From the monthly archives: "May 2010"

Beetle with headlights
May 29, 2010
We have dozens of this firefly zooming about in the jungle outside our house tonight. My daughter calls them headlight bugs. We are assuming Lampyridea family, but were wondering if we could get a more specific ID. As always our gratitude.
Balfate, Honduras (North Coast)

Glowing Click Beetle

Hi Brad,
Not all insects that glow are Fireflies in the family Lampyridea.  Glowworms in the family Phengodidae also glow, as do the distantly related Glowing Click Beetles in the genus Deilelater of the family Elateridae.  You can compare your specimen to images posted to BugGuide.  Your photos are quite wonderful.

Glowing Click Beetle

Whose eggs are these?
May 29, 2010
I found these on a dishcloth I brought in from the line today. They’re 0.75mm across, hard, and they stick to the cloth. I’m curious to know what they are. Thanks!
Fredericton, NB, Canada

Spined Soldier Bug Eggs

Five Minutes Later
Hi, I just wrote you about some tiny black eggs. They’re spined soldier bugs; a quick google search turned this up. I thought IDing the eggs would have been more difficult, but the internet’s a big place. Thanks for the website; I’ve visited before but never had a question until today.

Spined Soldier Bug Eggs

Hi Derek,
We are pleased to hear that you identified your eggs as those of a Spined Soldier Bug in the genus Podisus.  Here is an image from BugGuide for comparison.  Spined Soldier Bugs are actually Predatory Stink Bugs.

Square Eyed Hornworm
May 29, 2010
Found this amazing and ugly fellow on a Vitex agnus-castus nibbling away. He was up high in the tree and I only saw one. It is May in Wharton, Texas. He is between 3 1/2″ and 4″ long. I haven’t a clue. I wish I was a better photographer. My neighbor took some pictures – if I get them (and they should be better) I will send them on. I looked through all of your hornworms and didn’t see him, but then again, maybe he isn’t a hornworm. Thanks so much for this site. I have used it sooooo many times.
Wharton, Texas

Hickory Horned Devil

Hi Carolyn,
This is extremely early in the year for us to receive a photo of a Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth.  Typically, we get the first Hickory Horned Devil photos around August.  The Hickory Horned Devil is not a Hornworm, but a rather one of the Silkworm Moths.

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White, black & Orange moth
May 29, 2010
We found the attached moth in Austin Texas. It has white wings marked with black markings. Body and underside of wings predominantly burnt orange
Glen & daughter Kennedy
Pflugerville, Texas

Salt Marsh Moth

Dear Glen and Kennedy,
This lovely Tiger Moth is known as the Salt Marsh Moth, Estigmene acrea.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a wide variety of mainly weedy plants including pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), anglepod (Gonolobus spp.), Sicklepod (Cassia tora), Dog Fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), ground cherry (Physalis spp.), and mallow (Anoda spp.), plus crops such as alfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, carrot, celery, clover, corn, cotton, lettuce, onion, pea, potato, soybean, sugarbeet, tobacco, tomato, and turnip. On rare occasions, they also feed on leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs: alder, apple, cherry, elderberry, pear, poplar, and serviceberry, according to Handfield.

Small Green Flies
May 29, 2010
This morning (May 29 2010) I have small metallic green flies/wasps in my vegetable garden. Not a swarm but I saw at least five. I haven’t looked for them elsewhere. (I only noticed these because I was taking a photo of a leaf problem on the potatoes.) The photo is on a potato plant, but they don’t discriminate. They are about 1/2″ long. One landed on me, too. They don’t startle easily. I live in the mountains of western Virginia. We’ve had alot of rain recently.
Hoping They’re Beneficial
West of Lexington, VA

Long Legged Fly

Dear Hoping,
You wish has been granted.  This Long Legged Fly in the family Dolichopodidae is beneficial.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae are predaceous on small insects. Although immatures of some species mine stems of grasses and other plants or live under bark of trees. Not much is known about larval feeding habits although some species are known to be predaceous.

Newly hatched insect
May 28, 2010
We live on the west coast of Mexico. This insect/larvae was protruding from the leg of a piece of wooden furniture on our patio late last night. It seemed to be hatching, and the “husk” it was hatching from had active legs. Its wings eventually dried and it flew away. It was about 2.5 inches long! THANKS!
Karen Knapp
12 km north of Puerto Vallarta, MX

Cicada Metamorphosis

Hi Karen,
Congratulations on your good fortune to witness the metamorphosis of a Cicada.


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