From the monthly archives: "March 2009"

Red and black shelled bug
Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:11 PM
We live in San Antonio, Texas. Since early March, we have been noticing these strange bugs crawling around near our back porch and in our back garden. They’ve been hanging out on our nascent basil bush, though they don’t seem to have actually nibbled a the basil yet. (Perhaps they don’t like pesto?) Does anyone know what these pesky creatures might be called? What environmentally responsible steps can we take to remove them from our premises?
Aaron
San Antonio, Texas

Red Shouldered Bugs

Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear Aaron,
The most puzzling aspect of your photo of mating Red Shouldered Bugs, Jadera haematoloma, is that the female does not appear to have fully developed wings. This indicates that she is still an immature nymph. Red Shouldered Bugs may be a nuisance when they appear in large aggregations, but they will not harm the plants in your garden. According to BugGuide, it is found in: “yards and gardens, often in large aggregations to feed on seeds that have dropped to the ground from trees overhead ” and “”J. haematoloma feeds on a variety of plants but prefers balloonvine (Cardiospermum spp.; Sapindaceae) which grows in southern Florida. Additional hosts include other Sapindaceae, Ficus spp. (Moraceae) and Althaea spp. (Malvaceae). In some areas the bugs are observed feeding so often on goldenrain tree seeds ( Koelreuteria spp.; Sapindaceae), that they are referred to as ‘goldenrain tree bugs’.” – Frank Mead and Thomas Fasulo, University of Florida .” The species is also known as the Golden Rain Tree Bug because of its association with that plant. We do not offer extermination advice, especially with regards to benign species. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion on the underage female involved in mating activity.

Update: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:39:27 -0700 (PDT)
Hi, Daniel:
Many members of the “true bugs” suborder Heteroptera exhibit what scientists call “polymorphism” when it comes to wing growth.  Some individuals or populations will have shortened or otherwise non-functional wings while others will be fully-winged.  I’ve never heard of Jadera displaying that phenomenon, but I’m also not surprised by it.
Eric
P.S.  Did I tell you I’m blogging now?  Feel free to link to anything there that you might find useful, or even reprint it on WTB:
http://bugeric.blogspot.com

What is this Moth?
Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:29 PM
this moth was hanging on the window screen of our house from about 7am when i first noticed it, and was there all day and disappeared sometime in the night after 11pm. it was almost 5 inches wide (as seen in the picture) and very rusty/red. we live about an hours drive south of San Fransisco, California, and about a 30 minute drive from the beach. our house is in the Santa Cruz mountains, about 600ft elevation. this is easily the biggest and most colorful moth I’ve seen (although I’m only 17 and havent seen much) and i would love to know what it is
Will Lawton
Redwood Forest, in the mountains, near the ocean

Ceanothus Silk Moth

Ceanothus Silk Moth

Dear Will,
Congratulations on your sighting of a Ceanothus Silk Moth, Hyalophora euryalus, one of the Giant Silk Moths.  It is wonderful that you included both and open winged and closed winged shot and also that your included a ruler.  All of this will assist our West Coast readers who should begin sighting this moth now that spring is approaching.  According to BugGuide:  “adults fly from January to July, depending on altitude, latitude, and seasonal variation”  and  the species ranges from “British Columbia to western Montana, south through west coast states to Baja California. In California, found mostly west of the Sierras. Habitat coastal areas, chaparral, intermontane valleys, conifer forests.”  The caterpillars feed on a variety of leaves including the California lilac or Ceanothus.  Adults do not feed.

Ceanothus Silk Moth

Ceanothus Silk Moth

Spider look like a scorpion?
Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 8:46 AM
Hello, we currently live in Brunei which is part of Borneo. We have seen this bug many times all around our house. It looks like a scorpion but we think it is a spider. We have two small children so we would like to know what this bug is and if it bites! It is black and about 1cm in length. We really appriciate your help in identifying this creature so we can learn more about it!
J
Borneo, South East Asia

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Hi J,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.  Jumping Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build webs and they are harmless.

Big brown and gray moth with leaf like antenni.
Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM
Big brown and gray moth with leaf like antenni.
Hello,
Today on my porch I came accross a very large brown and gray moth with large antenni that resemble leaves. There are a couple spots on each wing.
Justin
Texas

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Hi Justin,
Your moth is a Giant Silk Moth known as the Polyphemus Moth.  The dorsal surface of the lower wings have large spots that resemble eyes, hence naming the moth after the legendary cyclops Polyphemus from the Odyssey.

What is this Queensland Moth?
Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 9:44 PM
Hey there bugman!
I found this dude in the collar of one of my tee shirts that I had on the line today, and he gave me a little freight since I’ve not seen a moth as big as he is before. However, after my initial shock I decided to get him identified by you. After he’d had enough of the photo shoot he took off, possibly to find another collar to sleep in. He was about the size of my thumb and very fuzzy.
thanks bugman
Pseudo
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Convolvulvus Hawk Moth

Convolvulvus Hawk Moth

Dear Pseudo,
We quickly located your moth on the Brisbane Insects Website and it is a Convolvulvus Hawk Moth, Agrius convolvuli.  We located much information on the species, including another website that indicates has a large range and migrates freely in Europe, Asia and Africa as well as Australia.  More information and photos can be found on the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic website.

Convolvulvus Hawk Moth

Convolvulvus Hawk Moth

Strike the pose, amazing moth.
Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 6:42 PM
Hi guys,
Found this stunning moth and was fortunate enough to have Donald Hobern, an entomologist from CSIRO provide the ID of Eporectis tephropis (Noctuidae: Catocalinae. I could imagine that if it wasn’t against the green surronds that it would look much like a dead leaf. There are no images of this one on the web at the moment but will supply it to Australian Moths Online as well
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Owlet Moth:  Eporectis tephropis

Owlet Moth: Eporectis tephropis

Hi Trevor,
As always, your images and contributions to our website are a treasure.  We can only wonder when you will begin your own site.  Thanks for this stunning Owlet Moth image.