From the monthly archives: "January 2010"

camoflage green moth
January 27, 2010
Dear bugman,
My daughter found this moth in our living room. It is about an inch long. We see one of these every once in a while, but they are not common visitors to our porch light 😉 We can’t find it in any of our “bug books” and were wondering if you could help identify it for us.
Mariposa, CA

Pacific Green Sphinx

Hi Kristin,
This little beauty is Arctonotus lucidus, the Pacific Green Sphinx or Bear Sphinx.  According to Bill Oehlke’s excellent website:  “adults fly as a single brood from late January to March and nectar at flowers. Moths can be spotted much earlier (mid December) in more southerly locations (San Diego, California; Mexico) when weather conditions are right.
”  We don’t receive many reports and images of this gorgeous moth, but since the flight times are so limited, and there may be additional sightings in February, we believe we are going to select your image and letter as our Bug of the Month for February 2010.

What’s That Bug?
January 27, 2010
I just published an article on my site, “Top 25 Entomology Blogs”. First, I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in the article and if you have any questions about that article, how your site is described, etc. I wanted to let you know that you should feel free to email me. In addition, I thought I would bring it to your attention in case you think your readers might find it interesting and consequently would consider giving the article a mention on your site.
In any case, thanks for your time!
Anna Miller

Hi Anna,
Thanks for including us on your list and we have posted the link on our homepage.  It will eventually archive to fanmail.  We checked out the competition, and we are proud that unlike most of your awardees, we actually post daily.

Type of bug
January 27, 2010
Dear sir or madam
We have found this bug in a piece of wood in our house and we would like to find out more information about it.
South Africa

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear email,
You have discovered a harmless Tailless Whipscorpion.  Despite its fierce appearance, and its distant relatives and namesakes, the venomous true Scorpions, the Tailless Whipscorpion has no venom.  It is a shy nocturnal hunter that will help to rid your home of other undesirables, like cockroaches.

assasin or bad guy?
January 25, 2010
Hello, This bug was congregated with about 16 of his friends on the leaves of a tomato plant. I also found 2 of his cousins on an almost ripe tomato. They are slow moving and make no effort to fly. They have 2 red/orange dots on their sholders.
Balfate, Honduras (North Coast)

Immature Leaf Footed Bugs

Hi Again Brad,
We already provided you with a very short answer, but now that time allows, and we are preparing to post your letter and images, we can give a more detailed answer.  These are Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae, and they are immature nymphs without fully developed wings.  Some tropical species in the family have greatly exaggerated hind tibiae, and they are known as Flag Footed Bugs. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a more specific identification with regards to genus or species.  Bugs in the family Coreidae suck nutrients from plants, but they are not generally a problem unless they are very numerous.  An exception would be those that feed upon fruits including tomatoes.  In California, we have a species of Leptoglossus that injects saliva into fruits such as pomegranate, and this renders portions of the fruit unpalatable.  The same may hold for your species if it feeds upon the fruit of the tomato.  We also believe that sixteen individuals feeding upon a single tomato plant may compromise the health of the plant.

Immature Leaf Footed Bug

Thanks a million for the great information. I have continued to inspect my garden for the presence of additional Flag/Leaf footed bugs, but I have not found any others. I find it interesting that they were all congregated on the one tomato bush and nowhere else. Thanks to your help I was able to learn a great deal more about this family of bugs and also gain some additional understanding on an unrelated pest (squash Vine Borer) in my garden. We are using our garden as a test plot for school garden projects we will be working with here in Honduras. Our learning curve is steep and we are grateful to have a resource such as yours.
Brad and Trish Ward
Hospital Loma de Luz, Balfate, Colon, Honduras

Hi Brad,
We applaud your noble efforts in Honduras.  We suspect the reason that all the immature Leaf Footed Bugs were congregated on one plant is that they came from the same brood.  Since they have not yet developed wings, they cannot fly to other plants.  The winged female was able to fly to a choice food plant and lay her eggs, and since the plant was selected by the female as a food source, there was no need for the young to disperse.

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel:
The two yellow/orange spots on the pronotum are characteristic of both the adult and late instar nymphs of Leptoglossus zonatus. The Bugguide also has an image of a nymph. The species ranges from northern South America to the southwest USA. According to Wikipedia: “In Honduras, where the bug is known commonly as chinche patona (large-legged bug), it is a minor garden pest.” It appears it may be extending its range eastward in the southern USA, and the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (Division of Plant Industry) has recently issued a ‘Pest Alert’ for this species in Florida. Regards.

Praying Mantis
January 25, 2010
I looked everywhere for one of these mantis and I finally found one, he just showed up on my Grandmother’s porch my sister started screaming when she found him because she knew how long I’d been looking for one. I can’t tell if it’s a male or female and if it’s a chinese or European mantis, can you identify him?
to derek
Shamokin Pennsylvania

Chinese Mantis

Hi Derek,
January is a most unusual time to find a Preying Mantis on the front porch and we would have thought that any mantises would have been killed by the frost or snow.  Your letter didn’t indicate, but we suspect you captured this Chinese Mantis in the autumn, and have been raising it indoors, in which case the life expectancy will be extended.  We believe this is a female Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis, though we are not certain.  Females are generally larger than males.  According to BugGuide, the Chinese Mantis can be identified are “Tan to pale green. Forewings tan with green along front margin. Compund eyes chocolate-brown at sunset, pale tan soon after sunrise and during the day.

I caught her about the start of December, thanks for the info, I’m
planning on purchasing some in the summer, I let her go because I couldn’t
get  much to feed it, but they are very interesting  to watch I was pretty
excited when i saw her on your site, Thanks gain for your help. From Derek

Hi again Derek,
Should you ever decide to try to keep a Preying Mantis over the winter months when wild insects are scarce, you can purchase crickets from most pet stores since crickets are commonly fed to lizards and other pets.

I’ll remember that when I get one in spring, I wish I’d known that before
I set the other loose, thanks a lot I’ll be sure to take better  care of
the next one. Thanks, From Derek

Black/yellow/orange beetle
January 27, 2010
this beetle mysteriously showed up in my water bottle(of all places). I live near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As you can see in the pictures it is black and yellow, with a hint of orange on the back and an orange striped belly. I have never seen a beetle like this here before, and the only way I can figre it got in the house was I had a television delivered to me the other day and it could have came with it(where the tv came from I do not know).
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Two Spotted Stink Bug

Hi Josh,
This is an adult Two Spotted Stink Bug, Perillus bioculatus.  Individuals of the species can exhibit variable coloration, most commonly with all of the white markings being red.  The Two Spotted Stink Bug is a beneficial predator, and according to BugGuide, it preys upon the Colorado Potato Beetle.  The range is much of the United States and parts of Canada, and since Stink Bugs often seek shelter indoors to hibernate, it is also a possibility that your individual originated in your own vicinity.

Thank you very much for the prompt response and information!  What a great website 🙂