have never seen this before.Thanks,
Elaine

Hi Elaine,
Your species of Dragonfly, Tramea lacerata, is commonly called the Black Saddlebags. Someone must have seen the resemblace between the black markings on the wings and saddlebags on a horse. Interestingly, in Spanish, a Dragonfly is commonly called Caballo de Diablo, or Devil’s Horse.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Would like information regarding how to identify this butterfly
Greetings, Bugman!
I know you are extremely busy with the fast approaching school year (maybe it’s started already in your area, like here in Texas). I have searched several butterfly web sites and am unable to find a match for this butterfly. I live in Collin County, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas, and I first saw this butterfly in late August. It likes my zexmenia bushes — althought it is not feeding on the flowers, but lighting on the leaves themselves. I was wondering if it could be laying eggs. Small to medium sized black caterpillars with an orange stripe down their back are having a feast on about a dozen of my zexmenia bushes right now and have been busy for about a week. They look a little smaller than the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars on my passion vines. This is the first year I’ve had this caterpillar, and the first time I’ve seen these butterflies. They are fast moving and larger than Pearl Crescents but a little smaller than the Painted Ladies. If you do not have time to identify this butterfly, could you offer some other web sites that might do this? I love your web site, and this is the first time I’m "Asking the Bugman". I’ve had my butterfly garden for 10 years now, and it amazes me that there’s always something new happening in it. I’m surprised I can’t find this one in my butterfly guides, and I’m thinking maybe with this goofy weather it may be out of it’s normal range. Thanks for your assistance!
Jackie Patrick, a WTB fan

Hi Jackie,
These are very nice photos of the Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, a highly variable species. We got our first submitted photo of a Bordered Patch last week, also from Texas. The caterpillars you describe sound like the images posted for this species on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetle, Scorpions, and Spiders!
Hello Lisa Anne and Daniel,
I just found your website and absolutely love it! I’ve always been fascinated with insects and spiders, but paleontology was my number one passion so I went that route instead of entomology. I many conduct my research on dinosaur tracks and fossil fish, but I have found, and plan to eventually describe some of the fossil arthropods I’ve discovered both in Canada and US someday. I even worked five seasons at the famous Middle Cambrian (~520 million years old) Burgess Shale in British Columbia for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Anyway, my 8 year old son, Burgess (you guessed it, he’s named after the Burgess Shale) found a fantastic Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetle that I just got around to identifying online this evening (see attached photo by my wife, Lynn White). I’m sure it is Dynastes granti and Burgess found it in a Black Widow Spider web here in Cedar City, Utah late last month. After this email I have three spider photos and a scorpion picture you might want to use on your website. Also, would like more accurate identifications on them if possible. Anyway, back to paleontology! More emails to follow shortly. Regards,
Andrew R. C. Milner
City Paleontologist and Curator
St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
St. George, Utah

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for sending us your photos of the Grant’s Hercules Beetle, Dynastes granti. We get images of its eastern relative, Dynastes tityus, far more often.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination