From the monthly archives: "November 2007"

Another bug to identify. Sorry. But its super weird!
I was in Acapulco in mid-November. There were a bunch of these guys flying around our house. They are fairly large, about 1.5 inches long. They make a loud noise when they fly around. There were a couple of dark colored ones and this copper colored one. They hung out in the palm tree thatch on the roof of the patio. I asked the houseman about them and he said that they nest or eat the thatch. He also said that they were called ‘abehoron'(sp?) if that helps.

Hi Brian,
This is a male Carpenter Bee, possibly the Valley Carpenter Bee. Female Valley Carpenter Bees are the dark insects. The female builds a nest by tunneling into wood. She then provisions the nest with pollen and nectar and lays eggs. The adults feed on pollen and nectar. There was probably a nest in the wood supporting the thatch.

Unknown Spider
I live in Whittier Ca and have never seen a spider like this I have had it in a container for three days now and just fed it another spider. I have enclosed a few photos. It is red with a blackish-gray bottom it has fangs and is as a quarter when it’s legs are stretched out. what type of spider is this?

Hi Lorena,
You should release this harmless Sowbug Killer back into the garden where it will do what its name implies, kill and eat Sowbugs.

On the way back to camp, after a good day of fishing on the Buffalo River in Arkansas. I was turning over rocks near the bank looking for fossils, and I found a rather large spider instead. It didn’t seem bothered that I disturbed his or her hideout, so I took a picture. It’s thorax was about the size of a quarter. I would like to know if it’s a fishing spider, or what. Your website is fantastic. It helped me identify a very strange wheel bug, which I will send you a picture of soon. Thanks,

Hi James,
You are correct. This is a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes.

Whats this?
Hello, my name is Kevin and I’m working in Nicaragua and came across this interesting bug, which appeared to be some sort of spider. I examined it under a microscope and it has fangs like a spider and two mandible like appendages. Have any Ideas?
Kevin L. Miller

Hi Kevin,
Though it might look fierce, the Tailless Whipscorpion is a harmless predator.

Iguazu butterfly
Hi — This butterfly seemed to like my salt – he followed me for ages on a boat on the Iguazu River. They seem to be very common in the Iguazu National Park, Argentina. Can you identify it for me? Thanks

Hi Yvonne,
This is a Tropical Brushfoot Butterfly in the subfamily Biblidinae of the family Nymphalidae. It might be in the genus Diaethria, small colorful butterflies with strong markings on the underside of the hind wing. Some species in this genus are called Eighty-Eights like Cramer’s Eighty-eight, Diaethria clymena, because the markings resemble the numbers. Cramer’s Eighty-Eight has been reported from Texas.

Correction: (11/29/2007)
Iguazu Eighty-Eight
Hello Daniel This morning’s postings included a tropical brushfoot from Iguazu National Park, Argentina (Yvonne). I think you correctly identified this as a variety of Eighty-Eight in the subfamily Biblidinae, but I believe the genus is Callicore, specifically C. hydaspes (Hydaspes Eighty-Eight). There are a number of web sites with good photos, including: Regards,

You guys have been wonderful and I appreciate your getting back to me with some answers. I am sending you all a couple of shots of the changes in a gulf fritillary butterfly I happened to catch all happening at the same time. I hope they are of some use . Again, keep up the good work. This is a fantastic site. I just wish you could input colors on the search area because I don’t know exactly where to look to find some of these critters until I get an answer back. Thanx,
Scott Austin TX

Hi Scott,
It is time for us to choose the Bug of the Month for December, and we will be using your wonderful documentation of the metamorphosis of the Gulf Fritillary. This lovely orange butterfly has caterpillars that feed on passionflower, and can be found in warmer climates in the U.S. where that plant is cultivated, including California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. We know that our website has numerous problems, but at this point, it is such a behemoth, it probably cannot ever be tamed.