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

LARGE GREEN MOTH
It had about a 4 inch wing span. it’s caught in cob webs on my ceiling in this photos.we live in the sticks 30miles nw of austin,texas.i had recentiy brought in my lei plant.(pulmeria i think). nice site you have
miles

Hi Miles,
This beauty is known as a Gaudy Sphinx.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

??????????
Howdy again!
I’m still trying to figure out what this is. I looked thru your site and cannot find it, mainly because I don’t know which catagory it would be in. I’d really like to know what it is. Can you help! By the way, here’s one of my photos of a Gulf Fritillary: I have several, but this one is the best, I think. Thanks
D. Bryant,
East Texas

White Tipped Black Gulf Fritillary

Hi D.,
This interesting moth is known as a White Tipped Black, Melanchroia chephise. It is one of the Inchworm Moths in the family Geometridae. The North American Butterfly Association website has some information on this species. We are also happy to have you open winged view of the Gulf Fritillary to post with the Bug of the Month entry for December.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth
I saw this moth in my yard and googled it. Your site has EVERYTHING, so it was there… Is the polka dot wasp moth beneficial?? Thanks!
Katrina

Hi Katrina,
The adult Polka Dot Wasp Moth is a pollinator, so it is beneficial. If the caterpillar are too numerous, they might defoliate oleander and other plants. Leaves grow back on mature plants and the harm is temporary, and since we are not fond of oleander, we don’t consider the caterpillars to be a problem at all.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Burying beetle?
Hi Bugman. So, I was watching this crab spider (under petal) on a Sego lily in the badlands near Douglas, WY when the flower was briefly visited by this guy. Is it a Burying beetle? You guys rock!
Dwaine

Hi again Dwaine,
We believe this is an Ornate Checkered Beetle, Trichodes ornatus, which seems to be the closest match on BugGuide. Some species in the family feed on pollen, which would explain its appearance on the blossom.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Re: Raspy cricket from Australia
Hi Bugman,
When I first saw the image submitted of the ‘raspy cricket’ from Australia, I thought it was a moss mimicking katydid. It’s fascinating how similar they are in appearance. I had submitted my photo to your site, and did receive an e-mail reply, but apparently my image was not sufficient for an ID. I did manage to eventually get it identified:
This a nymph of Championica montana Saussure & Pictet, 1898 (Pseudophyllinae, Pleminiini), a gorgeous moss mimicking katydid, common in Mesoamerica. I never managed to record its call, but its close relative, C. cristulata, has a very bird-like, frequency modulated call, very unusual for New World Tettigoniidae. Cheers,
Piotr
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Director, Invertebrate Diversity Initiative
Conservation International

Dear Nancy or Piotr,
We are sorry we failed in the original identification of this Moss Mimicking Katydid. We recall these images, but it seems we never posted them to our site. When we are very busy, sometimes we don’t have time to post everything we want to post or should post. Please provide us with some background. When and where was the photo taken? Was it photographed in Nicaragua in 2005 as the name of the digital file implies? Also, was this letter submitted by Nancy and is Piotr the expert who identified it? Is there a good link with information on the species?

Hi Daniel,
Yes, the katydid was photographed at Selva Negra, Nicaragua in 2005. I have copied the entire e-mail chain for you as it gives everyone’s titles as well as a few sites. Hope this info is helpful to your site. p.s. I just bought a camera with Macro capability and am headed back to Selva Negra in January. I’m going to check out that huge boulder again 🙂
Nancy Collins, Wisconsis

Editor’s Note: Here is Nancy’s original email (that was sent to several knowledgeable experts as well as to What’s That Bug?) and responses she received.
(08/28/2007) Greetings,
Is there any advice you can give me on how to find the name of this insect? I encountered it in Nicaragua. It was about 6 inches long, and was very flat. The hind legs were flat against the rock. It was sharing a huge boulder with hundreds of spiders. Thank you for your time,
Nancy Collins, Wisconsin

Tom – what do you say about this critter?
Lyle Buss
Insect Identification Laboratory
Entomology & Nematology Dept.
University of Florida

Flat Nicaraguan Katydid
Piotr,
Can you identify this beast? The best I could do was to suspect it was a Pseudophylline.
Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Dear Tom,
This a nymph of Championica montana Saussure & Pictet, 1898 (Pseudophyllinae, Pleminiini), a gorgeous moss mimicking katydid, common in Mesoamerica. I never managed to record its call, but its close relative, C. cristulata, has a very bird-like, frequency modulated call, very unusual for New World Tettigoniidae. Cheers,
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D. Director, Invertebrate Diversity Initiative
Conservation International
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for providing us with this wonderful identification chain and also for resending your photos to us despite us failing to provide you with and identification. As your email chain indicates, even qualified experts had difficulty with the exact identification. Identification of many rain forest species is nearly impossible without the help of specialists.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Flaky spotted bug thing…
Hi,
I so enjoy your site, thanks for helping me out on this one. I tried to browse your site to figure out what this was, but wasn’t even sure what to type in the query. I apologize for it being sort of cropped off, but maybe it’s enough to give you an idea. I was out deadheading marigolds and actually saw this bug the day before. I thought it was a flaky dried piece of leaf and almost brushed it away. When I looked at it more closely, on that first day, it was actually two bugs. The one you see in this image and a smaller "baby" piggybacking it. It just looks so surreal to me and very creepy what it seems to be doing to that poor bee! Thanks…
Marisa Longmont, CO

Hi Marisa,
This is an Ambush Bug feeding on a Honey Bee. Ambush Bugs are True Bugs that, as their name implies, ambush prey. What you witnessed the day before was mating activity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination