From the monthly archives: "June 2010"

Japanese Beetles
June 24, 2010
Hi Daniel, You asked for images of Japanese Beetles. I had a few but none were very good, so I took some more today. Not really pleased with these either, don’t know why but my camera doesn’t seem to focus on them very well. Perhaps they are clear enough for an ID. I never cropped one very close to show the “lace leaf” you were talking about, this is a grape leaf. I hope you are able to use these. Thank you and have a great day.
North Middle Tennessee

Japanese Beetles eating and mating

Hi again Richard,
With all due respect, if you were our photography student, we would tell you that you are nuts.  This photo has everything.  We especially love that it shows the leaf damage caused by the beetle, which our mom in Ohio compares to lace doilies.  The two pairs of beetles on the right appear to be mating.  While the focus on the right of the image is not critically sharp, it is more than acceptable especially considering the detail in the Japanese Beetle in the upper left.  We also appreciate that you managed to send us photos of all the insects we saw in Ohio earlier in the week that we lamented not having had a camera so we could take our own:  The Question Mark, Great Spangled Fritillary, and Firefly as well as the Japanese Beetles.  We are upgrading the status of this posting to the Bug of the Month for July. Read Full Article →

Red and yellow body, yellow hind legs. Cricket? Grasshopper?
June 30, 2010
Found this little guy on the island in my kitchen tonight. (I live in North Carolina, USA.) Never seen one, despite the variety of insect life wandering the woods behind our house–and coming inside. It’s probably only 1/2″ long or so. Not very big. I thought the coloring was unusual. I apologize that it’s not a better photo. So far I haven’t managed to do anything but trap him in a cup, so I may be able to get a better one when I get brave and convince myself it’s not an alien that will grow epically at midnight and eat me in my sleep.
North Carolina

Handsome Trig

Hi Ruth,
This is the lovely Red Headed Bush Cricket,
Phyllopalpus pulchellus, though we prefer the other common name, the Handsome Trig.  You can see additional images of the Handsome Trig by visiting BugGuide.

Beige brown Hawk-Moth?
June 29, 2010
I’m in Denver, Colorado, and found this moth hanging on my front door screen. I did not fly away, so I photographed it a lot and later this night it was “training” it’s wings and finally flew away. I would like to know if I got the identification right 🙂 Thank you in advance for your response.
Denver, Colorado, USA

Western Poplar Sphinx

Hi Angela,
Thanks for sending us your excellent photos of a Western Poplar Sphinx,
Pachysphinx occidentalis.  You can read about it on BugGuide as well as Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  Your letter is our final posting before our scheduled website maintenance.

Western Poplar Sphinx

June 29, 2010
At the end of July, while at the park, we came across this HUGE catepillar on a weeping willow tree. We were all so amazed at it’s size as well as all of the brilliant, differents colors and patterns. We took a lot of pictures and came home and looked in our “Fun with Nature, Take-Along Guide” and we were amazed that we were able to identifiy it. It was soooo exciting for the children as well as their dad and I. We found out that it was a Cecropia Moth Caterpillar. Thought you might like to see some pictures. I must admit, I was a little frightened by the size of it, I did put my hand next to it to try to show the size, but I was afraid to go any closer!!!!
Always looking at nature, GSO, NC
In Greensboro, NC on a weeping willow tree

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Dear nature fans,
Thanks for taking the time to submit your photo of a Cecropia Moth Caterpillar.  It is the first we received this year.

Yellow and Black Moth
June 30, 2010
I noticed this moth sitting on a rose bush during the day. Thought it had a different pattern, Could it be a Tiger Moth? Or possibly a slightly different version.
Robert Haimes
Nova Scotia. Canada

Leconte's Haploa Moth

Hi Robert,
Your moth is indeed a Tiger Moth, and it is in the genus
Haploa which included the Clymene Moth.  We suspect it is the highly variable Leconte’s Haploa Moth, Haploa leconteiOne photo on BugGuide has markings nearly identical to your specimen, and the information page on BugGuide indicates that there is much variation between individuals.

Italics for genus and species names?                         Inbox        X
June 30, 2010
Hi Daniel,
Something I have been meaning to bring up for a long time is the convention in biology that the genus and species names of organisms are written in italics. (This is not true of any other higher taxa however: for example, family names are not written in italics). In situations like your site, where your answers to queries are written in italics, the genus and species name would be rendered in non-italics so that it stands out.
Maybe this is a stylistic choice that you made a long time ago, but since you have such a major following, and because you are educating so many people about biology, people who may know little or nothing about it, I thought you might want to consider this.
All very best wishes,
Susan J. Hewitt

Hi Susan,
Thanks so much for bringing up this issue as it has been a consideration for quite some time.  The italicized responses have been part of the What’s That Bug? design dating back to 1998 when the column first appeared in the photocopied “zine” American Homebody.  When the column went online in 2000, the format stayed the same.  When What’s That Bug? became a unique website in 2002, the italicized response format remained.  I have been in a quandry with how to deal with the convention of italicized genus and species names, and your suggestion to render them in non-italicized font is great.  However, if I took the time to retrofit the archives, I might not be able to respond to any new mail for months.  Since our website migration in 2008, there are numerous new features that the site offers, but preparing the archives for those items is an item for the back burner.  Perhaps one day there will be a real staff that can tackle things like that.  One of the major remaining tasks post migration is to take advantage of all the new subcategories.  Thanks again, and I will from this point on try to remember to post genus and species in regular, non-italicized font.

Hey, that sounds great Daniel, Thanks,