From the monthly archives: "July 2009"

What is this beetle?
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 5:43 PM
This insect was seen crossing blacktop in in early July. Help me identify it please!
Jason
Lebanon, Pa

Purplescent Longhorn

Purplescent Longhorn

Dear Jason,
It took a short time for us to properly identify this striking Cerambycid on BugGuide, but we have identified it as Purpuricenus humeralis.  The species has no common name, but the genus is known collectively as Purplescent Longhorns.  This is a new species for our website and we are very thrilled to post your photo.

Strange bee/mantis
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:43 PM
My son had this bug on his pant leg yesterday…July 1. He lives in Saratoga County, NY. It had front legs like a praying mantis but when I dumped it out of the jar I broke it’s leg and I watched it chew it off. It has wings and tail end like a wasp or hornet. The head and front legs looked like that of a praying mantis but brown. It has a long neck, too. It is not quite an inch long
Wondering in NY
Malta, NY

Wasp Mantidfly

Wasp Mantidfly

Dear Wondering,
This is Climaciella brunnea, commonly called a Wasp Mantisfly.  The interesting thing about the common name, which includes three different types of insects by way of description, it that it is neither a wasp, nor a mantis, nor a fly.  Other common names include Western Mantispid and Brown Mantisfly, according to BugGuide.  These interesting Neuropterans, related to Antlions and Lacewings, always cause a stir when they are encountered by our readership.  BugGuide also indicates they are “Predatory on other insects (and other Mantidflies), especially those coming to flowers. Also takes some nectar and sap.”

3 July 2009, 8:14 PM
We got home from shopping today and noticed that Boris and Media Luna were in the process of laying eggs on the uppermost Amazon Swordling. There was evidence last night that this might happen. All fish were being chased from the right side of the aquarium, and Boris was moving sideways through the water. Breeding tubes were showing. Just one week ago the wrigglers were removed with a turkey baster.

Media Luna (on right) and Boris Spawn

Media Luna (on right) and Boris Spawn

I am not sure if I have the room to try to raise this batch of fry. Time will tell. Media Luna is reflected in the glass in some of the photos.

Media Luna (on right) and Boris Spawn

Media Luna (on right) and Boris Spawn

Update on three recent spawning
6 July 2009, 10:20 AM
Yesterday, Boris and Media Luna moved their freshly hatched wrigglers to a lower leaf.  This coincided with the addition of 7 Algae eaters, Otocinclus species, that I added to the community aquarium.  I still haven’t decided what to do about this spawning.

Lefty and Digitalis have swimming fry in the aquarium.  They are growing, but the numbers may be declining.  Signs of a predator lurking in the aquarium, perhaps?

Boris and Media Luna’s previous spawn are doing well in the nursery aquarium.  They are growing.  They are about three weeks old now.

Update on three recent spawnings
12 July 2009, 2:08 PM
First off, this is the first addition to the website from the brand new fast computer.  We expect to be able to make many more postings each day now.  Several days ago, possibly Thursday, I moved many of Boris and Media Luna’s latest fry with a turkey baster.  I left about 30 fry in the tank with them.  They had been moving the fry at least twice a day.  From the leaf, to the glass, back to the leaf and back to the glass.  I placed the wrigglers in a plastic box that attaches to the side of the nursery aquarium.  The fry have been swimming for two days now and they are eating well.  They are significantly smaller than the previous batch of fry from the same parents, and I am a bit nervous to release the younger siblings into the same 10 gallon aquarium.  I think I will do it tonight as I fear the small box, that can’t hold more than 2 cups of water, is far too small for the growing fry.  The parents tried protecting the swimming fry for about a day.  I watched the last 6 fry get eaten by the Cardinal Tetras when the parents were distracted.

Boris and Media Luna’s older fry are starting to look like cichlids, but not like angelfish yet.  They are about a month old.

Lefty and Digitalis are surrounded by their fry in their own aquarium.

Huge female spider with egg sac
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM
Hello – We were pulling up rocks from around my garden pond to replace the liner and came across this big spider, with a baby sac. Do you know what kind it is? If you like the picture, feel free to post it. Just let me know if you do. I named her Mary Beth, the Jurassic Pregnant Pond Spider. We relocated here to a different part of the yard.
Cathy
Miamisburg, Ohio

Female Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Female Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Hi Cathy,
This is a female Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, probably the Northern Dolomedes, Dolomedes tenebrosus.  They are generally associated with bodies of water, which makes her habitat around your pond significant.

Beautiful Ichneumon
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 6:48 PM
Hello! I found this incredible creature flying around in the grass on a warm June night in Western Massachusetts. I think it is an ichneumon, but I just can’t seem to find out much more. Can you tell me its species? Thanks so much!
Jamie
Sheffield, MA

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

hi Jamie,
We agree that it is an Ichenumon, and we agree that it is beautiful, but we are uncertain of the exact species. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any additional information. We will also post your letter in the hope that one of our readers knows more than we do. We would recommend that you either keep checking the posting to see if there has been a comment, or better yet, supply an additional comment to the posting with any additional information that may be helpful. Then if a reader provides a comment with an identification, you will automatically be notified.

Update
Daniel:
Yes, it is an ichneumon, but no telling what subfamily, let alone genus or species, without the specimen in hand.
Take care, enjoy the holiday weekend….
Eric

Blue and Yellow Beetle?
Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 5:35 AM
Hi, My husband noticed these beetles all over a small tree in our backyard there are all mating and seem content to stay there doing just that… ther are kind of pretty but I am worried that they are not native to Newfoundland Canada.
Angela
Newfoundland Canada

Elderberry Borers Mating

Elderberry Borers Mating

Fear not Angela,
The Elderberry Borer, Desmocerus palliatus, is a native insect.  Considering the reported range of this Cerambycid Beetle, from Oklahoma to the east coast, and considering its striking beauty, we do not get as many reports as we would expect.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Swampy areas and edges of streams with host plant” and not many people live in swampy areas, so that might explain the dearth of identification requests.  BugGuide also has this information:  “Adults feed on pollen, found on flowers, especially those of elderberry, Sambucus. Life Cycle Larvae feed on elderberry, Sambucus . Eggs are laid on stems, near base of plant. Larvae burrow into stems and then tunnel down to feed on living roots. ”  We are very happy to be able to post your wonderful photo of a mating pair of Elderberry Borers.