From the monthly archives: "January 2011"

Trying to identify insect
Location: Organ Mountains East of Las Cruces, NM
January 27, 2011 11:41 am
Photographed this insect in the early Spring, in the Organ Mountains, East of Las Cruces, NM. Photo attached. Brilliant red head and thorax. Wings red with black ”tip”. Antennae and legs black.
Signature: N/A

Net Winged Beetle

Dear N/A,
This little beauty is a Net Winged Beetle in the family Lycidae, and we believe it is
Lycus sanguineus which BugGuide reports from Arizona and New Mexico.

HUGE bug.
Location: Northern California, hills
January 27, 2011 7:19 pm
Found in Northern California, Bay Area (near San Francisco)
Up in the hills, at the campus of College of San Mateo
Was pretty cold out, but around summer, before fall semester.
I think it’s just some kind of beetle, but I wanna know exactly what kind. It was about 2 and a half inches long, and 1 wide.
Signature: What?

Ponderous Borer

Dear What?
This is a Ponderous Borer,
Trichocnemis spiculatus, which according to BugGuide is also known by the names “Pine Sawyer, Western Pine Sawyer, Spined Woodborer, and Ponderosa Pine Borer.”  The large grubs bore into the wood of the Ponderosa Pine.

metallic blue wasp orange antennae
Location: Maricao, Puerto Rico
January 27, 2011 11:10 am
I saw this wasp in my home land Puerto Rico (January 2011), which I have never seen it before. Hard to estimate the size since I am going by memory, but it was at least 1 inch.
My best guess from browsing images is a blue mud dauber. Coul you please confirm the ID?
Thanks, Raul
Signature: Raul

Spider Wasp

Hi Raul,
We believe this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae (see BugGuide), but we are unable to find anything online that matches.  We did not have much luck finding any references to Wasps from Puerto Rico either.  The closest we could find on BugGuide is the genus
Entypus, and though we could not find any images, we did find some references that the genus is found in Puerto RicoWe will continue to research this.

Confirmation from Eric Eaton
LOL, Daniel 🙂
Yes, definitely a pompilid, but might even be a Pepsis. …
More later.

Green Moths
Location: Lyle (High Prairie), WA, elev. 1450 feet
January 28, 2011 2:03 am
This green moth appeared in my kitchen last night (the door was open for the dog). These pictures show several views of it. This morning another appeared. Friends think that it is a Pacific Green Sphinx Moth. Is it?
I do have a couple more photos if needed. Thank you,
Signature: Martha M. Hamil

Pacific Green Sphinx

Dear Martha,
You are quite correct.  This is a Pacific Green Sphinx,
Arctonotus lucidus, also called the Bear Sphinx.  You may read more about its habits on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on plants in the Evening Primrose Family, Onagraceae, such as Camissonia, Clarkia, and Oenothera.”  Though primrose has naturalized in the grounds of our Mt. Washington, Los Angeles offices, we have never been lucky enough to see a Pacific Green Sphinx.

Hello Daniel, I had never seen such a moth before in 72 years and now I’ve seen 3; they were unavoidable fluttering about in my house. I can see the larvae chomping away on the evening primrose roots (local farmers consider the evening primrose a noxious weed). The adults are another story; it’s mid-winter here with lows in the low thirties and upper twenties. Nothing seems to be blooming but maybe the adults do not need to servive very long.
My photos don’t do justice to the richness of color and striking appearance. I hope you get to see a Pacific Green Sphinx during the coming year and can admire it in person, Martha M. Hamil

Thanks for the update Martha.

Water bug ID
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
January 27, 2011 4:46 am
Hi there.
I got a link to this site, and hope that u could possibly help me identify a bug i found in my koi pond.
This guy was extremely small, less than a mm long, and thinner than a hair. Found a large amount of, what i thought was grey dust, in the pond, and on closer inspection, and my 5x magnification macro lens, i came up with a image.
It jumps when out of water, so maybe a water flea of some sort?
Thanks for your time.
Signature: Charissa de Lange


Dear Charissa,
You have Springtails on the surface of your koi pond.  Springtails are thought to be the most numerous hexapods on the planet.  Originally classified in the same class as insects, they are now placed in a distinct class, Collembola.  According to BugGuide:  “Springtails are ‘decomposers’ that thrive mostly on decaying organic matter, especially vegetable matter. They may also graze on spores of molds and mildews, especially indoors where there is a lack of other food sources.
”  They are benign creatures that will not harm your fish, though they can become a nuisance if they get too plentiful.  We have gotten numerous reports of them covering the surface of swimming pools.

red shouldered bugs?
Location: central oklahoma
January 26, 2011 7:29 pm
We are buying a house and these bugs are all over the north side of the house and the sheds outside in the yard. The house sits on 2 acres, though it is right in town and off the highway. We noticed them in Jan while doing the inspection and the real estate agent said the bugs were there when she sold the house to the previous couple 6 years ago and while they are really bad outside they usually don’t come inside. They are starting to become a problem in the dining room which is the room along the north side of the house. Any help?
Signature: Pestered home buyer

Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear Pestered home buyer,
We do not give extermination advice.  While they may be a nuisance indoors, Red Shoulder Bugs are benign.  Anyone purchasing a house of two acres of property is going to find a thriving ecosystem of insects and other creatures that were there first.  Red Shoulder Bugs can become quite plentiful if one of their host plants is nearby.  According to BugGuide, Red Shouldered Bugs are found in  “Yards, gardens, riparian areas, and other areas, in association with host plants. Often in large aggregations to feed on leaking tree sap, other dead smashed insects, or seeds that have dropped to the ground from trees overhead. Also forming aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.
”  BugGuide identifies the following host plants:  “feeds on a variety of plants but prefers balloonvine (Cardiospermum spp.; Sapindaceae) in so. FL and other Sapindaceae, Acer spp. (Aceraceae or Sapindaceae), Ficus spp. (Moraceae), and Althaea spp. (Malvaceae). In some areas the bugs are observed feeding so often on goldenrain tree seeds (Koelreuteria, Sapindaceae).”  Perhaps a maple or goldenrain tree were planted too close to the house.  Weather proofing the house might also reduce the number of indoor visitors because Red Shouldered Bugs are a species that hibernates in sheltered areas in colder climates.  This just might be a deal breaker in the home sale transaction.