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

Caterpillar Eater
October 29, 2009
We found these bugs all over the place. They seem to be foraging for caterpillars that are also very heavy this year. They look like caterpillars, but only have six legs. Also, they will dig a hole in the ground and leave their back end lying outside of the hole. Any ideas on what this is? We’ve lived here for four years and have never seen anything like it.
Shaune Martinez
Sandia, TX

Caterpillar Hunter Larva eats Cutworm

Caterpillar Hunter Larva eats Cutworm

Hi Shaune,
This is a beetle larva in the genus Calosoma, commonly called Caterpillar Hunters.  There are several species of Calosoma in Texas, and it is impossible for us to determine your exact species.  The Fiery Searcher, Calosoma scrutator, is one possibility.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this bug friend or foe?
6:08 AM
October 30, 2009
I foud this on my house and did not want to kill a beneficial insect. It is approx 2 inches long.
M Brienza
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

please disregard previous message
6:19 AM
a form has been submitted on October 30, 2009
Hello Bugman,
In my haste to identify the insect i just submitted, I dug a lit deeper into your site (which is excellent by the way) and found that I have a two-spotted tree cricket.
Don’t want to waste your valuable time!
Thanks & keep up the good work!
M Brienza
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Dear M,
WE are quite impressed that you managed to identify your Two Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata,
in 11 minutes and write back to inform us.  We love Tree Crickets and enjoy hearing their musical serenades at night.  Readers who want more information may find it on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Not a lady bug
October 28, 2009
We have a bug SWARMING our house in Stillwater NJ. It kind of looks like a lady bug. They get through the smallest openings and there are thousands outside and hundreds getting inside. We have heard that they are everywhere in this area now (late October). Can you tell me what they are and how to keep them out of the house?
KayJayW
Northwest NJ

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Dear KayJayW,
These are Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles, Harmonia axyridis
, an invasive introduced species that often invades homes in multitudes to escape the cold weather.  It is a beneficial species in its own environment in its native Asia, but as an introduced species, it has many problematic characteristics.  If it was possible to overlook the home invasion, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles are considered largely responsible for the decline in numbers of native species of Lady Beetles, so they invasive species has a negative impact on the environment because of the loss of native diversity.  You should be able to find plenty of information on this species online now that you know its name.  Try the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet among others.

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

larvae on dead mole
October 29, 2009
These larvae were found on a dead mole that had been under a wheelbarrow about a month (October 4-October 27, 2009 in rural Central Missouri). I have a group of children who routinely explore the woods in this area and when we find a dead creature we place it under the wheelbarrow to watch the decay process. We have not encountered these worm like creatures before.
Millersburg Preschool
Rural Central Missouri

Sexton Beetle Larvae eating a dead mole

Sexton Beetle Larvae eating a dead mole

Dear Millersburg Preschool,
Though we write about them often, this is the first photo we have ever received of the larvae of a Sexton Beetle, one of the Burying Beetles in the genus Nicrophorus.  We found a photo on BugGuide of the larvae of the endangered American Burying Beetle that is very close to your image.  We cannot say for certain exactly what species in the genus Nicrophorus your larvae will become, but we are somewhat certain they are not the rare American Burying Beetle.  A pair of Sexton Beetles will work burying the corpse of a small rodent or bird and then lay eggs.  The adults often stay with the developing larvae and care for them.

Thank you for your quick response!  The children will be so excited to know this!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Beetle
October 28, 2009
As we live in the southern hemisphere, we are currently in the midst of spring with summer close at hand. For us, this means we will be seeing more and more bugs (woo-hoo). That being said, my kids and I found this beautiful beetle early this morning on the sidewalk outside their school. We immediately rescued it so that it would not get stepped on by the students. I let it walk around the palm of my hand so that we could let my children’s classmates admire it as well. It is a beautiful shiny hard-shelled beetle. When walking, it does so quite quickly, but remains fairly still for the most part. It is about an inch and a half from the tip of it’s nose to the tip of its rear, and the antennas add about another half an inch to its overall length, with a thickness of abo ut a quarter of an inch. I have searched and searched but I cannot identify what type of beetle it is. Any ideas? Another interesting note: Shortly after I returned home and placed it on a branch to retrieve my camera, it slowly and deliberately excreted something onto the branch from the tip of it’s rear. It would slowly move forward bit by bit as it attached the excretion to the branch. The beetle then ‘patted’ it to be certain it was firmly attached to the branch. The excretion is tan in color, about a quarter by an eighth of an inch, and has an oval-rounded shape to it. It resembles a very flattened rolly polly with a clearish tan coating over it. Could this be a single larvae? Thanks for anything you might be able to tell us about this wonderful creature.
Todd Madsen
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Unidentified Beetle from Brazil

Leaf Beetle from Brazil

Hi Todd,
We are requesting assistance with your beetle.  Our initial impression is that it is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  We hope Eric Eaton can verify that.

Unidentified Beetle from Brazil

Leaf Beetle from Brazil

Daniel:
Right on!  Yes, it is indeed a leaf beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, subfamily Hispinae.  Many are leaf miners, but I can’t imagine this large species being one of them:-)
Eric

Karl locates some images online
Hi Daniel:
Everyone is right! Following Eric’s lead, the genus is Coraliomela (Hispinae: Alurnini). But there are several species in that genus in Brazil and there is very little information to be found, so that is likely as close as we are going to get. Chances are that at least some look quite similar (e.g., C. tetramaculata). Regarding the behavior described by Todd, I would guess the beetle was laying eggs – I can’t think what else it may have been doing. From what I could gather, some and perhaps all Coraliomela species feed on palms; the larvae of C. brunnea (an entirely red species), for example, are considered one of Brazil’s most important pests on coconut seedlings. I can’t tell if the plant in Todd’s photo is a palm. Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Western Tiger Swallowtail catepillar
October 27, 2009
I was wondering why the leaves of my penta plant were disappearing. Then this morning I found these “eyes” staring at me. At first I thought it was a plastic toy! What an amazing critter.
Marabelle
Sugar Land, TX

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Marabelle
Though it resembles a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, your critter is a Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.  The Swallowtail has one set of eyespots, while the Tersa Sphinx has numerous eyespots.  The Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar does not have a caudal horn, and the Tersa Sphinx does possess a caudal horn.  Sphinx Moth caterpillars are often called Hornworms.  Penta is a typical food plant for the Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination