From the monthly archives: "October 2010"

Unidentified Orange Insect
Location:  Daytona Beach Florida (1 Mile From Coast)
October 2, 2010 3:29 pm
I found these guys on a weed in my Daytona Beach yard … It is early October … They appear to be a nymph … probably some sort of the truebug category … I found a picture that id it as coreid nymph … when I goggled that … the images looked very different … I will send some photos … I need to know if these guys are harmful to home or garden … I gave up tomatoes,squash, and cucumbers as these attracted pests … I’m happy with the herbs and peppers in the garden and they tend to stay pest-free … these insects are on a weed away from the garden … so I’ve not disturbed … Please, if you could, advise me if I should remove them … thanks … Tany
(Below is the link that shows someone else’s photo of ”the bug”
Signature:  Tanya Joiner

Giant Sweetpotato Bug Nymphs

Hi Tanya,
We agree that the link you provided is a match to your specimens, and we wish we had noticed you provided a link prior to our scouring BugGuide for the answer, because we did locate the Giant Sweetpotato Bug,
Spartocera batatas, on BugGuide after some searching.  At the time we posted the nymphs that you found on our site, they were unidentified, but now Julieta, an expert in Heteroptera with the USDA, has provided a genus identification for us and that is Spartocera.  According to BugGuide, the Giant Sweetpotato Bug is:  “Non-native, found in Surinam and some Caribean islands. First reported in the continental US in Florida in 1995” which makes it an Invasive Exotic species.  We believe your specimens may appear so red because they are freshly molted, meaning their color will darken.

Giant Sweetpotato Bug Nymphs

Predator and prey
Location:  Silver Spring, Maryland
October 2, 2010 12:34 pm
Is the predator a bee or a wasp? It the prey a katydid? Found the interactionhappening on our front sidewalk early one evening in September 2010.
Signature:  Steve

European Hornet eats Mantis

Hi Steve,
Your wasp is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and we believe it may be Polistes metricus based on photos posted to BugGuide, and the range of the species according to BugGuide.  According to the genus information page on bugguide, Paper Wasps  “Take nectar and juice from ripe fruit. Predatory on other insects (predominantly caterpillars) to feed larvae. The prey is a bit more of a challenge.  We actually believe it to be a small Preying Mantis, possibly the Carolina Mantis, Stagmomantis carolina, which is just over two inches long according to BugGuide. The big question in our mind is whether or not the Paper Wasp killed the Mantis.  We find that hard to believe.  We believe the Mantis may have been attacked by a bird or other predator and had been partially eaten, and the opportunistic Paper Wasp stumbled upon an easy meal for the larvae in the nest.  The foraging Paper Wasps will chew and eat the insect prey and then regurgitate the partially digested meat for the larvae.

Mantis Carcass

November 13, 2011
Mistaken ID
November 13, 2011 9:23 pm
The ‘paper wasp’ eating the mantis is probably actually a European hornet, Vespa crabro.  Paper wasps are less robust and colored differently, and prefer to go after more helpless insects than mantids.  On Youtube there are at least a few videos of hornets of related species attacking healthy mantids successfully.
P.S. I love your website!  Awesome job, and keep it up…don’t listen to the trolls who can’t stand being reminded that drowning things in Raid is a cruel death.
Signature: JC

Dear JC,
Thanks so much for your correction.  We make numerous mistakes, especially in our attempts to post as many submissions as possible, and we really rely upon our readership to write back and correct our errors.

Location:  Columbia SC
October 2, 2010 12:57 pm
My cousin sent me this picture. It was recently taken (early fall). It is such a pretty color and I’d like to be able to identify it. Please help. Thank you
Signature:  Brenda

Sulphur Butterfly

Hi Brenda,
We are able to provide you with a genus, but an exact species may be difficult as all the Sulphurs in the genus
Colias look rather similar on the undersides.  You may scan the possibilities on BugGuide to see what we mean.  Your photo is somewhat disturbing.  Something just doesn’t seem right to us.  We can’t help but wonder if perhaps this lovely Sulphur has become a meal for an unseen predator, more specifically a Crab Spider or Flower Spider.  Crab Spiders wait on blossoms to ambush pollinating insects.  something about the way the bloom has engulfed the butterfly has lead us in that supposition.

Jerusalem Cricket/Potato Bug
Location:  Spokane, WA
October 2, 2010 2:48 am
Hello! Thanks to your website, I was able to identify a bug I’ve seen several times in my life, and seriously creeped out by.
I clean an elementary school in a rural area, and always find them in the tiled bathrooms far from any outside doors. I wonder what it is they are looking for…water? Somewhere cool?
These are very hearty creatures I have also discovered. One time, visiting in the Sierra Mountains, I got up in the morning to put on my shoes. A bit later I realized I had a rather uncomfortable rock in my shoe, but was unable to stop what I was doing to remove. Roughly half hour later, I pulled off my shoe and slapped the heel into the palm of my hand catching a really angry Jerusalem Cricket. I then promptly flipped out completely, flinging the insect in the air and released a piercing scream. I was completely taken by surprise something that size survived under my foot. Since that day, I have to say, it’s been on my mind what that insect was.
Thanks again for the great site with the awesome information!
Signature:  Corey Douglas

Great Grig

Hi Corey,
Jerusalem Crickets and your insect, a Great Grig,
Cyphoderris monstrosa, are all in the same suborder Ensifera, the Longhorned Orthopterans, but they are in different families.  The Great Grig has a much more limited range, as it is only found in the Pacific Northwest.  According to BugGuide, Great Grigs are found in:  “coniferous forests containing Lodgepole Pine, Englemann Spruce, and Mountain Hemlock; adults hide beneath leaf litter during the day, and become active at night, climbing tree trunks and continuing high into the branches to feed, sing (males), and mate.”

Either a beetle or grasshopper
Location:  Julian, CA 92036
September 29, 2010 1:14 pm
Found this in the garage at our home in Julian CA….lived here 10 years and never seen this before……acts like a grasshopper the way it jumps
Signature:  Sam Clark

Dragon Lubber Grasshopper

Hi Sam,
We quickly identified your grasshopper on BugGuide as a Dragon Lubber in the genus
Dracotettix, a small group of species endemic to California.  Sadly, your photo does not show the crest which would be more visible from the side.

California Mantis in Captivity

October 1, 2010
Last Wednesday, September 29, 2010, Daniel captured a female California Mantis, Stagomantis californica, that he saw on the front porch.  Daniel has been asked to appear on the morning news on Channel 5, but the appearance is contingent on him bringing live bugs for the amusement of the news team.  Since the appearance date has been pushed back a second time, Daniel now has to keep this “pet” California Mantis alive for a month, and he has been feeding her moths that are attracted to the porch light.  Hopefully, after the sun rises, Daniel will be able to take a photo of the pretty green gal that has been contentedly gobbling up moths for the past three days.