From the monthly archives: "October 2010"

Wheel bug casualty of midwestern storm- detailed pic
Location: Southwestern Ohio
October 27, 2010 7:10 pm
I found this wheel bug (?) quite dead in some leaf debris on my parents’ deck. From what I’ve heard, this was a smallish one. I thought this photo showed the distinctive wheel and the proboscis pretty well.
Signature: Kitsa

Wheel Bug

Hi Kitsa,
Thank you for sending this photo of a Wheel Bug that did not survive the storm.  We have already decided that we are receiving so many Wheel Bug identification requests this month that we are making it the Bug of the Month for November even though it held the exact same honor in November of 2008.

Not Miss Scarlett, Hiding in the Drapery…
Location: Coryell County, Central Texas
October 27, 2010 8:55 pm
… but perhaps Mr. Marbled Orb Weaver, hiding in the roses. I’ve been looking for the mister for two years; we see the missus often, she’s quite the show-off. Are these marbled orb weavers?
Signature: Ellen

Crab Spider

Dear Ellen,
You have two different species of spiders and we are posting your awesome images of a Crab Spider, but not the Orbweaver.  Crab Spiders look like and move like crabs, but they also wait on blossoms to pounce upon nectaring insects, so they are also called Flower Spiders.  We are having a problem identifying your species on BugGuide, but it does seem to resemble this unidentified individual from Florida posted on BugGuide.

Crab Spider

Hungry Jumper

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana eats moth

Hungry Jumper
Location: Mid-Missouri
October 27, 2010 3:44 pm
Hello Bugman. I came across this jumping spider (Species: Thiodina sylvana is my best guess) a few weeks back on a Friday evening after work. He was scurrying around rather frantically and as you can see, he was looking in dire need of a meal. I snapped a few pictures before he hid out. I went out shooting the next afternoon and I found what I think is the same jumper snacking on a moth. I love these little jumping spiders so I was happy to see him getting fed (at the poor Moth’s expense of course). It was really neat to be able to see her activity over the period of a couple of days.
Signature: Nathanael Siders

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana

Dear Nathanael,
You are just about the perfect contributor.  You have a catchy subject line for grabbing our attention.  Your letter has content and you have identified a difficult challenge, though we still have to verify if we agree with your identification.  You have gorgeous, perfectly sized images.  In the past, we have cropped out copyright information if we needed to crop into the photos for posting purposes, but your images do not need to be cropped.  The compositions are incredible.  Thank you for taking the time to make such a valuable contribution to our website.

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana

Ed. Note: We decided to verify the identity of this Jumping Spider on BugGuide, and we found Nathanael’s photos already posted.  We agree with his identification but we think it is important to also indicate the variability of Thiodina sylvana by linking to this image of a black individual on BugGuide.  We wonder how Nathanael is certain that this is not Thiodina puerpera.

Thank you so much for the nice comments.  I am glad to hear you appreciate my contributions and will keep them coming if that’s okay.  I had forgotten all about submitting those to  I did consider Thiodina puerpera but there are a few significant differences that I noticed.  Mainly, the coloring on the top of the head is different between the two female species.  In Thiodina puerpera, the top of the head seems to be mainly white and black whereas the Thiodina sylvana has orange areas mixed in.  The orange present on the head of the spider in my photos, among some of the subtle patterns on the head are what led me to Thiodina sylvana.  Not being an entomologist, I rarely feel confident enough to feel 100% sure, but I did a good bit of searching to find an ID on this “lady” and the Thiodina sylvana was the only species that fit all the characteristics of my spider as far as I could tell.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my judgment call.  Do you know if some female Thiodina puerpera that have orange on their head as well?

Thanks Nathanael,
We hope you realize that we are not entomologists.  Daniel teaches photography, and his assessment of the quality of your photographs has much more validity than any confirmation we might attempt regarding this species.  We have located a photo of
Thiodina sylvana that has orange coloration on the head, but it is a male, and it can be found on bugGuide.

I actually did think you all (or some) were entomologists.  Daniel’s compliments on my photography mean that much more to be coming from a photography teacher.  I appreciate all the interaction you have given me with my submission.  You definitely have a wonderful site and I am happy to be able to contribute some of my photos.

Found in Central Hungary
Location: Kecskemet, Hungary (central plains)
October 27, 2010 2:19 pm
I saw this on my walk home from work on October 25, 2010. Specifically, it was crawling along the sidewalk in a residential area behind a poultry processing plant and close to the train tracks. The pen I added for scale is 14 cm long.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Franny

Mole Cricket from Hungary

Hi Franny,
The Mole Cricket which is pictured in your photograph and the Toe-Biter are probably two of the most frequent identification requests we receive.  If our memory serves us correctly, we have received requests for the identification of the Mole Cricket from every continent but Antarctica.

Scary 5inch long caterpillar!!
Location: Crete Greece
October 26, 2010 11:30 am
Dear Bugman,
Again I need your expert help to identify this very large caterpillar which arrived on my patio under the Bouganvillia after strong winds in the night. At first I thought it was a snake! Hawk moth again maybe? Five inches long, a horn at the rear and cream colour underneath. I live on the island of Crete. Thanks for all you do to enlighten us amateur nature lovers!
Signature: Cathy P

Death's-Head Hawkmoth Hornworm

Hi Cathy,
You are correct.  This is a Hornworm as the caterpillars of the Hawkmoths are frequently called.  Alas, we do not know the species and a cursory search of the internet did not turn up any matches.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck identifying the species.

Hi Daniel and Cathy:
It looks like a brown color variant of the Death’s-head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, which is widespread throughout Europe and Africa. As with many hawkmoth (Sphingidae) caterpillars, it comes in a large variety of body colors and patterns. Wikipedia provides lots of interesting information about the species. Regards. Karl

Location: Mid-Missouri
October 26, 2010 12:50 pm
A friend of mine suggested that I submit some of my photos to your site (love the site by the way). I found these a few days ago all over the Amur Honeysuckle berries that line my woods. I believe it to be a Lovebug and they are sure interesting looking creatures. These were the first that I have seen this year
Signature: Nathanael Siders

March Fly

Hi Nathaneal,
This is definitely a March Fly in the family Bibionidae which includes the Love Bugs in the genus
Plecia, but we haven’t the necessary skills to identify the genus or species.  That would require an expert and most likely a physical specimen.  We can say that she is a female because the eyes of the male are much larger.   Presumably, if he could speak, he would inform his mate that they are:  “All the better to see you with, my dear.”  You may see some additional examples of March Flies on BugGuide.

March Fly

Update:  October 2, 2016
In creating a new March Fly posting, we realized that this fall flying species is probably
Bibio longipes based on BugGuide information that it is a fall flying species.