From the monthly archives: "March 2010"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Costa Rican beetle?
March 28, 2010
I found this bug in Costa Rica, although it was in a park that mirrors the various ecosystems in Costa Rica, so the exact location won’t be much help.
Costa Rica, San Jose, InBioParque

Pale Red Bug

Hi Again Jenny,
Thank you so much for sending your identification requests individually.  It makes it much easier for us to post responses and archive postings that way.  This is not a beetle.  This is a Pale Red Bug or Turk’s Cap Red Bug, Dysdercus concinnus.  It is one of the Cotton Stainers.  According to BugGuide:  “Range Rio Grande Valley, Texas south to Columbia per Distant (1880-1893).  Food Mallows, often on Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Costa Rican grasshopper
March 28, 2010
This is a (very impressive) grasshopper I found last summer in the Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. It’s about an inch long. I know it’s a grasshopper (probably, I think) but I was wondering if it’s a special grasshopper. If not, it’s special to me, at least.
(Also, I just found your wonderful site and am submitting several inquiries about bugs I’ve been pondering for a while. I acknowledge your limited time to respond to these requests and will not get worked up if you can’t respond to all/most/any of them.)
Costa Rica, Pacific Coast

Immature Grasshopper: Tropidacris cristata

Hi Jenny,
Your letter is so sweet and thoughtful.  We agree that this is a pretty special looking Grasshopper, and we do not know what it is.  We hope to be able to identify it soon, but meanwhile, we are posting it as unidentified in the hope that our readership can assist in the identification.  We may also contact Piotr Naskrecki who has identified many Costa Rican Orthopterans for us.

Immature Grasshopper: Tropidacris cristata

We found a match online, but it is not identified.

Piotr Naskrecki identifies this nymph
Hi Daniel,
This is a nymph of Tropidacris cristata (Romaleidae), the largest
grasshopper in Central America. The adults lose the beautiful, striped
pattern, but gain huge, red wings.

Ed. Note
We have identified the adult Tropidacris dux several times, and we wonder if the two are the same species or just close relatives. This is the first submission we have gotten of the immature nymph in the genus with its drastically different coloration.  The Forestry Images website indicates that dux is a subspecies of Tropidacris cristata.

Yes, T. cristata dux is a subspecies of T. cristata, but I would be careful
assigning this animal to a subspecies based on a nymph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug on beach in Mozambique
March 28, 2010
Hi, we saw this on the beach at Malongane in March one morning quite early. I would be grateful if you can supply a name for it?
Gawie Pretorius
Ponta de Malongane, Mozambique

Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Gawie,
We believe this resembles the larva of a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini, but we have never seen this exact species.  We are more familiar with specimens found in North America.  BugGuide has a photo of the larva of Cassida rubiginosa, which is typical of the larvae of other Tortoise Beetles.  They are often spiny and carry about their shed exoskeletons much like the individual in your photo.

Dear Daniel
I am quite impressed with your quick response!
Thank you so much, it is appreciated.
Kind regards

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I was urinated on by a type of beetle.
March 27, 2010
Hola Bugman!
I recently returned from a three month stay in Panama, where just a few days before my departure, I was peed on in my sleep by a type of beetle that the locals called “chinea” (sp?). The urine left a large purplish-black blister on my arm, that with the help of hydro-cortisone cream, has been steadily healing. A biologist friend of mine consulted a Panamanian doctor friend and concluded that the beetle is of the stinking variety. Any more specific info? I’d love to be able to really get to know the bug that has left me, if only a little, emotionally and physically scarred! 🙂
Muchos gracias y adios! Katie
Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province, Panama

