From the monthly archives: "February 2010"

Madagascar Hissing Roach
February 27, 2010
Hey, I don’t see any Madagascar Hissing Roaches on your site, so I
thought I might contribute!
His name is Eero, means “Ever-Ruler” and I was letting him crawl around on my pantleg in these pictures (was in a dark room using flash so his colors showed up better) sure it’s just brown, but I think it’s a pretty fade of black-brown and kind of a golden color.
I say “he” because of the big horn like protrusions on his thorax, females have a smooth top
Tara
Captive

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Hi Tara,
Thanks for sending us photos of this popular pet insect.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Cave Cricket?
February 23, 2010
Hi Daniel,
Another of the insects I saw in Sichuan, China. This one was a particular beast. Its body wasn’t much short of thumb size and as you can see its antennae are huge. I think it’s a cave cricket so I’d be very grateful if you could confirm that, and go any further with ID.
Its habitat was a forested mountain unlike your other submissions of cave crickets, so if it is indeed a member of this Family then I guess they aren’t just restricted to cave-like habitats. I also think he is far more handsome than your other submitted cave crickets, even if I do so say so myself.
Thanks
Ed
Danjingshan

Camel Cricket

Hi Ed,
This really is a lovely Orthopteran, but we aren’t certain that it is a Cave Cricket or Camel Cricket, and we would not rule out the possibility that it is a Katydid.    We will contact Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide any more specific identification on this creature’s identity.

Camel Cricket

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Hi, Daniel:
The “Orthoptera from China” is indeed a camel cricket of some sort.
Eric

Hi Daniel and Eric,
Thanks very much for confirming the cricket is a member of Rhaphidophoridae.
There’s not much information on this group so I’ve given up trying to ID it
beyond family level.
Best wishes
Ed

Facebook-group picture sparks curiosity
February 26, 2010
Well hello there anthropod lovers!
You’d be forgiven for reading this and thinking “this guy cannot possibly be serious” but this really intrigued me. There’s a facebook group entitled “if i saw this in my house I’d run” and their image is this one. I’m unsure as to whether the picture is original or tampered but that’s not the issue really i suppose, what is this spider? I’m almost convinced that it’s a huntsman spider of some sort but being a chemist not an anthropod expert I don’t have any reference material to look this up! Either way, that looks like one proud mother.
Also, although the picture quality could be better, it looks almost as if the larger spider is slumped – i’ve heard of spiders that are their babies’ first meal on hatching, could this be one of them?
(and to think some people complain about mothers breastfeeding, there are more objectionable ways for a mother to give her babies a good, natural start and you don’t see the arachnids complaining! imagine the fuss if the triplets suddenly turned to cannibalism on the bus instead, talk about controversy)
Thanks in advance for your time, it’s obviously understandable if you can’t reply 🙂
Andy
Unknown, Sorry

Giant Crab Spider with Spiderlings

Hi Andy,
Your letter and the attached image has us very curious in the light of the facebook group because we posted this image in March 2008 and made it the Bug of the Month at that time.  Now we are wondering if we had been duped because the image was sent by two different people then.   Neither person who submitted the image had taken the photo, but one person named Craig Baugher said the photo was taken by his friend in Los Angeles.  The photo might have already gone viral on the internet at that time.  We have learned to be very careful and now we try to only post images when we are certain that they have been taken by the person who submits the identification request, but we are not infallible.  The quality of the image we posted is better, and it is cropped differently, which leads us to believe that the current facebook sensation was not snatched from our site, but it may have been part of the original “chain” email and had gotten degraded along the way.  Due to the nature of the internet, we now doubt the authenticity of the claim in the letter we originally received that the photo was taken in Los Angeles since that could have been part of a hoax, though that is still possible.  We never conclusively identified the spider beyond the family level of Sparassidae, the Giant Crab Spiders, but Heteropoda venatoria in that family has a very wide distribution, especially in port cities, and that is surely a possible species in this case.  Heteropoda venatoria has several common names including Huntsman Spider.
Giant Crab Spiders do exhibit maternal behavior.  We are posting our version of this photo with your letter since it is higher quality, but when we have the time, we might search the archives on our other computer to see if we reduced the resolution on the original digital file.

Thanks for the speedy reply, and also apologies because I always say “anthropod” instead of “arthropod” – it’s really embarrassing. Curiosity is partly sated for now, but it is a voracious beast.
thanks again,
Andy

Desert Cicada
February 26, 2010
Hi, WTB,
From early June, 2009, a very fresh looking Desert Cicada.  It voided when picked up.  Northern Sonoran Desert, southern Arizona, about 3,000′.
Best,
Denny

Cactus Dodger

Hi Denny,
We are nearly certain your interesting desert Cicada is Cacama valvata, which we quickly located on BugGuide.  We like that it is called a Cactus Dodger.

Cactus Dodger

Thanks for the ID.  I had not heard the name Cactus Dodger, but I like it, also.

Cactus Dodger

Mating Robber Flies
February 26, 2010
Hi, WTB,
Mating Robber Flies.  Mid-July, 2009.  Foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, southern Arizona, about 4,400′.  There are lots of Robbers around here, and I’m always glad to observe them.
Best,
Denny

Mating Robber Flies

Hi Denny,
We believe these may be Neomochtherus californicus, a species of Robber Fly that is represented on BugGuide with a single series of three images, though we would need to defer to a Diptera expert, or better yet, a Asilid expert, for a conclusive identification.

Robber Flies Mating

Another Yam Hawkmoth?
February 26, 2010
We saw this unusual bug on the wall at our hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC back in Sept. When I went looking to identify it, I found your site. We are from PA so the insect is totally foreign to us. Thanks for your help.
Cindy Smith
Myrtle Beach, SC

Tersa Sphinx

Dear Cindy,
This is a Tersa Sphinx, Xylophanes tersa.  Interestingly, Tina from Hawaii, who submitted the photo of Hippotion boerhaviae, which we originally misidentified as a Yam Hawkmoth, believed her moth resembled a Tersa Sphinx.  You may read more about the Tersa Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.