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

Unidentified Milkweed Bug?
September 26, 2009
I came across these bugs while working on one of our nature preserves. I have seen the bug before but not in this context. There were several of these inside of the seed head of a couple milkweed plants. What is this bug and what is its ecological relationship with milkweed?
Derek Rogers
Nissequogue, New York

Large Milkweed Bugs

Large Milkweed Bugs

Hi Derek,
This is a group of Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus.  The winged individuals are the adults and the others are immature nymphs.  The food plants are plants in the Milkweed and Dogbane families.  The insects feed on the juices of the seeds of the plants and will not harm the plants, and adults also take nectar.  According to BugGuide:  “In the course of feeding these bugs accumulate toxins from the milkweed, which can potentially sicken any predators foolish enough to ignore the bright colors which warn of their toxicity.”  We found a nice Milkweed Bug Information page posted by the University of Arizona that has useful information.  This is the third letter with an identification request for the Large Milkweed Bug that we have opened today.  Your photo is quite beautiful and we are selecting your letter and photo as the Bug of the Month for October 2009.  Throughout the month of October, it will remain at the top of our homepage.

Hi Daniel,
I would be honored to have my photo posted for the October bug of the month. Thank you for this information and your quick response. I am very impressed with the web site. I do nature preserve management for The Nature Conservancy and often come across interesting insect specimens. I will surely be in touch.
Derek Rogers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Plump Black and orange bugs
I found several of these bugs in a flower garden. It was the 4th week of September around 4pm. Can you tell me what they are? If they are beneficial, I don’t want to destroy them.
Cathy M
Kennett Square, PA

Immature Large Milkweed Bugs

Immature Large Milkweed Bugs

Hi Cathy,
These are immature nymphs of the Large Milkweed Bug, which we just identified for you.  Like other Hemipterans, they have sucking mouthparts, and they feed on juices from the seeds and seed pods of milkweed and dogbane.  We have never located any information that this is a problematic species in the garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black and gold bug
September 25, 2009
Found this bug on a milkweed seed pod in a flower garden. It was in September in late afternoon. It was slightly less than an inch long. Black and gold on top, red and black undersides.
Cathy & Carlos M
Kennett Square, PA

Large Milkweed Bugs

Large Milkweed Bugs

Dear Cathy and Carlos,
These are Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus.  The pale yellow specimen is freshly molted, and according to BugGuide:  “
their color becoming darker and more orangish with age.

Thank you so much! I’ve never seen anything like it.
I love your web site! Whenever I run into something new and interesting, you always know what it is.
Thx

Cathy Matos

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Spider, Red and White Patterned Back
September 25, 2009
Hi there! Found this beauty on my porch in July 2009 in Southern NJ. Haven’t seen him before or since. Pattern is really cool, haven’t been able to find anything about him here or online.
MYP in NJ
Southern NJ

Araneus cingulatus

Araneus cingulatus

Dear MYP,
It is quite unfortunate that this lovely green Orbweaver, Araneus cingulatus, does not have a common name.  You can see additional images on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Golden Silk Spider from Mexico
September 25, 2009
Hi!
I just moved to a new house and it’s not on downtown so there’s a lot of vegetation and bugs.. I have found lots of this spiders and browsing your site i get to the conlusion that’s a Nephila clavipes, am i right? hehe well, I have my sister and my newborn nephew living with us and i want to know if this spider can be a danger for the little baby.. I never found one of this inside the house, they’re always in their spiderweb and I must say: That’s a strong spiderweb!! … I killed 2 of this on my garden the day I moved in but on an impulse of fear (you know, i’m not familiar with insects)… now.. if they’re not dangerous maybe i can live with that … because a new one showed up today and his web is amazing and I don’t want to kill her (it’s a female, right?) and excuse me for being such a coward, but my sister was very very scared of this
Guillermo Medina
Fortin, Veracruz, Mexico (Gulf of mexico)

Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Hola Guillermo,
Your identification is correct, and you have nothing to fear regarding the Golden Silk Spider.  They are harmless to humans, but they will help to control flying insects that might be a problem, like mosquitoes and biting flies.  We would encourage you to educate your sister and to live in harmony with these beautiful spiders.  Yes, their webs are incredibly strong.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need Caterpillar ID
September 25, 2009
Could you please identify this caterpillar? It was found on a Willow tree this week (September 2009), in Los Angeles, CA. It measures aprox. 1.5 inches long.
S Logan, Los Angeles CA
Los Angeles CA

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear S Logan,
What a nice find.  This is a One Eyed Sphinx or Cerisy’s Sphinx Caterpillar, Smerinthus cerisyi.  Bill Oehlke’s Sphingidae of the United States website has images of the adult moth as well as other stages of development.  This is a wide ranging species in North America.  In addition to willow, the larvae also feed on poplar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination