From the monthly archives: "November 2008"

Can you identify this annoying, swarming bug?
Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 12:08 PM
Hi. Noone I’ve talked to knows what these are. The bloom in late summer and are enormous pests through sheer numbers. They crash-land on everything and march around, but otherwise exhibit no behavior. They seek cracks and shelter and crowd together to winter, I suppose. I very rarely see them mating. They are a hideous annoyance that, at peak times, make it impossible to work outside. They get into EVERYTHING. Everything you open has them inside it. They are masters are penetration.
Ian Macky
Yreka (rural Northern California)

Hyaline Plant Bugs

Hyaline Plant Bugs

Hi Ian,
We did some research on BugGuide, and have concluded that you are being infested by Hyaline Grass Bugs, Liorhyssus hyalinus. There is considerable information on BugGuide on how to properly identify the species, but no information on its habits. We have not had much luck locating other information except a vague reference that they are pests on Sorghum. We would question if perhaps there are Sorghum fields near your residence.

Hi Daniel…
That certainly looks to be it!  Thanks so much.  I will find out if sorghum is grown around here.  I’m in the middle of acres of “buck brush” in scrub country, no crops are grown within a couple miles at
least.  Hmm…  I read up some and it said they eat sorghum and pistachio fruit– two very different things– which makes me wonder if there are others things it eats, something very common around here. Anyway, thanks again for the ID, that really helps.  If you like, I
can send you a few trillion for your collection.
ian

Thanks for the offer Ian, but our entire collection of bugs is online.

Caterpiller
Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 1:10 PM
Hello, I found this really cool caterpiller in my garden and I can’t find any pictures that match him it seems most are green. I live in central Florida and would like to know what it is and what it eats. Any information you have would be great.
Thank you in advance!
P.S. my kids and I love your website!!!!
Felice Gilmartin
Central Florida

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Hi Felice,
This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar, Eacles imperialis.  Most specimens of caterpillars of this species are green, but in order to better ensure the survival of the species, there are also blue-green, brown, and orange color variations of this caterpillar.  Many caterpillars change color right before pupation.  Imperial Moth Caterpillars pupate in the soil, and we suspect this individual left the tree upon which it was feeding, and was searching for a nice plot of dirt in which to pupate when you encountered it.  Imperial Moth Caterpillars are not real fussy about their food.  Specimens are found on a large variety of deciduous trees and they will even feed on some coniferous trees.  Adult Imperial Moths do not feed.

Large colorful cricket
Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 11:22 AM
I found this large (about 3-4 inches) cricket looking bug on my rose bush. Since then I have seen him or his friends several places around my house. Once it was even walking along the edge of my roof. I was just wondering what it was.
Curious
Denham Springs, Louisiana

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Hi Curious,
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera.  There are light and dark forms and yours is a textbook example of the light form.  You can find a matching image and information on Bugguide.

mystery Autumn caterpillar
Sat, Nov 22, 2008 at 5:57 AM
My children found this guy on their treehouse in October. We have scoured the internet and our caterpillar field guide for his identity. I suspect this is a moth larva.
J, M, and S
Baton Rouge, LA

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear J,M, and S,
We are happy to hear the children did not suffer a painful sting after handling this Stinging Slug Caterpillar.  Your specimen is in the genus Euclea.  We found a matching image on BugGuide, but it is not identified to the species level.  The Spiny Oak Slug Moth, Euclea delphinii, is the only species identified in the genus, so your specimen is either a closely related species, or a color variation on the Spiny Oak Slug Moth.

Mandible (Non-Insect)?
Sat, Nov 22, 2008 at 12:57 PM
Found 11/22/08, Central Indiana (Lebanon,IN) ,USA, In bathroom sink, Early winter. Exterior Temperature 30 degrees F.
Ruler shown is in mm.
Reece, the Scorpion King
Central Indiana, USA

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpion

Hi Reece,
This is a harmless Pseudoscorpion.  They are often found in homes and they have a nearly worldwide distribution.

I have no clue what is it
Sat, Nov 22, 2008 at 10:14 PM
I found it climbing an small concrete wall, close to were I’m building my new home and while I usually have at least an idea of what a bug is, this time I have not clue what so ever,it’s lengt is around an inch long and I found it in the summer, is it a larva of some sort?
Jorge Farias
Jalisco, Mexico

Firefly Larva from Mexico

Netwing Beetle Larva from Mexico

Hola Jorge,
We believe this is a Firefly Larva. Beetle Larvae, and larvae in general, are often quite difficult to exactly identify to the species level. Fireflies are beetles, and the larvae eat snails and slugs. We wish we had Fireflies in Los Angeles, not only because of the night display, but because of the garden snails and slugs that eat our lettuce and other tender plants.

Hi, Daniel:
Wow, you have been very busy posting!  I turn my back for a week and….wham!  LOL!
… Ok, I think that covers it for now.  Oh, wait, that “lampyrid larva” from Mexico is much more than likely the larva of a net-winged beetle, family Lycidae.
Eric