From the monthly archives: "June 2009"

2 June 2009
Sometimes at the beginning of the month, we have problems with our server and new images do not post live to the site. We are currently experiencing this problem. Please be patient.

Problem solved!!!!!

1 June 2009, 7:44 PM
Four years ago on 9 July 2005, we discovered an unusual beetle in a spider web. We supposed it to be an Elaterid or Click Beetle, but it had feathered antennae. Eventually Eric Eaton contacted an expert, Dr. Art Evans, identified it as a Euthysanius species. This was Dr. Art Evans conclusion at the time: “The following excerpt is from our upcoming field guide for CA beetle s: At least five species of Euthysanius are found in California. The males of Euthysanius lautus (15.0-19.0 mm) (Plate 111) are reddish-brown with grooved elytra and feathery, 12-segmented antennae . They are found under the bark of pines (Pinus) and are attracted to lights throughout southern California. Adult females (up to 35.0 mm) (Plate 112) have very short elytra and lack flight wings, exposing most of the abdominal segments. They are found crawling over the ground.” Well, this afternoon, we found another specimen on our screen door.

Click Beetle

We took several images of the Click Beetle to post. When the Click Beetle is on its back, it snaps back to an upright position, but only propelling about an inch or two into the air.

Click Beetle

The beetle is about an inch long. We are also quite impressed with the mandibles on this specimen. Though it didn’t do any damage, it tried to discourage us from handling it by biting. BugGuide identifies the genus as Arboreal Click Beetles.

Click Beetle

This may be a caterpillar known as “cara de nino” in Central Mexico
Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 5:28 AM
I have been trying to find out more about this insect for quite a while, but don’t even know where to start. I only saw one of them while living in Guadalajara, Mexico. I have been told that it is a caterpillar that pests avocado trees. It is, well, avocado green with darker lines zigzagging its oval-shape body. Its head is eerily round and shiny. Some say it has a forked, red tongue, which comes out of its mannequin-looking mouth. They are called “cara de nino” (baby face) bugs.
John Sanchez
Guadalajara, Mexico, for sure

Swallowtail Caterpillar

Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi John,
This is some species of Swallowtail Caterpillar. Your photo does not have enough detail to allow for an exact species identification, but it is in the genus Papilio.

Update: Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 8:15 PM
Hi Daniel,
Sometimes when I log in, type a comment, and then click “Post”, a message states that my words are awaiting approval. More often, like today, I see no such affirmation, which leads me to suspect that my two comments went into a black hole. Thus, I’m also sending them to you directly – hope that’s OK.
Cheers,
Keith

Hola John,
The answer can be found here (from Guatemala) . . .
2008/07/24/unknown-swallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar-from-guatemala/
. . . and here (more specifically, Veracruz):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbuddenh/2534110452/
Best wishes,
Keith Wolfe

Need ID for Neo tropical Conservation Project
Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 6:18 AM
Dear Daniel,
Sorry about the misunderstood, I didn’t mean to say any thing bad about your students or about the way you judge them. I was actually trying to be funny but it didn’t work obviously. I have a strange kind of humour, maybe cause I m french, but well nobody’s perfect!
I am currently in Louisiana were they also are having a hard time conserving the coast line and the beautiful swamps…the problem is everywhere I m afraid.
I will be back in Ecuador next friday though.
I would like to ask you a favor: I have been having the photos I am attaching on my computer for a while and I don’t know how to classify the critters… Do you have any idea if these are hymenopteran, megalopterans, or some kind of hemipteran nymphs?
Sorry this is one of the first time I find myself so stranded with a species. I don’t have a scientific background at all, I m just learning as I go.
Thanks in advance.
Thierry
ecuador eastern slopes

Owlfly

Owlfly

Hi Again Thierry,
We are very happy that we can assist you with this difficult identification. We would wager money that these are Owlflies, members of the order Neuroptera, which includes Lacewings and Antlions, and the family Ascalaphidae. We haven’t a clue as to the genus or species. Here is what BugGuide uses as identification markers for Owlflies: “Bizarre creatures that look like a cross between a dragonfly and a butterfly. The body resembles that of other neuropterans, more-or-less, but the prominent antennae are clubbed like those of butterflies. Key characters:
Medium to large size
Clubbed antennae
Eyes large and bulge out from head
may rest in cryptic posture with abdomen projecting from perch, resembling a twig”. The social behavior is a bit unusual in our mind, but they may be feeding on some plant eating insect.

Owlfly Aggregation

Owlfly Aggregation

Thank you so much Daniel for your help. Actually after I sent you the message I scrolled down you re web page and realized that some one had sent you a picture of an owlfly and imagined we could be dealing with one of them guys. Touche!
I’ m glad I learnt something as I didn’t suspect the existence of such creatures.
Good luck with everything. we’ll be in touch.

Higher evolution?
Sun, May 31, 2009 at 1:57 PM
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel, twice I have found mating March Flies (?) with the head of one being miniscule in comparasion to the other. Could they be as their human counterparts in that the male’s thinking has been usurped by another body part? Perhaps this then is our future.
Just curious,
Dwaine
near Casper, WY

March Flies (male on left) Mating

March Flies (male on left) Mating

Hi again Dwaine,
While your evolutionary comment is highly amusing, the flaw in the logic is that the male March Fly has the larger eyes, and larger head.  We are not certain what species your March Flies in the family Bibionidae represent.  Lovebugs in the genus Plecia are a group of March Flies with considerable notoriety.