From the monthly archives: "August 2008"

Hickory Horned Devil?
We found this big guy on a manzanita bush south of Tucson. After checking your website we believe it to be a Hickory Horned Devil, but we don’t know if they are common in Arizona. Can you please help us out? Thank you.
J.D. and Jennifer

Hi J.D. and Jennifer,
The Citheronia splendens sinaloensis Caterpillar in your photo is in the same genus as the Hickory Horned Devil. It does not have a common name. We might propose Arizona Devil for the Caterpillar.

pic of some Emesinae assassin bugs mating
Not sure of what the exact species is, but its in Emesinae I’m sure. Found it while out camping Red River Gorge in Kentucky. I run an indoor butterfly garden in NY state, so if you ever would like help IDing some of the random tropical butterflies, let me know, I’d be glad to help you. Thanks,
Tad Yankoski
Strong National Museum of Play

Hi Tad,
If you are unsure what species these mating Thread-Legged Assassin Bugs are, we aren’t even going to venture a guess. The photo sure is a jumble of thread legs. Perhaps we will take you up on your tropical butterfly identification offer next time we are in a bind.

(08/29/2008) Golden-Silk Spider Eating Large Dragonfly – Palm Beach County – Florida
Hello Purveyors of Bug Identifications,
First – thanks for providing such an educational website. I use it quite a bit while working for the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management. We oversee the protection of thousands of acres of wildlands and one of my numerous jobs is to create trail guides/publications for these properties. This means I need to know what sorts of creatures roam the woodlands – and since I work in the warm, wet climate of South Florida, that means lots of bugs! I am sending you a picture of a female golden-silk spider enjoying a light repast of dragonfly. This photos was taken at the Delray Oaks Natural Area in Delray Beach, Florida. Note, I believe the small spider in the upper right corner is a male. He seems to be waiting his turn at the dinner table – probably smart considering the huge size discrepancy between the two. If he is not careful, he may be dessert! Keep up the great work!
Ann Mathews
Senior Environmental Analyst
Palm Beach County

Hi Ann,
Your letter came at the perfect time to be selected as the Bug of the Month for September as well as being cross referenced in the Food Chain and Bug Love. Golden Silk Spiders, Nephila clavipes, have pronounced sexual dimorphism, with the female sometime being 100 times the mass of the diminutive male. Golden Silk Spiders have extremely strong silk, and attempts have been made to use it for fabric, but this is far too expensive to be practical. Golden Silk Spiders are also called Banana Spiders and can be found in the southeastern US and south all the way to Argentina.

Anxious Comment
OK, this is just sad
I’m anxiously awaiting the September Bug of the Month…does that mean I’m addicted?
Misty Doy

Hi Misty,
We usually post the new Bug of the Month on the last day of the month even if we have selected it a few days earlier. It will be live shortly.

funny cicada foto from joanne
Dan and Lisa!
I wanted to share this goofy photo I took yesterday morning in Darien, IL. I call it "Ian Likes to Watch." Ian is our cat. He sniffed at them then walked away. Poor bugs can’t get any privacy!

Hi Joanne,
This has to be one of the funniest Bug Love images we have ever received. Thanks for sending it.

Angle Wing????
I can’t find a photo of this butterfly online anywhere. The closest I’ve seen to it is an Anglewing on your site. I shot him along Pinto Creek near Brackettville, TX during the 2007 Monarch Migration. Thank you!

Hi Genie,
The numerous interogation marks in your subject line has led us to believe that your are somewhat certain that this is a Question Mark Butterfly, Polygonia interrogationis, and we agree. Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies Through Binoculars books (both West and East) are must haves for all butterfly observers. He writes: “Very rarely a Question Mark will have the dot of its ‘question mark’ missing, leaving you to question the correct punctuation of the species.” Your specimen has a defined dot.