From the monthly archives: "January 2009"

From Puerto Rico: Hemiptera or Diptera?
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 7:32 AM
I thought this would be a bug, but upon looking at it more closely I believe I see alteres. Perhaps a sort of fly? It would perch on leaves and stay immobile for long periods of time. Photographed during the day, Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico.
Alejandro Sanchez
Lowland rain forest, Luquillo Mountains, eastern Puerto Rico

unknown Fly (we think) from Puerto Rico

Hemipteran from Puerto Rico

Hello Alejandro,
We believe this is a fly in the order Diptera, but we are uncertain beyond that. We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he is able to provide additional information. We would not entirely rule out that this is a Hemipteran, because although the image appears to indicate halteres, the knobbed, thread-like, hind wing organs of flies, our ancient volume of Comstock’s An Introduction to Entomology states on page 59: “The hind wings of the males of the family Coccidae are also threadlike.”

Unknown Fly from Puerto Rico

Hemipteran from Puerto Rico

Correction: From Eric Eaton
Monday, January 26, 2009
Ok, the “fly” is some kind of hemipteran, probably a fulgoroid hopper, but in the tropics there are entire families not seen in North America….
Eric

Update: Tuesday January 27, 2009
Hi Daniel:
The web site Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web (FLOW) lists only seven fulgoroid species for Puerto Rico, in two families (Achilidae and Cixiidae) and five genera. I was not able to locate images of any of the listed species, but based on related species it looks like it is probably a Cixiid (Bothriocera bicornis, Cubana tortriciformis or Oliarus cingalensis). It looks quite similar to the Bothriocera images on Bugguide. Regards.
Karl
Links: http://flow.snv.jussieu.fr/cgi-bin/flowexplorer.pl?lang= en&page=country&id=40

http://bugguide.net/node/view/43853/bgimage

Huge unknown Namibian grasshopper
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 12:08 PM
Hi, i came across this huge grasshopper (locust?) in the Zaris Mountains in Namibia. It must have been close to 10cm long, the biggest hopper i have ever seen! Can you help me identify the species? Can it be some kind of desert locust?
Geir Drange
Namibia

Unknown Grasshopper from Namibia

Unknown Grasshopper from Namibia

Hi Geir,
We are going to post your image before we begin trying to identify your large Namibian Grasshopper. It appears to be a flightless species unless it is a nymph that is still growing.

Comment from Eric Eaton
Monday, January 26, 2009
I have no idea what kind of grasshopper that is from Namibia, there is not even anything like it in my Field Guide to Insects of South Africa (by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths, and Alan Weaving).
Eric

wingless hornet?
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 6:19 AM
recentle, january 2009 i did ground work and constructed a garage now each morning i find a few bugs slow crawling as to a woken slumber on my ceiling. They appear to be a wingless hornet with an ants head.they have 6 legs the front 2 are smaller than the rest .and 2 antenni. i am used to all the mites and chiggers and every other species we have do to our mild winters this is a new one for me. thanks for your help.
unseen species.
SE kansas

Red Headed Ash Borer

Red Headed Ash Borer

Dear unseen species,
This is a Red Headed Ash Borer, Neoclytus acuminatus, a Long Horned Borer Beetle that mimics a wasp as a defense mechanism.  The larvae bore in wood, and it is possible that some of the lumber used in your construction had beetle larvae that eventually metamorphosed and emerged.  The adult beetles have soft flying wings covered by hard elytra, the forewings, and though your specimen appears wingless, it does possess wings and is very capable of flight.  We often receive reports of Red Headed Ash Borers emerging from firewood indoors.

Grasshopper
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 11:51 AM
Earlier this month I was trying to take photographs of birds when I saw this insect land in front of me. I assume that it’s a grasshopper and not a katydid. It was on the ground at the entrance to a field adjacent to parkland and close to houses in a suburb of Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a picture of the sunny side of the insect because the entrance gate to the field prevented me from taking a picture from that side. By the way, I’m now back in France where I live!
Chris Shaw
Scofield Farms Drive, Pflugerville, Austin, TX

Grasshopper

Wrinkled Grasshopper ???

Hi Chris,
This is definitely a Grasshopper and not a Katydid.  We believe it may be in the subfamily Oedipodinae, the Band-winged Grasshoppers, and it looks similar to Encoptolophus costalis which is pictured on BugGuide and ranges in Texas, but we are not certain.  We feel it looks even more similar to the Wrinkled Grasshopper, Hippiscus ocelote which can also be viewed on BugGuide. We suspect the species name “ocelote” may refer to the wing spotting resembling that of an ocelot.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he is able to assist in this identification.

scary-looking spider in Guyana
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 12:15 PM
Hi,
I have been unsuccessfull in finding this spider on the internet. It was photographed in Guyana (Atta rainforest) in 2006. Can you help?
Erik Zandboer
Atta rainforest, Guyana

Unknown Spider from Guyana

Unknown Spider from Guyana

Hi Erik,
We are sorry, but we cannot identify your spider.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist.  Many rain forest creatures are not identified, or are poorly described.

NEWBORN LUNA MOTH – IT’S A BOY !
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM
Hello!
These are just a few pictures I took of the numerous Luna moths I raised!
My daughter and husband found a “white butterfly” on the outside doorjamb in the morning when they left for school/work. She mentioned that the ‘butterfly’ was still there when they came home that evening. It was then that I HAD to go look – I don’t know of a ‘white butterfly’ that would have received THAT much attention from my daughter. I gasped, “It’s a LUNA MOTH!” I was stumbling thru my words as I tried to explain how few people even get to SEE a REAL Luna! I noticed she was laying eggs on the woodwork and she was exhausted, hence the pale coloring. I carefully placed her on a Sweet Gum leaf that was attached to a branch (in a small cup of water) and let her lay the rest of her eggs in peace. Within 3 days she had passed away and I was now a “grandMOTHer” expecting zillions of babies! It was an exciting process keeping the leaves alive and fresh for the emerging little ‘kits.’ (I know, officially it’s not the correct term, but since I was soon going to have CATerpilla rs running around, KITTENS naturally come first!) I made several trips outside, picking leaves off the trees in our yard, each day. They grew so FAT, so quickly that I HAD to name most of them GARFIELD. I might also mention that this happened LAST YR when North Carolina was experiencing a severe DROUGHT! The neighbors probably thought I was nutz! (And we just moved in THAT summer!) Next thing, I was outside collecting ‘leaf litter’ so they could make their cocoons. All this was done in my ‘quilt room’ in plastic tubs of different sizes because the CATS were in different phases of growth. When things FINALLY settled down and everyone was snug and quiet, I went outside again to collect branches and nailed them to the walls in the room. (Now everyone KNEW I was nutz!) I carefully attached tiny wires to the stems of the leaves used to make the cocoons and hung them on the branches. I know in the wild, the cocoons would be hidden in leaf litter. When the moths emerged they woul d need a safe place to expand their wings to dry, so I hung them on the branches. And then I waited….and waited….and waited…
One day I walked into the room and I saw my FIRST MOTH clinging to her branch! Now I was a REAL GRANDMOTHER and things were going to get hectic again!

Luna Moth Metamorphosis

Luna Moth Metamorphosis

In the first picture you can see an emerging moth; the 2nd picture shows the same moth several minutes later with her wings slightly larger. Gnomes were watching closely the entire time and I managed to take a picture of one before he ran off! The last picture shows another moth drying his wings on his cocoon. By this time I made up several ribbons announcing which moths were “boys” or “girls.” I placed the ‘teenagers’ in a mesh laundry bag to rest and fully dry their wings before I released them the following day. Well, one morning I woke to find 1 of the 2 ‘teen dudes’ mating with the ‘teen girl,’ I knew I shouldn’t have left them alone 😉 I know they have a very short lifespan and most of the females were already pregnant when they were released. Our neighborhood adjoins a park and groups of 2-4 moths were released eit her in my neighborhood or the nearby park every couple of nights. Just their ‘baby cocoons’ and ribbons remain. And the room is quiet again….
…and I’m waiting!
Cathy- a proud grandMOTHer “Who wants to see pictures?”
Cathryn B.
Matthews, North Carolina

Luna Moth Metamorphosis

Luna Moth Metamorphosis

Hi Cathy,
This is just about the most charming letter we have ever received, or at least that we have received in a long time. You are our kind of kook. What a wonderful lesson in metamorphosis you have provided for your daughter. Since we are currently putting together some initial materials for a book we are going to attempt to write, and our agent has suggested the “moth chapter” as something that will interest the publishers, we are taking a cue from your letter to include a section on raising caterpillars. Thanks so much for your wonderful letter and accompanying photos. This is the first Luna Moth of 2009 for our site, and we expect to be getting many photos from the southern portions of the Luna Moth range in the next two months. Luna Moth sightings from Maine don’t generally occur until May. We are greatly amused that your quilting room has become a multipurpose hobby room for the raising of caterpillars, and we hope a Luna Moth inspired quilt is on the horizon.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Another Luna Moth
…and another Luna Moth appears to the grandMOTHer!
August 20, 2009
Hello all!
Just a short note to say I am learning so much from your site and the BugGuide site also! I challenge myself to identify mysterous ‘creepy crawlers’ before I write to you – so far, so good! I am still puzzled by a ‘string/line’ of eggs I’m finding on our screens, but I’m determined to do it on my own — I get stubborn like that sometimes 😉
OH! Last week, another Luna Moth showed up at our front porch light! I didn’t take any pictures this time, I just enjoyed her presence! Was it just last year that I raised the “kits” to caterpillars,nailed branches on the walls in my quilt room, hung the cocoons and took pictures of the emerging baby moths – all fat and plump, waited until their wings expanded and released them at midnight? Then, I LOVED it when you called me your “kind of kook!” (I’m 50 yrs old now and my daughters wish I would act my age — but that’s no fun! I STILL “play” and don’t plan to stop any time soon!) So, if you need pictures of the “kits, cats, (co)coons or moths for your book, you know where to reach me.
Today I was telling my next-door neighbor about the luna moths I raised and she asked if a ‘luna” is a big, green butterfly with long tails? I said ‘yes’ and she said she thinks she saw one last week. I told her it was one that was on my front porch light and I watched it until it disappeared, heading toward her home. She mentioned that it flew past so quickly, she thought she saw a ‘fairy!’ I told her she DID !!!
…and “sew” on,
Cathryn “the grandMOTHer!”
PS. i tried to send this letter without an image cuz this letter is mostly a ‘thank-you’ note, but it wouldn’t send without a picture…so you get a picture of my Border Collie “Shep” — he is a bit ‘buggy’ 😉
Cathryn B., Matthews, NC
Matthews, NC 28105

Hi again Cathryn,
Luckily you provided us with enough information for us to easily find your original posting and to attach this new letter to that posting.  You can provide comments and updates to your own posting easily by attaching a comment.  Once we have approved a reader once, they may continue to provide comments without us having to create a posting.  We will attach a link to your January letter so you may easily locate it in the confusing archive that is our web site.  They sound like True Bug eggs.