From the monthly archives: "September 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Euhagena
September 27, 2009
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel, over the past two weeks I have sporadically been observing a group of these Euhagena nebraskae. The area I’m seeing them is well-known to me and little or none of their reported larval food (Oenothera) grows there. I did follow a female who I believe was ovipositing and collected what may be her egg from an Helianthus she tapped her abdomen against. Am just wondering if any of your readers have had similar observations.
Thanks,
Dwaine
near Casper, WY

Euhagena nebraskae

Euhagena nebraskae

Hi Dwaine,
We can always count on you to provide our website with excellent photos of underrepresented species.  This Clearwing Moth has larvae that are root borers in plants belonging to the primrose family as you have indicated.  Often the larval food plant information posted online is incomplete, and it is possible the Euhagena nebraskae uses plants in the sunflower family when primrose is not available.  We will post your letter and awesome images in the hope that our readership can elaborate on your observations.

Euhagena nebraskae

Euhagena nebraskae

How fortuitous that you were also able to photograph the sexually dimorphic male of the species.  Are you able to clarify that our posting is correct?

Euhagena nebraskae male

Euhagena nebraskae male

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tan and Rust Colored Butterfly
September 27, 2009
Hi,
I’m having no luck identifying this butterfly. I took this photo in a conservation area along the Mississippi river. Any help you can offer will greatly be appreciated.
Thank you!
Sheri
Northeast Missouri

Common Buckeye

Common Buckeye

Hi Sheri,
We believe your butterfly is a Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia.  The dorsal view is quite distinctive.  The ventral view has more subtle, and somewhat variable markings, but we matched your photo to an image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

medium butterfly laying eggs on bean plant
September 25, 2009
I discovered this butterfly laying eggs on the two varieties of beans I have growing, a bush type and vine type. The bush type is planted next to a square of soy beans.
The insect is approximately 2 inches wide and their flight pattern is sporadic and jittery with a distinct blue color on her fuzzy bottom, with multi colored through primarily brown wings. I only got a good look while she was laying her eggs, perched on a bean leaf leaving behind a stack on pale yellow eggs (pin head size) on the underside of the leaf. I have found these stacks on the top, bottom, and sides of bush leaves.
Upon further investigation of the plants I discovered many catepillars or larvae nestled in leaf fold cocoons. These are also pictured they are yellow with dark (almost black) heads, two ‘big’ red eyes and tiny necks, tiny black feet closest to the head and yellow orange feet toward end, the larvae/catepillar is yellow in color and has an orange tinge at the rear.
I have included photos though I did not get a wing spread shot. In these you can see the eggs, larvae/catepillar, and butterfly resting on a bean leaf.
betty marie
Sarsota, Florida zone 9/10 for gardening

Long-Tailed Skipper laying Eggs

Long-Tailed Skipper laying Eggs

Hi betty marie,
We applaud your powers of observation.  You have photographed a Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus.  We are thrilled to have the photos of the egg laying process as well as the caterpillars.  As your letter supports, the food for the caterpillar includes plants in the pea family.  BugGuide has some wonderful images of this lovely species.

Long-Tailed Skipper Caterpillar

Long-Tailed Skipper Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Biggest Bug I’ve EVER seen….
September 26, 2009
Seen in San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico on 9/18/09 This monster FLEW onto a wall, crawled down and was attacked by a toad. The beetle clamped on to the toad’s head and the toad hopped around like crazy for a few seconds and released the bug. Markings on the back of the beetle were orange and brown. The bricks that the beetle was resting on were 4″x11″ so you can see how large this bug is. Can’t find it on any website…any idea what it is?
Joslin
Nayarit, Mexico

Harlequin Beetle from Mexico

Harlequin Beetle from Mexico

Hi Joslin,
We post images of the Giant Harlequin Beetle, Acrocinus longimanus
, whenever we have an opportunity.  This tropical species ranges from Mexico south into Brazil.  We wish the photo you sent with the toad had better resolution as we really can’t see much.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi. I’ve been browsing this site for a while, but this is my first post.
I teach a group of four-year-olds, and among the many, many things I find myself repeating daily is “Let it be! Insects are helpers!” with respect to whatever critter my kids have discovered, whether indoors or on the playground (of course, when something is discovered inside the classroom, we find a way to get it outside).
The children, of course, are fascinated by insects, and, while insects’ identities could be taught through photographs and books, to teach the children to appreciate and respect animals and their purposes is best reinforced in practice. That is, to tell a child that a spider is beneficial and to smash it in front of him is counterproductive.
Unnecessary carnage and a lost moment for education. Terrible shame.
However, because of the age of the children I teach and their tendency toward kinesthetic learning, we do have an insect collection in the room. I want to teach respect, not hypocrisy, so the insects pinned to the board were all found dead. When a child finds an empty exoskeleton or a fallen butterfly on the playground, we pin it to the board and talk about what it is and how it might have come to its current state. Then, of course, comes the “Insects help us” talk.
I try to balance respect for a child’s preferred method of study with respect for the insects themselves. This is why we have only pre-deceased findings in our collection, imperfect though they may be when they are found.
To rely on photographs alone is a difficult way to keep kids interested. They need to experience more than an image can allow. An insect, living or dead, that is in front of the children makes it relevant to them and gives them more patience to listen while we talk about that insect.
Occasionally, however, my philosophies are put to the test, as was the case the day I found an adult, female black widow spider scooting across the playground. I had to get her off the playground and far, far away from my class. There was a considerable amount of panicking on my part, but no one was harmed, and the children learned that, even though we shouldn’t hurt any minding its own business, there are some creatures that, when discovered, need to be reported to mom and dad.
shellyc

Hi shellyc,
Though your letter arrived as a comment on a previous posting regarding the merits of starting an insect collection, we felt it needed to stand alone as well and post to our homepage.  Thanks for your valuable perspective on this point.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Golden Orb Weaver?
September 24, 2009
I just found this beautiful spider (about three inches long including the legs)… s/he built a web in the mint in my front yard. Am I right in guessing this is a golden orb weaver?
Heather in IN
Bloomington, IN

Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider

Hi Heather,
Your spider is not a Golden Orbweaver, but another species in the same genus, the Banded Garden Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination