From the monthly archives: "July 2009"

what kind of moth is this please
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:48 PM
We had this moth at work 2 days ago sitting on the concrete most of the day and then hanging on the building for most of the night, then it was gone.
curious
northwest pa

Lime Hawk Moth

Lime Hawkmoth

Dear Curious,
This sure looks like a Lime Hawkmoth, Mimas tiliae, to us. The problem with this identification is that the Lime Hawkmoth is a European species and this sighting could indicate an accidental introduction. We are copying Bill Oehlke who does comprehensive species data on the family Sphingidae, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture new pest advisory group at npag@aphis.usda.gov because the introduction of a new species to an area outside of its typical range can have significant environmental consequences and it should be treated seriously. The ease with which new species can be introduced by humans to distant locations can have dire impacts on local indigenous populations. Thanks for your cooperation in this potentially seriously matter.

Confirmation of Identification
Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 4:52 AM
Daniel,
I agree that your id of the western PA moth is M. tiliae, and that it does not belong there.
Bill Oehlke

Ed. Note:
Now that Bill Oehlke, and expert in Sphingidae, has established that this is in fact a Lime Hawkmoth, there are several additional questions raised. First there is the possibility that this is a hoax. Though we like to believe that our readership is ethical, the possibility always exists that someone out there has “gone rogue” and is playing a joke. Once we establish that that is not the case here, the next question is whether this is an isolated individual that somehow got introduced, or if it is part of a brood or the beginning of an actual, viable introduction. More sightings would be necessary to establish that. Since the climate of northwest Pennsylvania is not dissimilar to that of the UK, and since the food tree, Linden, is grown ornamentally in northeast Ohio, and probably also in northwest Pennsylvania, the possibility exists that a population of Lime Hawk Moths may become established and spread in North America. We hope our friends at the USDA are checking their email during the holiday weekend since we just received a request to notify them of any suspected introductions. If you see a Lime Hawkmoth in the eastern portion of North America, please contact us immediately and put the name Lime Hawkmoth in the subject line of your email. More importantly, please contact the USDA at
npag@aphis.usda.gov so the authorities will know of the sighting.

Update from Doug Yanega from the Entomology Research Museum at UC Riverside
Monday, July 13, 2009
Last Friday, while we were without a computer, Doug Yanega was kind enough to leave us a voice message regarding the Lime Hawk Moth sighting.  This is a paraphrase of the message he left:  The Lime Hawkmoth is already known from eastern canada so Pennsylvania is just the first time it has been sighted across the US border. Probably introduced carelessly or intentionally from someone has imported and was rearing Sphinx Moths from overseas.

Update from the USDA
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Hi again Daniel,
I just wanted you to know that we are still receiving emails concerning the Lime Hawk Moth and I’m enjoying how excited people are about this.
Can you post a short note that we at USDA need an actual specimen to submit it for official identification, not just a photo (although I have been enjoying the wonderful photos)? If someone is able to catch a specimen, they can email us at npag@aphis.usda.gov for the address to send it.
That would help us so much.
Stephanie Dubon
PS – have you squished all your Bagradas? I lost all my cucumbers to aphids this year 🙁 little buggers!

UPDATE: New Pest Advisory Group – Insects new to the United States
September 15, 2009
Hi Daniel,
I am once again hoping you can do one last update to the Mimas tiliae posting on your website (the one where it was found in Pennsylvania). I have finally been able to get ahold of someone in USDA that told me the official procedure:
If you have found a specimen (dead or still alive, any life stage, must be a specimen, not photos) the first step is to take the specimen to your state’s land grant university entomology department, cooperative extension office, or the state’s department of agriculture, who will then forward it to the appropriate authorities.
Can you please add this to your website? We are getting so many photos, but no one has found a specimen and now we know what the official procedure is if some are found.
Thanks so much and keep up the good work!
Stephanie M. Dubón
Coordinator and Pest Analyst
United States Department of Agriculture

UPDATE FROM APHIS: Procedure for alerting APHIS about new pests
July 8, 2010
Hi Daniel,
I think there has been some confusion  as to the correct procedure of alerting APHIS to potential invasive pests.  I know Stephanie Dubon asked you to contact her in the past, but she no longer works for the USDA.  Right now the best thing for people to do is to try and get the actual specimen and submit it to their state department of agriculture or to contact their county extension agency. They will then send the specimen on to APHIS.
Is it possible to remove Stephanie Dubon’s contact information from your website?  (See Lime Hawk Moth in PA postings).  We really appreciate the vigilance of everyone out there looking for potential invasive pests,  but unfortunately, there is very little we can do in our office.  Stephanie’s position was not filled and so there is no one to handle these kinds of emails anymore.  By far, the best thing to do, as I mentioned, is to go through the proper channels (i.e., through the state departments of agriculture and/or the county extension offices).
Thank you for your consideration.  We just don’t want people to become frustrated waiting for a response.
Sincerely,
The New Pest Advisory Group

