From the monthly archives: "September 2008"

a creature for sure!
Found this on the steps of my hotel in Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica! This looks like one of those dobson flies…i got a picture with the wings flapping too!
It was atleast 6 inches!~
scared!
Arenal, Costa Rica

Male Dobsonfly in threat Position in Costa Rica

Male Dobsonfly in threat Position in Costa Rica

Hi Scared,
Don’t be afraid. Male Dobsonflies are quite harmless despite the sabre like mandibles and threat posture. The female Dobsonfly has more modest mandibles, but hers can produce a nipping bite. The male uses his trophey mandibles during the mating process, or so we have read, but we have never been lucky enough to have a photo of a mating pair to proove this statement.

Unknown Butterfly
I found him in the Big Horns.
Was unable to identfy him.
Scotty
Wyoming, Natrona County

Weidemeyer's Admiral

Weidemeyer Admiral

Hi Scotty,
Your butterfly is a Weidemeyer’s Admiral, Limenitis weidemeyerii. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of willows and aspens, and it is found in the Great Basin area north to the Canadian border in habitats where those plants are present like moist forests as well as marshes are riparian areas of arid country.

Euglandina rosea attacks Achatina fulica
Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 8:09 AM
Good Morning. Hope the subject line got your attention!
Quick one: While in Guam some time ago, I did a photo/research project on the Giant African Snail and its predator. MANY 35mm Ektachromes now converted to medium-format digital….showing adults of both, and the actual attack. Winnowed them down to 4 of the most significant.
Want ’em? File sizes run under 400kb….but I can easily and quickly optimize to any filesize.
Freely offered….gratis….use them as you wish.
Fred Davis

Snail Attack

Snail Attack

Hi Fred,
Sorry it has taken us so long to get back to you, but your letter arrived during the time our website was transitioning, and things got a bit rocky. We just finished posting a letter with an image of mating Spotted Leopard Slugs, and that jogged our memory regarding your several week old letter. We thought your photos and letter would make an interesting companion piece the the aforementioned letter as it is another example of questionable behavior among molluscs.

Snail Attack

Snail Attack

is it some sort of mantis?
I was out shooting fall color and some insects when I came across this very small insect feeding on another insect. I didn’t really give it much thought until I was editing photos and noticed the mantis like front legs.
Jerry
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Mating Ambush Bugs

Mating Ambush Bugs

Hi Jerry,
While we have heard of many foods as being described as being “better than sex” in the case of your photograph, it seems the male Ambush Bug would rather procreate than eat. Ambush Bugs in the genus Phymata are typically found on blossoms where they wait to ambush insects attracted to the nectar and pollen.

Bright Geometrid Caterpillar from Mexico
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
I’ve finally got my pictures of the geometric caterpillars and pupae clean up to submit and am anxious to see what you have to say. These are from our front yard in central Mexico in Guanajuato State. There were TONS of them on a particular woody “weed” which I’ve captured in one of the photos so you can see what they’re eating. Whatever it is must have been particularly tasty as they weren’t the only ones munching away. There were also a couple of other unidentified larvae that looked perhaps to be some type of sawfly. But I digress. These act like inch-worms, hence I figure they must be geometrid of some sort. The final instars are approx 1 1/2″ in length and the diameter of a slender pencil. They’re kind of a snake mimic with the black, red and whitish stripes since we do have coral snakes in the area. After searching your site and bugguide and the web, I’ve come up empty-handed. The pupa turns into a small black and yellow one. Any ideas?
Stefanie
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Unknown Mexican Caterpillars

Unknown Mexican Caterpillars

Hi Stephanie,
We aren’t sure what you did to “clean up” your photos, but the digital files are very tiny and it is difficult to see anything. We agree that the caterpillars resemble Geometrid Moths, but the chrysalis is definitely that of a butterfly. Are you certain these are the same species? A photo of the adult is the easiest way to identify your subjects. Sadly, we don’t know what you have, but we will post the images in the hopes that someone can provide an answer.

Unknown Chrysalis from Mexico

Unknown Chrysalis from Mexico

Hi Daniel,
Sorry about the photo sizes, I must have not sized them correctly.  And unfortunately I don’t have a macro lens so these are the best I could do.  As to whether or not the chrysalis is from the caterpillar observed I have to say I’m not 100% sure.  Besides the chrysalis pic I sent I did see some of the caterpillars form a kind of “netting,” like a cocoon.  But I didn’t see any other caterpillars crawling up the wall where these were.  Sadly, I don’t have pics of the cocoon structures.  In any case, thanks for looking at these and hopefully someone will have an idea.
Stefanie

Limax copulation
I just wanted to share this image and these Youtube links of a pair of Limax maximus copulating on my toolshed. I took these images in mid-September 2008 in Brunswick, Maryland (Frederick County).
http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=k6Jh6zmoH1o
http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=cutUEYHozpM
love your site – i visit regularly and recommend you to my friends
wayneO
Brunswick, Frederick County, Maryland

Mating Spotted Leopard Slugs

Mating Spotted Leopard Slugs

Hi Wayne,
Several years ago when we posted a response that mentioned that all snails and slugs are Hermaphrodites, so all pairings are same sex, we incurred the wrath of a particularly sensitive reader. The facts have not changed on this issue, and slugs are still hermaphrodites. This species is commonly called the Spotted Leopard Slug, the Tiger Slug, or the Great Grey Slug. More can be read on this Oregon State University website.