From the yearly archives: "2010"

Brown bug with debris from Madagascar
April 27, 2010
I don’t even know where to start research with this bug. It was on a post about 3 feet off the ground in Madagascar in summer. It’s relatively slow moving and about .75″ long. Can you help?
Andasibe, central Madagascar

Cicada Exuvia

Hi Theresa,
The bug in your photo is actually the Exuvia of a Cicada, and the insect had previously left the premises.   Insects have an exoskeleton that must be shed before the insect can grow or metamorphose.  Immature Cicadas live underground for many years, and as they mature, they crawl to the surface and climb a tree or other vertical structure several feet before beginning the final metamorphosis.  The exoskeleton splits and the adult winged Cicada emerges, leaving behind the cast off exoskeleton known as the exuvia.  Exuvia of Cicadas and Dragonflies are often noticed, and they are probably among the most commonly submitted insect remains to our website.

Bright Orange Beetle found on Tiger Lily
April 27, 2010
I found a few bright orange beetles, about the size of a shelled sunflower seed outside on the Tiger Lily last July. I’ve looked through some insect books, and haven’t been able to figure out which it is. Any sort of tentative identification would be helpful. Thanks!
Paul Manning
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lily Leaf Beetle

Hi Paul,
Your beetle is a Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilii, a species accidentally introduced from Europe that has become established in Canada and the eastern portion of the United States.

Lily Leaf Beetle

What insects are on this caterpillar?
April 27, 2010
I saw this caterpillar holding onto a cedar beam of the arbor above my deck. I’m curious if the insects piled up on this caterpillar are parasites or progeny. Could they be a symbiotic species??
Austin, Texas, USA

Underwing Caterpillar with Parasitic Fly Larvae

Dear Don,
This double mystery is one of the most unusual submissions we have ever received, but we have a couple of guesses and a theory.  The caterpillar looks like an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus Catocala, and they are well represented on BugGuide.  If not an Underwing Caterpillar, perhaps a related species like a Black Witch Caterpillar, also pictured on Bugguide. The hitch-hikers are definitely not progeny, and they are not acting like parasites, though parasites might be a possibility.  The passengers look like fly larvae to us, possibly Syrphid Fly Larvae, though the behavior is most unusual.  Might we fathom a crazy guess and suppose that the fly larvae are taking advantage of the mobility of the caterpillar to transport the larvae to a food source?  This behavior is known as phoresy, and it is common in the world of arthropods.  We would really love a professional opinion on this phenomenon.  We will contact Eric Eaton and our friends at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for assistance. Read Full Article →

Spider like ants with orange abdomens
April 27, 2010
Hi, Im sorry if this email was sent twice, I’m not sure if the first sent, my pc is acting up. Anyway, I took these pics in April of 2010, these ants were found on a small willow tree in my yard. They have been more or less in the same spot, around a honey comb looking structure on the tree for several days. At first I thought they were spiders, untill I noticed only 6 legs instead of 8.
Chris M
North East Texas, west of Fort Worth

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Hi Chris,
Each spring we get numerous images of Wheel Bug hatchlings, but your photos might be the best ever.  The Wheel Bug is North America’s largest Assassin Bug.

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Read Full Article →

April 26, 2010
Found this butterfly on a Magnolia leaf on 24 April 2010 . Can’t seem to find a photo of anything that looks like it apart from a green veined Butterfly?
Eastcoast (Wicklow) Ireland.


Hi Bugsie,
We haven’t the time to research the exact species at this moment, but this is an Orangetip, possibly genus Anthocharis, from the family Pieridae, the Whites and Sulphurs.

Immediately upon returning from work today, we did the necessary research, and quickly identified the Orangetip as Anthocharis cardamines on the UK Butterflies website.

Prettiest beetle I’ve ever seen?
April 27, 2010
I’m in Phoenix, AZ and found this beautiful creature while on a walk around my work in a business park. I followed this insect around for a couple of minutes trying to get pictures, but he was pretty fast. Something tells me this is not a beetle, but I just don’t know. Usually I am completely freaked out by bugs of any sort, but this one had me interested. I’ve showed several friends and they are also “eh” on this one. Any ideas?
whatevah is clevah
Phoenix, AZ

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

to whatevah,
This is an Iron Cross Blister Beetle.  We provided a very lengthy answer for the letter and photo also from Phoenix that we posted just yesterday and you may read it here.