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

Mystery Lep on Eucomis flowering plant
This noctuid larva was on a Eucomis flower plant originating from a nursery in CA. A long trip to Michigan for a pillar. I was wondering if you or you viewers have ever seen this before. The caterpillar might be a species of Spodoptera. The attached photos were taken by James Zablotny. I’ve said it before and will keep saying it “Luv Your Site”. Thanks

Hi Brian,
We are inclined to agree that this might be some species of Owlet Moth Caterpillar in the family Noctuidae, possibly an Armyworm in the genus Spodotera. Another possibility is another group of Noctuids known as the Cutworms.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gulf Fritillary metamorphosis.
I just thought I would share with ya some pictures I took of a gulf fritillary butterfly i found as a caterpillar. I hope you enjoy them.
Mike D

Hi Mike,
Shortly before you sent in your letter, we posted another letter depicting the metamorphosis of the Gulf Fritillary, and we chose it for our Bug of the Month.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I spent a month on a panda reserve in the south west of the peoples republic of china. All thoughout my time there I liked looking at these colourful spiders that were all about the place. I just want to know the name really. If it’s on your site already and i missed it sorry. If you can give me any help thanks a bunch. All the best,

Hi Andrew,
This is one of the Golden Silk Spiders, named because of the strong golden colored silk. There have been attempts to use the silk commercially as garment material, but spider silk is not as easy to harvest as the silk of the domestic Silkworm. Your species is Nephila clavata and it ranges from India to Japan where it is known as a Joro Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Choosing the Bug of the Month each month is an enjoyable ritual, and generally we select a recent letter for the honor. Sadly, we have not received a recent letter that is appropriate since we like to select a critter that our readership is likely to encounter while the letter is posted. We have dug through the archives for a nice image of the Polka Dot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais, a wasp mimic moth that readers from Florida and other southern states often write to us about. The Polka Dot Wasp Moth is not a seasonal sighting, and according to BugGuide, it can be found year round.

The Polka Dot Wasp Moth is also known as the Oleander Moth because one of the favorite larval foods is the deadly oleander. The caterpillars are known as Oleander Caterpillars and readers frequently write about the large numbers of orange caterpillars with black hairs that are defoliating their oleander plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello Daniel – Two coppers
Beauty is where you find it, even in the weedy “waste” land of a vacant lot destined for strip mall development. This bronze copper and purplish copper are from Winnipeg, Canada. Coppers are one of my favorite groups of butterflies; ubiquitous and beautiful if you take the time to look closely, but too often overlooked. I noticed you only had one example in your collection so I thought you could use a few more. By the way, this unimpressive little site was home to 4 other species of butterflies and at least 3 damselfly and dragonfly species. You have a great site and I check it almost daily to see what’s new. Thanks.

Bronze Copper Purplish Copper

Hi Karl,
Thanks for your wonderful letter and your great photos of a Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus, and a Purplish Copper, Lycaena helloides. Many years ago, here in Los Angeles where land is such a hot commodity, we embarked on a campaign to have a vacant lot on every block to be used as an undeclared park. Weeds on vacant lots are major insect attracters, and the Gossamer Winged Butterflies are well represented. In Los Angeles, we don’t see Coppers much, but we do see the Blues and Hairstreaks. Also, thanks so much for including the site photo as our readers should know they don’t need to go to exotic locales to experience the beauty of nature.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination