From the monthly archives: "January 2009"

Ugly Bug
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 5:59 AM
What kind of bug is this? Is it dangerous? I found it indoors about a week ago in our living room, on our couch.
Mr.
oklahoma city, ok

Acorn Weevil

Acorn Weevil

Hi Mr,
This is an Acorn Weevil in the genus Curculio which can be verified on BugGuide. The snout is quite distinctive for Nut Weevils and Acorn Weevils.

We’re in Fungus Gnat Hell
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:13 PM
Is this some sort of Fungus Gnat? They act like a cross between a mosquito and a small fly. About the size of a mosquito, with long wings. But in flight much slower than any mosquito or fly (that is, I can swat one). They appear to have invaded us after an extended warm spell here in San Diego. They don’t seem to bite, and appear generally harmless, but worry that they’re a danger to the outdoor plants or citrus trees. My kids are freaking out b/c they think they are mosquitoes, lying in wait to torment them and suck their blood while they slumber…
Kel
Coastal San Diego

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

Dear Kel,
In our estimation, you are correct that this is a Dark Winged Fungus Gnat in the family Sciaridae.  Charles Hogue, in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, identifies a Root Gnat in this family, Bradysia impatiens, that also looks like your specimen.  Hogue writes:  “This is the tiny black gnat that flits in your face while you are watching television and that always seems to get stuck in fresh paint.  The larva lives in decaying plant material, such as compost, peat, and sphagnum;  it also commonly infests the roots and stems of various herbaceous plants.  The insect may develop in the media used for potted plants, which explains its mysterious appearance indoors.”

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

burrowing bug
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 12:21 PM
While laying a patio foundation with leveling sand, I found this bug burrowing in the sand. Photo 2 shows what I found the morning after compacting the sand. ( I had covered the sand with plastic overnight.)
Thank you for any information.
John
Miami, Florida

Mole Cricket

Mole Cricket

Hi John,
This is a Mole Cricket in the family Gryllotalpidae .  We have received images of Mole Crickets from many parts of the world, including many from American troops fighting in Iraq.

Achemon Sphinx moth
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:31 PM
Hi, I found this beautiful Achemon Sphinx moth on my porch one evening in August in Riverside California . Is it unusual to find these moths in southern California? Thanks to your site I found the name of this moth after searching & looking through your earlier posts. I thought you might want to post my photo since I noticed there arent any recent Achemon Sphinx posts on your site.
Thanks, Alicia
Southern California

Achemon Sphinx

Achemon Sphinx

Hi Alicia,
According to Bill Oehlke’s excellent website, the Achemon Sphinx, Eumorpha achemon, is a common species in San Diego County.

Cave cricket – Philippines
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM
Hi there,
I love you site and take a look at least once a week to see what wonderful life people around the world have been finding. I hope you enjoy the attached pictures of a cricket we found in a cave in Sohoton National park, Samar in The Philippines.
He was 3-4 inches in length, but his antennae were almost double that. I’m amazed by the ‘toes’ on his back legs and it’s ‘tail’. Forgive me for not knowing the scientific names of it’s body parts.
Noel, UK
Philippines

Camel Cricket

Camel Cricket

Hi Noel,
Your Camel Cricket or Cave Cricket in the family Rhaphidophoridae is actually a female as evidenced by her ovipositor or “tail.”   The Camel Cricket is a Bug of the Month for January 2009.  While we don’t know the exact species of your specimen, nor do we know the common name in the Philippines, we are confident that the family Rhaphidophoridae is correct.

Cave Cricket

Cave Cricket

A few moths back, we started a dialog with an editor and an agent, and though we are a nervous wreck, we are embarking upon a book project. Since we have a limited amount of time to spend on this new pursuit, we will have to reduce the time we spend posting your wonderful questions, letters and photographs. We are setting a strict time limit of only 30 minutes per day allotted to answering your numerous requests. A few will be posted, and we can email short answers to a few more. Getting our attention is the luck of the draw. Chances are quite good that the insect you want identified might already be in our archives. Please try our search engine or click the links on the left side of the homepage. Don’t forget to scroll down to see our most recent postings and you can see the alphabetized archive of links on the lower left. Please contact us with any comments, problems, suggestions or praise.

Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM
Hi guys, great news about your book deal but is that  a Freudian slip on the
front page that a “few MOTHS back” you were talking to them 🙂
Trevor

hi Trevor,
You are not the only one who caught our typographical error, but seeing as the conversation was a few moths back as well as a few months back, we have decided to let the error stand.