Contact Dermatitis: Bicho de Fuego possibly

Hola KAtie,
First we need to come clean and admit that our response is total speculation based on circumstantial evidence.  Since there is no actual photo of the culprit, nothing is certain.  With that stated, there is a genus of Rove Beetles, Paederus, that has a worldwide distribution.  In Africa, this beetle is called a Creechie or Acid Bug.  We have posted letters with African species several times in the past, including January 2008 and again in May 2008.  We found an online posting on the US National Library of Medicine website that indicates “Epidemic outbreak of dermatitis caused by Paederus signaticornis Sharp (Coleoptera: staphylinidae) observed in José Domingo de Obaldía Hospital, David, Panama
” in January 1982, so the genus is found in Panama.  The Medical and Veterinary Entomology website has information, including:  “Rove beetles in the genus Paederus contain pederin (C25H45O9N), a toxin more potent than that of Latrodectus [Black Widow] spider venom, and the most complex nonproteinaceous insect defensive secretion known.  Pederin is synthesized by endosymbiotic gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas species) occurring in female Paederus species.  The beetles, which are mostly 7 to 13 mm long, are found in North, Central, and South America; Europe; Africa; Asia; and Australasia.  Unlike most rove beetles that are dull-colored, many Paederus species have an orange pronotum and orange basal segments of the abdomen, which contrast sharply with the often blue or green metallic elytra and brown or black coloration of the rest of the body.  This color pattern may be a form of warning (aposematic) coloration, but a defensive function for pederin has not been demonstrated. … Species in South American countries are known by various names, such as bicho de fuego, pito, potó, podó, and trepa-moleque.”

Thanks for the info!  If when I return to Panama am able to get a photograph/more info, I will surely send you an update!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cocoon with raised circular bumps
March 28, 2010
Hello Bugman, from across the pond. I spotted this cocoon, attached to a branch of a 2 year old Hebe, and can’t find out what it is. It’s about the size of my thumb, but fatter – completely secured along it’s length to the branch, and looking very solid. The small circles on the outside are almost like little hatched eggs – these have confused me, as whatever is inside would have had to crawl in after making them, rather than spinning a cocoon around itself? It is as if it needed extra armour. Inside is something which is filling the whole cavity, and looking a bit furry 🙂
Surrey, South East England

Rusty Tussock Moth Cocoon and Eggs

Hi Luigi,
This is a most interesting situation.  Before we saw your location was England, we were certain that this must be a Cecropia Moth Cocoon.  It is actually a Small Emperor Moth Cocoon, Saturnia pavonia, which can be viewed on the Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa website.   Eggs are typically laid in neat rings around the twigs of the food plant, and it seems like the moth that emerged from this cocoon was a female and she laid her eggs on her own cocoon.  We are going to contact Bill Oehlke with this unusual situation and he may request permission to post the photos on his own website.

Rusty Tussock Moth Cocoon and Eggs

Correction:  Rusty Tussock Moth Eggs and Cocoon
March 28, 2010
These are not the eggs of a saturniid but rather the rusty tussock moth (Lymantriidae: Orgyia antiqua), which is native to Europe but is now found throughout North America and elsewhere.  It is typical of this species and a number of other tussock moths for the eggs to be deposited right on the female’s cocoon, because the females are flightless.
There is a photo similar to these in my new book, “Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates,” which I think y’all might enjoy.  There is some information about it here:

Ed. Note:
We found a matching photo on Wikipedia.

Thank you so much for your reply – that’s really interesting.  I’ve just had another look at it, and there is definitely something still inside the cocoon, so the moth has not yet emerged (I see that the UK flight time starts in mid-April).  I haven’t noticed any larvae of the kind, and no larvae damage to the plant (a Hebe). I wonder if something else entirely has laid its eggs on this cocoon?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ant with Claws
March 28, 2010
Hi, a couple years ago i found this ant with claws in my house. I’ve searched different things on google but still have not come across any pictures that look like this and i just found this site and i hope you can identify it
North America

Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

Hi Tazia,
Ants are insects and have six legs.  Your creature has eight legs, plus the claws.  We are nearly certain this is an Ant Mimic Jumping Spider, and we believe based on the pedipalps which you call claws, that this is a male.  We cannot find an exact match on BugGuide, but there are a series of photos of Sarinda hentzi that resemble your specimen.  North America is a big place.

Ed. Note:
April 11, 2010
Rich provided a comment identifying this as possibly Myrmarachne formicaria, and we just found photos of that species on BugGuide while trying to identify another Jumping Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination