From the monthly archives: "February 2011"

Tiny Bee or Ant
Location: Valley of Fire visitor Center 36°25’47.38”N 114°30’51.01”W
February 26, 2011 10:05 pm
Took this photo of a critter in a globe mallow at the Valley of Fire state park in Nevada. The flower is about 1cm across.
Signature: Just Curious

Unknown Bees

Dear Just Curious,
We will try to identify what we believe to be Bees in your photograph.  The pale coloration is highly unusual.  We wonder if perhaps these pale creatures are in the Tribe Neolarrini as pictured on BugGuide.

Identification courtesy of Eric Eaton
Yes, those are bees in the genus Perdita (family Andrenidae).  Exceptionally diverse genus, especially in the southwest.

What beetle is this
Location: Okavango, Botswana, Africa
February 27, 2011 12:55 pm
Please can you help me identify this bug.
Signature: Jules

Flower Chafer

Hi Jules,
Back in December 2009, we identified this Flower Chafer in the subfamily Cetoniinae as
Dicranorrhina derbyana.

Any idea what this is
Location: Florida
February 27, 2011 7:22 pm
Hi there, any chance you might know what this is? It was found in a garage in Florida 2 days ago.
Signature: letter?

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

You found a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth which avoids predation by mimicking a stinging insect.

What is this?
Location: By my fence in the backyard.
February 27, 2011 10:44 am
I found this wondering in my yard. It has a stinger on the back but its down right now as I was hovering over it. It tried to strike my dogs a couple of times..
Signature: any way


Dear any way,
Crayfish, Crawfish, Clawfish and Crawdad are just a few of the common names attributed to this freshwater crustacean that burrows into the mud during times of drought.

Update:  June 23, 2016
Though they are not insects, Crayfish are surely edible, and because we recently directed a commenter to our Edible Insects page and because we just posted a recent Crayfish image, we decided we needed to add a tasty looking Crayfish to the tag.

Grasshopper family group
Location: Tingo Maria National Park, Huanuco, Peru
February 27, 2011 5:55 am
Can you please help with identification of these grasshoppers from Peru? Although they had separated by the time I photographed them, the adult was originally with the group of newly-hatched nymphs and photographed with them by one of my companions, so we believe it to be the same species, presumably the mother.
Signature: Peter Bruce-Jones


Hi again Peter,
While it is entirely possible that the adult Grasshopper and the Grasshopper Nymphs you photographed are the same species, it is also possible that chance occurrences brought them together.  Grasshoppers do not care for their young, and often immature grasshoppers have drastically different coloration and markings than the adults of the same species.  We hope our readership might be able to provide additional information on these colorful Peruvian Grasshoppers.

Grasshopper Nymphs

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Peter:
These are lubber grasshoppers (Romaleidae: Romalaeinae) in the genus Chromacris. There are numerous internet images of very similar or identical looking grasshoppers, most of which are identified as Chromacris sp. or Chromacris speciosa. Of the dozen or so species and subspecies, C. speciosa is probably the most common and widely distributed. However, I suspect that many, if not most of the available internet images of C. speciosa have been misidentified. According to Roberts and Carbonell (1982), the only species with this particular color and pattern combination (yellow tipped antennae; yellow and black hind wings; three yellow bands on the hind femora and two on the hind tibiae; pale anterior and posterior forewing margins), is C. peruviana. Chromacris speciosa is highly variable but the antennae are always entirely black. The few images of Chromacris nymphs that I was able to find all look quite similar to the ones posted, so I would say they likely are of the same species as the adult. Regards. Karl

Roberts, H. Radclyffe, and Carlos S. Carbonell. 1982. A revision of the grasshopper genera Chromacris and Xestotrachelus (Orthoplera, Romaleidae, Romaleinae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 43: 43-58

Some kind of Orthopteran?
Location: Southeastern Peru, Manu Area
February 28, 2011 4:03 am
I stumbled across this while hiking through foothill forest of Southeastern Peru in Manu National Park around 900 – 1000m elevation. The insect almost perfectly camouflaged itself by fitting its body into a lengthwise cavity in a hollow twig while holding its antennae and legs outstretched and parallell with the twig. It’s body fit almost perfectly.
Signature: Rich

Unknown Orthopteran

Hi Rich,
We agree that this is an Orthopteran.  We will try to contact Piotr Naskrecki, an expert in Katydids, to see if he can identify this unusual creature.

Piotr Naskrecki provides tribe identification
Hi Daniel,
This is a nymph of a katydid of the tribe Pleminiini (Pseudophyllinae), but it is too young for me to be able to tell the genus.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you! I saw Piotr’s response on the website. This is very interesting. Sorry, I have a couple more questions: I was curious as to whether the insect makes the cavity itself or finds existing ones. Is hiding like this typical of nymphs the tribe Pleminiini? Also, what do adults look like? Are they typical green katydids?
Thanks a lot!

Hi Rich,
This response is mostly speculation.  We doubt that the nymph excavates the cavity.  Most Katydids practice some form of camouflage mimicry.  We are unable to locate any images of individuals in the tribe Pleminiini.