A Flying Beetle?
Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:06 AM
Dear Bugman,
This lovely creature buzzed my face twice right in my eyes before flying slowly over to the wild grapevine and landing. It then waited for me to get a camera, but this was the best pic I could manage before it took off again. It’s about 1.5″ long, irridescent black-blue-green with an orange upper back. In the same backyard visit I saw a gorgeous dark-orange butterfly I’ve never seen before, but she wouldn’t land to pose for a pic. 🙂
Thanks, Elizabeth
Western Massachusetts, a backyard not far from a marshy thicketed area.

Elderberry Borer

Elderberry Borer

Hi Elizabeth,
Earlier today, we posted another photo of mating Elderberry Borers, Desmocerus palliatus, the same species as your photo.

huge beetle!
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 1:01 PM
Super huge beetle (at least for the northeast), swollen-looking yellow belly (mama beetle, maybe?), periodically leans forward completely on its head and projects this bizarre pointed appendage from its backside….very weird. I’ve never seen anything like this.
Sasha
Philadelphia, PA

Broad Necked Root Borer

Broad Necked Root Borer

Hi Sasha,
Your female beetle is a Broad Necked Root Borer, Prionus laticollis, and the appendage is her ovipositor which she uses to deposit her eggs.  According to BugGuide:  “Eggs are inserted into ground (or under litter) in groups. Larvae tunnel downward to feed on living roots of a variety of trees and shrubs. At first they may feed on bark, but then proceed to hollow out small roots. Pupation occurs in spring, about 10 cm under the ground. Life cycle probably three years.”

Promethia or Tulip tree?
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 6:50 PM
Hello Wonderful Bug People.
Working at a horse farm in Uxbridge Ontario, many mornings provide Moths and Bugs that need ID. I love your site and we now have a group waiting for me to go home and identify, the beautiful and strange things we see. I have my trusty camera at the ready so I can compare with your photos. Thanks for help identifying a Giant Toe Biter, and Luna Moth.
We had this visitor last week. I was hoping it was a Promethia or a Tulip Tree, but thinking it is probably Cecropia?
Thanks for the great site, and helping us appreciate (no longer so icky) bugs.
I’ll send our Luna as well. It was huge.
I hope your camping trip was only buggy in a good way.
Leslie Tunnicliff / Archer’s Grove Farm
Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth

Dear Leslie,
Your letter arrived while we were still in Northern California at a wedding, and we are trying desperately to post as many submissions as possible.  Mail really piled up in our absence and it continues to arrive in droves daily.  We are going through older submissions in search of a subject line we remembered because of an unusual posting of a Purplescent Longhorn we just posted, and we thought, perhaps, that the other letter might also contain an image of a Purplescent Longhorn.  Needless to say, we stumbled upon some intriguing subject lines we missed previously, including yours.  We were so touched by your kind letter we decided that we needed to take the time to post your letter and photo of a Cecropia Moth.  The Luna Moth photo is also quite nice.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

housefly with long cricket legs
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 7:54 PM
Hello,
This was flying all around my apartment in San Antonio, TX the other night and swooped in on me once. I was concerned because it had long dangling legs like a wasp. It was probably at least 90 degrees or warmer out. I don’t recall it making any noise but it was flying in kind of a slow hover pattern. Eventually it flew into a fan and alas it was no more. Looks like a cross between a housefly and cricket. Is it a juvenile cricket? Thanks.
Kate
San Antonio,TX 78212

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Hi Kate,
You will probably lament this Ensign Wasp’s untimely demise after learning that Ensign Wasps in the family Evaniidae parasitize the egg capsules of Cockroaches.

Large Moth-like bug!
Hello Bugman! My son found this out on our back deck this morning. I believe it looks like a large moth type insect. We live in east-central Indiana. Please help me to identify it and give me some other information on it! Thank You!
Megan and Kegan
Shirley, IN

Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth

Dear Megan and Kegan,
Your moth is an Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis, a species well represented on BugGuide and in our own archives, though this is the first specimen we are posting this year.  Male Imperial Moths have more purple markings on their wings, and this would indicate that your individual is a male Imperial Moth.