From the monthly archives: "March 2011"

What is this?
March 25, 2011
Dear Bugman !
I found this interesting moth last night..
Its colours are quite attractive and rare… thought this might be a good addition to wtb
Thanks and regards….
Ibrahim TMC

What's That Moth??? Blue Tiger

Hi Ibrahim,
We don’t know what it is, but we expect that Karl will soon be writing in with an identification.  Was it diurnal or nocturnal?

Update: Identified as Blue Tiger in a comment
The Blue Tiger,
Dysphania percota, is one of the Geometrid Moths and not a true Tiger Moth.  When lttlechkn provided us with a comment and identification link, we found additional verification on the Forestry Images website.  There is also a photo of a mounted specimen on AZs Lepidoptera page.

Passalidae with a hip hairdo
Location: Arlington, Texas, heavily wooded area
March 25, 2011 7:23 pm
I used your website to id this as a bess bug, but I’m wondering what the little red bumps are around its horn? Parasites? They didn’t appear to be moving, but it was running about so it was hard to tell.
Signature: Moo

Bess Beetle with Mites

Hi Moo,
We get very excited when we learn that submitters to our site have been able to make a difficult identification using our site.  Those are Mites on the Bess Beetle.  We are uncertain if they are parasitic or if they are using the Bess Beetle for transportation purposes, an action known as phoresy.  If we knew that Bess Beetles flew, we would suspect Phoretic Mites, but it appears the elytra of the Bess Beetle might be fused.  This needs research.  According to Fossweb Teachers Bess Beetle page:
They all have hard, shell-like forewings, or elytra, from which their name is derived. In Greek, koleos means “sheath,”and ptera means “wing.” This unique structure functions as a tough protector of the beetle’s delicate hind wings and soft abdomen. When the beetle decides to fly, the hind wings unfold and do their job. At rest they tuck themselves back under the hard elytra. The site also discusses the Mites thus:  “Mites. Eating fungus that grows on decaying wood, providing care for larvae, communicating through sounds—these are all fascinating features of bess beetles. But they have another interesting feature—they have coevolved with at least one kind of mite. Mites are commonly found hitchhiking on the body of the bess beetle. Some of these mites are found only on bess beetles, suggesting a relationship that has evolved along with the organisms. It’s not clear that the beetles benefit from the mite, but because of their exoskeleton, they aren’t harmed in any way. It may be that the mites live on secretions given off by the beetle, or they may just find protection from the beetle while they share the decaying wood. The mites are not known to damage the beetles, don’t bite or harm students, and do not leave the classroom habitat basins. Should mites get on a student’s hand, they are easily brushed off.”

Nice! I’m completely in love with these beetles, so glad to know it wasn’t being eaten or anything. 🙂

Bright Green Spider
Location: Orlando, FL
March 24, 2011 8:16 pm
I’m not sure if I identified this spider correctly, but is it a Magnolia Green Jumper. I am an arachnaphobe normally, but this one intrigued me so I was able to take a couple of photos with my phone. I could swear it stopped to stare at me.
Signature: Desiree

Magnolia Green Jumper

Hi Desiree,
Your photo is quite blurry, but this may be a Magnolia Green Jumper,
Lyssomanes viridis, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Daniel Marlos lectures at Theodore Payne Foundation
The Curious World of Bugs with Daniel Marlos
Saturday, May 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
A special lecture on those wondrous creatures called bugs – including native
species that pollinate, predate and mate in the most curious ways, and
exotic species that can wreak havoc in our gardens. Daniel is an artist and
photographer and the author of The Curious World of Bugs: The Bugman’s Guide
to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl
. The program
includes an exploration of Daniel’s popular website,, and
ends with a book-signing.

The Curious World of Bugs

Register early as space is limited.

What is this bug?
Location: Sydney, Australia
March 24, 2011 8:06 pm
Hi, I found this bug in the grass near Hyde Park in Sydney in 2003. Can you please tell me what it is?
Signature: Carey

Cotton Harlequin Bug

Hi Carey,
This little beauty is an immature Cotton Harlequin Bug,
Tectocoris diophthalmus, one of the Jewel Bugs in the family Scutelleridae.  You may read about it as see images of the adult insect on the Brisbane Insect Website.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the fast response! I’ve been wondering about this for years and it’s great to finally know.
Thanks again,

Location: Okanogan, Washington
March 24, 2011 2:50 pm
Here’s a nice green caterpiller I found crawling around in the grass. I think its a cutworm as it rolled into a circle. Nice marks on his back.
Signature: Ernie


Hi Ernie,
This is a Cutworm, a generic name for the caterpillars of the Dart Moths in the subfamily Noctuinae which are well profiled on BugGuide.