From the monthly archives: "October 2008"

Mantis eating Leaf Creature
Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 6:21 PM
Hello Bugman. I thought your great web site might like to see this shot I took of a Mantis snacking on some kind of leaf look-a-like insect. I almost passed right by them.
This is in a “Lum Yai” fruit tree in Northern Thailand.
Love your site!
Dan
Northern Thailand in foothills.

Mantis eats Leaf Insect

Mantis eats Leaf Insect

Hi Dan,
Thanks for sending us your wonderful Food Chain images.  Since our site migration a few months back, our readership is now able to click on the smaller image to enlarge and your photos really demand this closer inspection.  We believe your leaf creature is a Phasmid known as Phyllium siccifolium.  Bugsincyberspace.com has some nice images of living individuals.

Mantis eats Leaf Insect

Mantis eats Leaf Insect

Ew. Bug.
Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 7:52 PM
So, I’m a sophomore college student in central Ohio. Until recently, I’ve enjoyed residing in the recently renovated dorm on campus. But about 2 or 3 weeks ago, these bugs started showing up, and have made my residence less enjoyable. The first time I found one, I figured it just hitched a ride on my back pack and jumped off when I set my bag down (that’s where I found it the first time – behind my back pack). Then I found another one when my parents picked me up for fall break. And, later, another one FLINGED itself at me while I was putting on make up (it missed, luckily, and landed on my vanity instead of me). A couple days later, I found ANOTHER ONE in front of my fridge. And just tonight, one flew by my head as I was practicing sight singing and landed on my piano.

Sorry the picture isn’t that great. My friend took it. She’s an English major – not a Photography major. There is a reason for that. The bug is probably about a half an inch (maybe smaller?) in length, brown, and smells when you squish it (sorry, bug lovers).

I am not a bug person. Any type of bug freaks me out (unless it’s tiny and cute – like a lady bug, or a very very very tiny spider). If you could tell me what kind of bug this is, and why it likes to hang out in my dorm room so much (my guess is that it wants some place warm to stay, since it’s getting colder outside. They weren’t showing up when it was 70-80 degrees outside – but I’m not an insect expert, so I wouldn’t know), and maybe what I could do – if anything – to keep it from coming back, that would be fantastic!
Thanks!
Laura
Dayton Ohio

Cockroach

Cockroach

Hi Laura,
Sorry to say, but you have Cockroaches in your dorm. Thanks for submitting a thoroughly charming and entertaining letter. Your friend should take a photo class to make friends in the darkroom and improve her photo skills.

Insect on summer flower
Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:01 PM
This flying insect was photographed taking nectar from a late summer flower. The most interesting thing is the way it has folded it’s body almost at a ninety degee angle. Photograph was taken about the middle of August. I have no idea of what this is.
Norm Carl
northeastern Illinois

Scaly Bee Fly

Scaly Bee Fly

Hi Again Norm,
This is a Bee Fly in the genus Lepidophora, possibly the Scaly Bee Fly, Lepidophora lepidocera.  The hump back shape is distinctive for the genus.  BugGuide represents two species in the genus and both are found in Illinois.  The other species is Lepidophora lutea and BugGuide indicates:  “Hunch-backed shape is shared with L. lutea . In L. lepidocera , the pale scales are white or pale yellow, and usually no pale scales are evident on the fourth abdominal segment. Also note fringe at end of abdomen.”

Not a Twig Girdler, but what??
Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:35 AM
We live in Oklahoma in a mostly natural forrest of about 200 acres, creeks, bluffs and trees. This bug was on the patio as we were buildiing a cabinet. We have evidence of Twig Girdlers…branches cut off on the ground with green leaves still in tact. So I thought it may be one, but it did not have the distinctive markings a Girdler has. The tenacles are very long, and the length of the bug is about 2-3 inches and the mouth appears to be large enough to be used in biting or cutting. It is slightly more yellow than the picture shows with a definite black pattern. Any ideas?
skizi
Eastern Oklahoma

Cottonwood Borer

Cottonwood Borer

Hi skizi,
Your Longhorned Borer Beetle is a Cottonwood Borer, Plectrodera scalator.  Most of our photos of this spectacular beetle come from Texas and Oklahoma.

Is this a clearwing moth
Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM
Took this photo in northeastern Illinois. I believe that it is a clearwing moth, but I do not know what type.
Norm Carl
northeastern Illinois near Chicago

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Norm,
We are happy to see that you figured out how to send the photo before we had a chance to respond.  We believe this is a Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, but there are closely related species in the genus Hemaris that sometimes confuse us.  You can find lots of great information and photos on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

Greasy Sex Picture
Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:19 PM
Probably got your attention now :-), out bird watching and came across these mating Big Greasy Butterflies. Only had the 400mm telephoto on so not as detailed as I would have liked but thought you might like it for the bug love pages. Do many butterflies mate in this face to face position?
Regards the Moths of Australia website, Don is one of my inspirations in the bug world and I emailed him for an ID of the plume moth. He liked the picture so much he asked if he could add it to his page
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Big Greasy Butterflies Mating

Big Greasy Butterflies Mating

Hi again Trevor,
This is a beautiful photo of mating Big Greasy Butterflies, Cressida cressida.  While the common name is somewhat offputting, it is nonetheless a lovely butterfly.  The Big Greasy is also known by the more attractive name Clearwing Swallowtail.