From the monthly archives: "June 2009"

Bugs mating
Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 7:21 AM
Hi, photographed these bugs on a hike on June 28th near Tillman Ravine in the Stokes state forest, New Jersey. Not sure what they are, but they are definitely mating.
Thanks for your help, Steve
Stokes state forest, NJ.

Mating Flower Longhorns:  Strangalia luteicornis

Mating Flower Longhorns: Strangalia luteicornis

Hi Steve,
These are mating Flower Longhorns in the subfamily Lepturinae of the family Cerambycidae, the Longhorn Borer Beetles.  We used BugGuide to identify them as Strangalia luteicornis, a species with no common name that is common and ranges in the Eastern North America.  According to BugGuide:  “Food Adults take nectar and/or pollen at flowers, are said to be especially fond of sumac.
Life Cycle Larvae feed on decaying wood of several deciduous trees and woody vines. Adults attracted to UV light. “

half the size of my hand, orange antennae that curl back, hairy, orange wings, black body, 8 legs
Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 9:20 AM
I was walking outside and I saw this bug following me on the sidewalk. I let it pass me as I walked behind it I noticed how big it was and that it was not flying. I had to chase it to take a picture of it because it walks fast. IT has orange wings, orange hairy antennae that curl back when it touched something, a hairy black,blue body, look like a stinger back end but no stinger was present, big eyes, and when I captured it, it started to lay eggs which made me more interested. What type of bug is this?
Jen
Riverside, California, United States

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Jen,
This is a female Tarantula Hawk, a wasp in the genus Pepsis. You miscounted the number of legs, which should only be six.  We are quite curious about your observation that upon capture, the Tarantula Hawk laid eggs. Here is what Charles Hogue writes about Tarantula Hawk in his book, Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “When a female wasp finds a tarantula, she alights and engages in battle. The wasp then stings the spider on the underside between the legs and usually succeeds in paralyzing but not killing it. She has previously dug a shallow burrow, using her mandibles and legs as pick and shovel, or selected an earth crack, rodent burrow, or even the burrow of a tarantula for a nest, and she now drags the paralyzed prey into this hole, lays an egg on the victim, and then seals the tunnel with soil. A supply of fresh food is thus insured for the developing larva. The sting of the female tarantula hawk is described as extraordinarily painful by those who have experienced it.”

Polythemus Love
Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:13 AM
This couple was observed hanging from an impatian basket on my deck this morning in Kent, Ohio. The romance lasted all morning long.
Lifelong Moth Watcher
Kent, OH

Mating Polyphemus Moths

Mating Polyphemus Moths

Dear Lifelong Moth Watcher,
We were lucky enough to see a female Polyphemus Moth on the observation tower at Fellow’s Riverside Garden in Mill Creek Park in Youngstown Ohio in early June. Your mating Polyphemus Moths are a welcome addition to our Bug Love section. Thanks for your contribution. The male with his more feathered antennae is the upper individual.

Large spider in Roatan, Honduras
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM
We came across this spider crossing the road at night in Roatan Honduras. We were going to put something next to it to measure it, but right after I snapped the picture, a local ran up and stomped on it.
From leg-tip to leg-tip was about 5-6 inches.
-cd
Roatan Honduras

Giant Crab Spider

Giant Crab Spider

Dear cd,
Those locals have no respect for wildlife.  We believe this is a Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae, possibly the Banana Spider or Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria.  That species is native to Asia, but has spread around the world in warmer countries with the popularity of bananas and the resulting agriculture and trade.  It is a hunting species that is nocturnal.  We would gladly defer to an expert who can provide more conclusive information.

Moth/Butterfly/Insect???
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 9:24 AM
Found this in my garden today(28 th June 2009) on outside wall of the house.Unable to ascertain what it is- can you help
Hilary Ball
Lancashire UK

Elephant Hawk-Moth

Elephant Hawk-Moth

Hi Hilary,
This lovely moth goes by the unglamorous name of
Elephant Hawk-Moth, Deilephila elpenor. The UK Moths Website has this to say about the Elephant Hawk-Moth: “The English name of this moth is derived from the caterpillar’s fanciful resemblance to an elephant’s trunk.
The adults are attractively coloured pink and green affairs, with a streamlined appearance. They fly from May to July, visiting flowers such as honeysuckle ( Lonicera ) for nectar.
The larvae feed mainly on rosebay willowherb ( Epilobium angustifolium ), but also other plants as well, including bedstraw ( Galium ).
It is a common species in most of Britain, including Scotland, where it has increased its range in recent years.”  That range expansion might be a symptom of global warming.

HUGE FLY LIKE BEETLE THING
Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM
This disgusting bug was up on the top of my roof (2 story). It was making a really loud noise that sounds like electricity. I used the hose on it and it fell to the grass. From far away I could see the grass moving. I continued to hose it. Then I dropped a toy on top of it and heard a crunch. I then got my camera!
Angela in West Richland, WA
West Richland, WA

Cicada

Cicada

Hi Angela,
You have probably mortally wounded a harmless Cicada, an insect that produces one of the definitive, iconic sounds of summer. Cicadas are considered to be the loudest insects in the world. We especially like your likening the sound to electricity, like a Tesla Coil, though we do not at all condone your actions after you heard the Cicada calling to a potential mate from your roof.