From the monthly archives: "March 2010"

Possible Leaf Insect in Huatalco, Mexico
March 30, 2010
During a Central American cruise at the end of March, we encountered this beauty. Our best guess would be some sort of leaf insect. It was about 4 inches long and after a gentle proding with a stick, it exposed mantis like wings and flew a short distance, only to attempt to camouflage itself again. Being from Illinois, we have encountered many walking sticks and mantisis but coming across this guy was a real treat! Any help would be great.
Rob & Chris F.
Huatulco, Mexico

Phasmid from Mexico

Hi Rob and Chris,
We aren’t certain if this is a Phasmid or Walkingstick, or if it is a Katydid.  We will pester Piotr Naskrecki for the fourth time in two days for assistance.

Piotr Naskrecki writes right back
Hi Daniel,
This is Prisopus sp., a phasmid of the family Prisopodidae. There are 18
species in the genus, all rather similar.

Interesting Insect from NW Costa Rica
March 31, 2010
I found this beautiful bug sitting on a smooth-barked tree over a stream at mid-elevation in a park at Rincon de la Vieja in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica’s northwest. I truthfully do not know what this beautiful creature is, my friend called it a treehopper or leaf hopper or something but I’m sorry I can’t be of any more help.
Rincon de la Vieja, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Lanternfly from Costa Rica

Hi Dave,
This is a Fulgorid Planthopper, commonly called a Lanternfly.  We posted a photo of this species this past January, and Piotr Naskrecki identified it as Phrictus quinquepartitus.

lamiinae beetle antennae knobs.
March 30, 2010
im wondering what these knobs are for and if they have anything to do with sexing certain lamiinae??? these two beetles appear to be (Aristobia approximator) but one has no knobs.
gary heiden
n.e. thailand

Aristobia approximator

Dear gary,
Your beetle with the tufted antennae is definitely Aristobia approximator.  The antennae are sensory organs, and in many insects that release pheromones to attract a mate, the male has highly developed antennae so that he can locate a female for mating purposes.  Aristobia approximator can be found pictured on stamps from Laos, North Vietnam and Central Africa.  Your other beetle appears to be a different species.  WE found Aristobia approximator pictured on the Beetles from Thailand website, but we could not locate your other individual there.  We could not locate the mystery beetle on Inhdonesien Cerambycidae Seite 1 or the other three pages on that site.  Perhaps when Karl returns from Costa Rica, he will have more luck than us at an identification.

Bee/Fly with Yellow Striped Eyes?
March 30, 2010
Saw this on the patio a couple days ago. Thought it was a bee at first, but the yellow striped eyes were pronounced. It’s about the size of a common bee or fly. Do you have any idea what this might be or what would cause the markings on the eyes?
Kyle B.
Long Beach, California

Flower Fly

Dear Kyle,
Though it resembles a bee, your fly is not a Bee Fly.  It is a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  The species Eristalinus taeniops, is only reported from California on BugGuide.

green insect
March 30, 2010
we saw this bug in honduras, in the cloud forest. it was eating the dead flies which got killed by getting too close to the light bulb on the porch.
trip to honduras
honduras, central

Peruvian Shield Mantis

Despite its name, the Peruvian Shield Mantis, Choeradodis rhombicollis, is also found in Central America.  We located a photo and the scientific name on the Trade Bit website, and then we found its range on the Terra Typica website.

what kind
March 30, 2010
i found a butterfly that looked odd to me,i mean the colors were odd,i just want to know what kind of butterfly this is it was purple with orange polka dots there was 4 i wasnt able to take a snap shot so i drew one its not the best.
always love ..,marisa l (surname withheld to preserve the anonymity of a child)
on my daisy flowers in my back yard

Common Buckeye, or close relative

Greetings marisa,
We believe you saw a Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia, or a close relative in the same genus.  Common Buckeyes frequent daisies from coast to coast, and there are relatives around the world in the same genus that look similar.  You can compare your drawing to Common Buckeyes we have posted in the past.
We hope you will be starting middle school soon and you will have the opportunity to pursue your natural artistic talent.  Sadly, many school districts are making their budget cuts in the visual and performing arts, and we lament that future young adults will have such a dearth of creativity during their formative years.  Out of the ethical desire to preserve the anonymity of a child, we have withheld your surname.