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

Yellow Caterpillars in Outfits
October 1, 2009
Size: about 3/4″
When: Oct 1, 2009, 9:45AM
Where: Underside of native Jimsonweed leaves, on a large sunny meadow off Riverside Drive.
I’d been hoping to find Hawk Moth caterpillars since there was such a huge patch of Jimsonweed. Most of the plants had only tiny bites taken out of them. The plants that had the largest bites had these fat little caterpillars with what looks like bird excrement hanging off their backs. Great camouflage!
Also intersting – the chewed edges of the leaves are blackened, appearing as if they had been burned. (See photo) The plants with tiny bites had no black marks like these.
Diane Edwardson
Los Angeles, Elysian Park

Old Fashioned Potato Beetle Larvae

Old Fashioned Potato Beetle Larvae

Hi Diane,
If it looks like a caterpillar and acts like a caterpillar, it is not necessarily a caterpillar.  Many beetle larvae and sawfly larvae are confused with caterpillars.  These are not caterpillars.  They are beetle larvae, and more specifically, they are Old Fashioned Potato Beetle Larvae, Lema daturaphila, also called Three-Lined Potato Beetles.  According to BugGuide, the scientific name “Means ‘Datura loving.’ Datura is a genus of plant in the Nightshade family. The potato is not in the genus Datura, but is in the Nightshade family. This beetle feeds on both potato plants and other members of the Nightshade family.”  We noticed that you have the embedded location information as the 18 acre parcel on Riverside Drive.  We know that land, but never knew it was part of Elysian Park.  We have a certain fondness for Elysian Park.  That is where we found our cat as a stray kitten 11 years ago, and he is just the sweetest cat ever.

Daniel,
Thank you!    I’ll credit What’s that bug? (with a link) for the ID.  I’ll be posting a similar photo on my blog http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/ probably Monday.  Feel free to use the photo I sent you as long as my photo credit is on it.  No wonder I couldn’t find it under caterpillars.
By the way, that part of Elysian Park is undergoing environmental review for park improvements, see: http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2009/10/do-you-want-park-or-parking-lot.html
Diane Edwardson
http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange, furry stinging “beetle” in Mojave desert, California.
October 1, 2009
I live in Lancaster, California in the high desert. One day while working outdoors I saw a furry orange insect about an inch long. It resembled a large furry ant or wingless bee and ran very quickly. I tried to pick it up using my handkerchief as padding and it stung me right through the cloth. The pain was excruciating but only lasted a few minutes. Subsequent examination showed that the bug had a black stinger perhaps 1/4″ long. It’s been a few months and I do not have pictures. I seem to recall the bug had some black too, but the furry part was bright orange.
The picture attached is NOT the bug in question, I just needed an image in order to ask this question.
Mike from the F.A.A.
Lancaster, California

Hi Mike,
We are sorry to hear you have been stung by a Velvet Ant because the sting is reported to be extremely painful.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hasarius Andansoni
September 30, 2009
Okay, so I did send this little woman in for identification, but I went further and started to look more on my own. This is a female Andanson’s House Jumping spider. It took me a while to find because it isn’t a native species, but rather has been imported from somewhere in Asia. (I am not sure where specifically.) I don’t really expect you all to post this, but I figured you might like the photograph of this little spider to be identified, and seeing as to how you don’t always have the time… (Kudos for all that you do identify, not really sure how you do everything that you do.) Thanks for your time, and of course I shall be continuing to follow this page for anything unidentified to try and help out where I can.
Lttlechkn… Tina
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Jumping Spider: Hasarius andansoni

Jumping Spider: Hasarius andansoni

Hi Tina,
We always say that getting our attention in the subject line is key to getting us to read letters.  That holds especially true for scientific names that we do not recognize.  With that said, we are thrilled to post your photo of an exotic Jumping Spider not endemic to Hawaii.  While we do not feel we have the necessary skills to accurately confirm or deny your identification, we can correct an error in your typing of the scientific name.  The genus name, or first name in the binomial, is capitalized.  The species name, or second name in the binomial, is always lower case.  Thanks so much for your submission and also your persistence in resubmitting your image with an identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large masses of tiny graphite colored bugs
October 1, 2009
These bugs have been present since early Spring. They appear to be coming out of the gravel around the house and hot tub when it rains. They are dark gray in color and are less than 1/16″ in length. We are concerned that they may infest our house.
We would appreciate your help in identifying them.
Don
Packwood, WA – S side of Mt Rainier

Springtails

Springtails

Dear Don,
We are so happy you sent excellent images of both the entire aggregation of Springtails, and a detailed closeup leads us to believe they are in the family Hypogastruridae.  Springtails are among the most common insects in the world.  Most species are very habitat specific, and there are some species that are found in homes, especially in showers, under sinks, and in damp basements.  Springtails are benign creatures that often feed on mold and fungus.  If they are present in the house, they may be symptomatic of another underlying problem, like mold growth.  We do not believe the species depicted in your photo will infest your home.

Springtails

Springtails

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Brazilian Bug ID
October 1, 2009
Greetings Bugman,
Can you help me with the identification of this bug please. Found it on a leaf on the Island of Ilha Grande, south west of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The picture was taken at the end of August 2007.
Thanks, Steve
Ilha Grande, Brazil

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle

Hi Steve,
This beauty is a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini.  We spent the day getting knee surgery and this is our first posting today.  We don’t want to take the time right now for a species identification before trying to post a few additional letters.  Perhaps our invaluable contributor Karl will be able to take a stab at this one.  We just realized that it is the first of the month, and we have problems with new images posting live at the beginning of each month.

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel:
I believe this Tortoise Beetle is in the genus Stolas (Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae). The tribe is Stolaini, although in some references the tribe is given as Cassidini. Stolas is a rather large genus (170+ species) with considerable variety in size, shape and color, and a half a dozen or so species look similar to the one in Steve’s photo. The closest I could find was S. stevensi (how is that for coincidence?!). It’s not a perfect match but it is the only one I could find that has the yellow/gold markings on the pronotum. There is probably some variability within the species and that may account for the small differences; or it could be a case of sexual dimorphism. I could find little information about the species, but the southeast coast of Brazil is within its range. Regards.
Karl

Update:  June 28, 2014
Thanks to a comment from a Park Ranger in Ilha Grande, we now know that this is
Stolas stevensi or a closely related species in the same genus.  The Cassidinae of the World website has corroborating images.

Update:  Comment December 18, 2014
In the meanwhile I am pretty sure (as sure as one can be ;-)…!) that this one is Mesomphalia turrita.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Chrysomelidae_-_Mesomphalia_turrita.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Mesomphalia.sexmaculata.jpg
Note, that M. sexmaculata is a synonym of M. turrita
http://www.biol.uni.wroc.pl/cassidae/katalog%20internetowy/mesomphaliaturritafig.html

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination