From the monthly archives: "December 2009"

3 more moths from Rio
December 5, 2009
Dear WTB
Here are three more ID queries from my Brazilian photo collection.
…  The second is a mystery – I can’t even place it in a family. About 3cm long. …  Any pointers you can give on the above would be gratefully received.
Thanks
Nick P
SE Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Unknown Sphinx we believe

Unknown Tiger Moth maybe

Hi Nick,
We tried looking through all the Sphinx Moths on the Sphingidae of Brazil website, and came up blank.  Hopefully, one of our readers can assist with this ID.  The size you indicate seems quite small for a Sphinx Moth.

Thanks Daniel,
It is not a Sphingidae, but I do not know the moth family for that one.
I suspect one of the tiger moths, but am not sure.
Bill Oehlke

Identification by Julian Donahue
Indeed, it’s an arctiid currently in the genus Lophocampa. There are many similar species in this group, a group badly in need of revision. When revised, this group of similar-looking moths may end up in several genera!
One similar species, currently known as Lophocampa annulosa, occurs as far north as Texas.
Julian P. Donahue

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for the very prompt reply and the IDs. The two links are also much appreciated – I had not found the Guyana one before, possibly because it is in French! but the collection of photos is excellent.  I have already got a lead on one of the other pics I submitted (the black moth with larva in my previous message) which looks to be an Arctiid, a Ctenuchinid, possibly of the genus Ptychotrichos based on similar wing pattern.
I have already emailed Bill back and hopefully can send him some images for his site.
Many thanks
Nick

3 more moths from Rio
December 5, 2009
Dear WTB
Here are three more ID queries from my Brazilian photo collection.
The first is a big female Eacles, but I can’t match it up to a species.
The second is a mystery – I can’t even place it in a family. About 3cm long.
Number three is a strange hook-tipped moth that I think may be a saturnid of some sort, but I can’t find anything close online. A bit over 2 cm long.
I also used to get the Black Witch moths that you feature every year, only we had them in January and February, before they head north. I even managed to breed them on one occasion – spectacular caterpillars.
Any pointers you can give on the above would be gratefully received.
Thanks
Nick P
SE Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Eacles imperialis cacicus perhaps

Eacles imperialis magnifica

Hi Nick,
Our best resource for identifying Saturniid Moths is the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site that is a membership website.  We have gone through hundred of images of Giant Silk Moths from Brazil and we believe we can identify two of your specimens.  The female Eacles is possibly Eacles imperialis cacicus, and we found a link to a Saturniidae Breeder website that has an image of a pair for comparison.  The hook-tipped moth proved to be somewhat elusive, but we feel we found a close match in a male Hylesia nanus, though it may be a closely related species.  We then located an additional image of it on the Moths of Guyana website.  It is a mounted specimen, but it looks quite similar to your live specimen.  The third moth we believe is a Sphinx Moth and we will continue to research and post it separately.  We will try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he agrees with these two Saturniidae identifications.

Hylesia nanus possibly

Hylesia nanus

Slight correction to subspecies from Bill Oehlke
Daniel,
I would go with
Eacles imperialis magnifica from Rio de Janeiro and
Hylesia nanus from Rio de Janeiro
Please ask your source to contact me as there are many Saturniidae of great interest to me from Rio de Janiero. I can probalby also id the Sphingidae if you/he want to send it along.
Bill Oehlke

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for the very prompt reply and the IDs. The two links are also much appreciated – I had not found the Guyana one before, possibly because it is in French! but the collection of photos is excellent.  I have already got a lead on one of the other pics I submitted (the black moth with larva in my previous message) which looks to be an Arctiid, a Ctenuchinid, possibly of the genus Ptychotrichos based on similar wing pattern.
I have already emailed Bill back and hopefully can send him some images for his site.
Many thanks
Nick

a very menacing looking bug turned up in my front room apartment. my letter explains all.
December 5, 2009
hello sir’s
on saturday 5th december i was removing the throw-over from an armchair in my front room (which is carpeted, and i own a indoor cat, and live at the top of a three story apartment – i might add, if it helps) i moved the chair out of my way and noticed an odd bug which may have been hiding/residing under the chair? it wasn’t mobile moving (i accidently broke one of its legs moving the chair (i’m sorry). any way, it was still alive. having rescued it, i placed it on an envelope to inspect it. i’ve never seen one of these before so i took some snaps of it, however after searching for this unique scary looking specimen in my ‘bugs and insects’ book i’m still not aware of the species.
the closest ‘relation’ looking insects i could find that looked even remotely like the one i found were either a ‘house’ or ‘field cricket’, a ‘water boatman backswimmer’ or a ‘forest bug’? but, what i don’t know is if insects, say, like black ants are easily distinguishable from red ants because of color, size and the like, being the same genus etc…….
i still think this particular species is not any of what i read up on. although similar looking. this one is very distinctive compared to the researched ones i read about.
my girlfriend had been traveling around eastern europe for the summer and, may of unknowingly smuggled it back england in her traveling bags?
if you guys know what species it belongs to could you please enlighten me with your knowledge.
i’m not a worry-guts but the insect does look rather menacing, and as i’m ignorant to what family it belongs and where it came i’ll house it in a glass jar. in case you need further photography.
i hope it’s not poisonous or, being female, laid a nest in my flat.
last thing, my girlfriend returned back to england around mid june,
so if it did manage to find its way into our front room it would be
highly unlikely that it managed to survive five months or so.
please help.
yours faithfully
mr jake bennett
My home, Leiston, Suffolk UK

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Mr. Jake Bennett,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae.  We are nearly certain it is Leptoglossus occidentalis, the Western Conifer Seed Bug that is native to the Northwest region of North America.  Beginning in the 1970s, there were reports coming from eastern North America, and it is believe that an accidental introduction led to a range expansion.  In the 1990s reports of the species spread to the northern portions of Europe became more frequent.  There is a flickr page with reports from the UK.  Your girlfriend may have transported this specimen from the northern parts of Eastern Europe, or the species may already be naturalized in your area.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug often seeks shelter indoors as the weather cools, reemerging in the spring to lay eggs.  The species is considered harmless, though its increased range expansion may have as yet unknown effects on the species diversity within its adopted habitat.

Thank-you ever so much for replying to me on your website Sir, and the quickness of replying by e-mail too !!!
It’s very interesting and helpful. So thank you very much.
My questioning/story to you about my new best friend LFB was, totally something new for me.
Finding a devilishly looking critter (that I’ve never seen or know of in my life), in my own
lounge threw me a bit.
I would’ve spent hours, (more like days), hunting down genuine knowledge on the insect with-out your
rapid response.
I am really rather glad I came across him, being ignorant (totally) about insect genus’, I’ve found a new
interest, which is a great result.
I’ve moved him to a square plastic container as he couldn’t stick on the glass and resulted falling on his back
constantly and him being crippled at the moment I had to check him every half hour or so.
I’ve been trying to find – what I can feed him? to make him more comfitable whilst his back left leg mends
(if it ever will).
Saying that, he looks on the mend and is moving about -mostly on all other legs, while trying self physiotherapy!
One thing I have learnt though is, as much as they like fruit crops sugars etc.. never to
give them honey. He liked it so much that he covered himself with what he didn’t eat and kept falling on his
back and getting stuck.
Although | managed very gently to remove the honey from him I need to keep a close eye (just in case
I missed some).
Any who, he has lots of ivy plant shoots with him so if he gets stuck upside down again he can grab a bit
and pull himself back upright.
Mr Marlos, and my LFB have made my weekend.
I hope you have a good weekend also,
All the best.
Jason.
PS. I’ll let you know how he progresses if you’d like. Plus any tips from you would be great.
Q. Is there one particular fruit/food the Coreidae enjoy? preferably ‘non-sticky.
I’ve looked around the net
and all I found literally was multiple ways of exterminating them!!!!! which is for me a No-No.

Whats that Bug ?
December 4, 2009
I took this picture of the bug in my backyard.. I tried to identify it.. but could not.
Cecilia Furey
Valdosta, Georgia USA

Polka Dot Wasp Moths Mating

Polka Dot Wasp Moths Mating

Hi Cecilia,
These are mating Polka Dot Wasp Moths, and they are quite common in Florida and Texas as well as some other southern states.  The caterpillars feed on the leaves of oleander, so there must be a source of larval food in or near you backyard.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp?
December 4, 2009
This summer I was lucky enough to go to the Amazon. I stayed in a lodge about 2 hours downriver from the city of Iquitos, Peru. I saw an enormous amount of awesome bugs but one that stood out was a gigantic wasp. It must have been 2-3 inches (though I’m awful at estimating that stuff), definitely the most impressive hymenopterids I’ve ever seen.. I realize the biodiversity of the Amazon is mind blwing, but there can’t be too man wasps that size. Any help would be awesome (I’ve also got a big bright red assassin bug if you’re interested in a challenge).
Sebastian
Heliconia Lodge, about 2 hours downstream from Iquitos, Peru

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Sebastian,
We cannot say for certain that this is a Tarantula Hawk, but we are nearly certain it is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae which includes the Tarantula Hawks.  Tarantula Hawks in the genus Pepsis are nearly always black with orange wings.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he agrees.

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Trinidadian night critters …
December 3, 2009
I would like some help identifying ,more specifically ,some of the fascinating creatures that the excellent guides at Asa Wright, Trinidad, showed me last week during a couple of night hikes. The guides went as far as to tell me that these were 1) a scorpion, 2) a whip scorpion, and 3) a harvestman. I’d love to learn a little more about these formidable looking beasts.
Paul Prior
Asa Wright, Trinidad

Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpion

Dear Paul,
Thanks for sending us your wonderful images of nocturnal Arachnids from Trinidad.  All three of your creatures are in the same Arthropod class, Arachnida, which includes spiders.  The Scorpion might be Centruroides limbatus based on images we found on the Scorpions of Central America and the Caribbean website.
Generally, Scorpions with smaller claws and proportionally larger tails have more lethal venom, and this is the case with the genus Centruroides.  Wikipedia also has a page on this species which is identified as one of the Bark Scorpions.  According to Wikipedia, the venom is not considered dangerous to humans, though the sting is painful.  The overall light coloration and dark markings on the tail and claws or pedipalps help to identify the species.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpions are also nocturnal predators, but they lack venom and are perfectly harmless despite a fierce appearance.  They feed on insects and other arthropods and they move rapidly by scuttling sideways.  You can read more about Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi on BugGuide.

Harvestman

The Harvestmen in the order Opiliones are also without venom, and they are scavengers rather than predators, feeding upon dead insects and arthropods.  Harvestmen are also called Daddy Long Legs.  You may also read more about Harvestmen on BugGuide.  Sadly, we do not have the necessary skills to identify the Tailless Whipscorpion or the Harvestman beyond the level of order.