From the monthly archives: "January 2010"

Venezuelan fuzzy beetle
January 29, 2010
This is in Andean cloud forest. High altitude valley, State of Merida, VZ. Near La Trampa. It appeared in the house… moved about 2 feet in 24 hours. Pictures taken in November 2009. Looks ancient and like something happened to it. about 1.3 inches long. Thanks!
Andean Cloud Forest, Merida, Venezuela

possibly Ironclad Beetle

Dear ehtiyot,
This sure looks like it is an Ironclad Beetle in the family Zopheridae to us.  We are basing that hunch on the shape of the beetle and the form of the antennae.  BugGuide has some images of North American species for comparison.  Our second best guess is possibly a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  The pubescence is surely an interesting feature, though our initial attempts at identifying your beetle have been fruitless.  Perhaps one of or readers will have better luck.

Eric Eaton to the rescue
Yes, it is a beetle in the Zopheridae.

January 28, 2010
we found this nice spider in our house, and now we do like to have more information about it 🙂
spider is 4-5 cm with all legs
Australia, Sydney….my house 🙂

Male Garden Orbweaver Spider

Hi Iwi,
We have been unsuccessful in our attempts to identify your spider, and we hope that by posting it to our site, one of our readers will be able to identify it.

A comment that looks like it is correct:  Garden Spider
Do believe this to be Eriophora biapicata, though there seems to be extreme amounts of diversity even within the species itself…

Thanks for the  link littlechkn.  There is one photo of a male Garden Spider, Eriophora biapicata, that looks nearly identical.  When we originally posted the photo, we thought it looked like an Orbweaver, but we weren’t certain.  We then verified that with another image of a male Eriophora biaphicata on the FindaSpider website of Australian Spiders.

What the heck is this?
January 29, 2010
This bug was floating in my water cup, I almost drank him. I thought it was a “crab” spider, then he unfurled two long front limbs with claws that resemble those of a scorpion. I’ve never seen anything like this around here. Also strange: it’s the dead of winter (January), temperatures are almost down to the teens outside, so I’d have thought most everything is hibernating or dead. Please tell me what this is! I have him in captivity, he’s alive.
Thank you, David Obal
Central NJ


HI David,
Pseudoscorpions, like the one in your photos, are perfectly harmless because they don’t have venom.  Pseudoscorpions are often found inside the home where they will prey upon small insects.

Please Identify This Bug that Keeps Breaking Into My House
January 27, 2010
We just moved into a house in Frederick, Maryland that is over one thousand years old. It’s January so I’m not sure where this bug keeps coming from. So far (sorry to say this) I’ve killed 5 of these in just one week in the back bedroom. Last night one “attacked” us while we were sleeping in the front bedroom. I caught one today to take pictures of and then let it go (after reading some on your site). I dont like killing bugs but I want to keep these guys outside…any suggestions?
Jeff Z.
Frederick, Maryland

Stink Bug

Dear Jeff,
We weren’t aware that there were any homes in Maryland dating to the first millenium.  This is a harmless Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae.  Stink Bugs often enter homes to hibernate when the weather cools.  They will not harm your home, its furnishings, nor its inhabitants.

I’m very sorry to misinform you.  In all the madness of moving in my brain messed up the math… The house is over 100 years old (1850-1900 were the dates given).
Thank you very much for the information and quick responce!
Jeff Z

Costa Rican Moth
January 27, 2010
We here at the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens in Costa Rica are big fans of yours, and we have found a moth that we cannot identify. The photo should be pretty descriptive, but basically it is wearing some stylish headgear that resembles a broken twig. Your help is much appreciated!
MBG Staff
Monteverde Butterfly Gardens Staff
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Owlet Moth

Dear MBG Staff,
This is an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, a very large family.  There are several North American genera in the tribe Plusiini pictured on BugGuide that have a similar profile.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to be more specific in terms of a species or genus identification.

Karl does some research
Hi Daniel and MBG Staff:
This is indeed an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, and I believe the subfamily is Euteliinae (sometimes included in Plusiinae or Nolinae). In the Euteliinae, the beautiful ‘broken-twig’ mimicry is achieved with cryptic coloration, a squat posture and a dramatically upturned abdomen. As far as I can tell there are fewer than 20 species in 3 genera found in Costa Rica, but they are all similar and highly variable. I suspect the genus is either Paectes or Eutelia. The closest match I was able to find on the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) site was Paectes obrotunda, but this is really just a guess. MBG Staff, if you contacted Dan Janzen at ACG he could probably give you a precise identification. Regards.
Hey Guys!
Thanks so much for your timely reply and insight!  I have seen Noctuids before with upturned abdomens, but never one this drastic or with this degree of mimicry.  I was actually convinced that it wasn`t his abdomen at all, but some weird ornamentation on top of the body, though when you look at it with this new perspective it makes sense.  Thanks again, I will keep you updated if I find out anything more.
Keep up the awesome work!
Kyle and MBG staff. Karl

Wasp Mimic Moth from BVI
January 27, 2010
I think this may be a Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, Empyreuma affinis, but with much darker upper wings and black body compared to the more familiar examples with bright red wings and iridescent blue body. Is this perhaps the male?
Donald Gudehus
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Empyreuma anassa

Dear Donald,
We agree that this is some species of Arctiid, but we do not believe it to be the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, despite the similarities.  Perhaps it is another species in the same genus.  We will write to Julian Donahue, and expert in the Arctiids, to see if he is able to provide an identification.

Empyreuma anassa

Julian Responds
A recent revision of Empyreuma has made E. affinis (type locality: Cuba) and some other named taxa  synonyms of E. pugione (type locality St. Thomas, Virgin Islands). E. pugione is the only species of Empyreuma known from the Virgin Islands.
The only other species currently placed in Empyreuma is E. anassa from Jamaica.
Julian P. Donahue

Update:  February 4, 2010
Dear Marlos,
I read Julian Donahue’s comments and compared an image of Empyreuma anassa at
with my photo.  They appear to be the same species.  So, if that is so, E. pugione = E. affinis is not the only Empyreuma known from the Virgin Islands.

We love that the Moths of Jamaica website has the same background color as our own website.  When we first clicked the link, we thought we went to What’s That Bug? for a brief moment.