What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

iridescent blue flying bug
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM
I found three of these iridescent blue bugs in my back yard. Two were mating and the other had fallen in a bowl of water. They are iredescent blue with the exception of their neck which is red. For size comparison, it is on my finger in the first image. At first I thought they were wasps, but there was no visible stinger and I didn’t get stung when it landed on my finger.
Phoenix, Arizona

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Dear Adriana,
We are sad you didn’t provide a photo of the mating pair of Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer moths for our Bug Love page. The Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, has a species name that refers to the iridescence you describe. This species has brightly colored caterpillars that can defoliate grape vines if present in sufficient quantities. BugGuide refers to this moth by the compound word common name Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer. Though they are not Wasp Moths, the species does mimic certain wasps, hence your early confusion.

I’m sorry I didn’t get the picture of them mating for your site. This all
explains why they were in my yard AND what those very pretty, very damaging
caterpillars turn into after they are done devouring my grape vines. I
usually pick them off of the vines each year.
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question and hope you
enjoy the pictures I did provide.

Thanks for the followup confirmation Adriana,
We did enjoy your photos, and your letter and one of the images was posted to our site yesterday.

Update: Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM
Here’s your wish come true.

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Thanks Adriana,
Our internet connectivity was down, so we were unable to post yesterday.

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Arizona

6 Responses to Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

  1. DivineVision says:

    Great site!!!! I have Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer….How do I get ride of them..anything that eats them? : (

    Grapes gettin Got in the AZ sun…please help


  2. Gloria says:

    Never seen one before today but I just found one in my kitchen. Im in California. ..is this normal?

    • bugman says:

      Kitchens are not the normal habitat for the Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, however, California is within the range of the species.

  3. Amber says:

    I have these all over my small wine grape vines, how do I get rid of them?

  4. wesley grant says:

    hello bug man did you know that the catapillar stage of this grape leef eater does bite or can sting my friend had one bite him and i pulled it of his back ill get my pics and send them to you any how have you heard of any body getting bite by this catapillar be for ill have pic in an hour its on his fhone

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