From the monthly archives: "September 2011"

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Location: Naperville, IL
September 25, 2011 11:07 pm
Hi Daniel~
I think this is a winter form question mark butterfly (as opposed to a summer form). I read that they rarely take nectar, but this one couldn’t seem to get enough of this pink delight buddleia. It flew from flower to flower and hung around for nearly 30 minutes while I snapped away.
All the best,
Signature: Dori Eldridge


Hi Dori,
Your photos are really quite lovely.  The closed wing view nicely showcases the silvery questionmark on the hind wings.  We agree that this is the fall or winter color form of an individual that will most likely pass the winter in hibernation.  According to BugGuide:  “Adult: underside of hindwing has unique silver “question mark” shape. Upper forewing has extra black dash not in the similar Eastern Comma. (2) Upper hindwing of summer form is mostly black with short tails; winter form is orange/black with longer violet tipped tails. (1) Wing are very angular in outline.”  Here is a photo from
BugGuideof the darker summer form for comparison.

Questionmark: Winter Form

Mating Ebony Jewelwings in CT
Location: Ridgefield, CT
September 25, 2011 10:20 am
How gorgeous are these Jewelwings??
I did not know before seeing this pair and doing a little searching at WTB that these are the male and female, even with the different looks.
What beautiful colors.
Signature: Hellywell

Mating Ebony Jewelwings

Dear Hellywell,
Thanks so much for sending us your wonderful photos of the sexually dimorphic Ebony Jewelwings, 
Calopteryx maculata, in the act of assuming the mating position.  The complete “wheel” position has not yet been achieved.  The male has the metallic body and the black wings.  The female has gray wings with a white spot at the tip.

Never seen before
Location: Macomb County, MI
September 25, 2011 3:10 pm
I’ve never seen this before. Do you know what kind of bug it is and is it dangerous?
Signature: Thank you very much. Ken

Pigeon Horntail

Hi Ken,
This Pigeon Horntail is a harmless Wood Wasp.  What appears to be a formidable stinger is actually an ovipositor that the female uses to penetrate wood to lay her eggs.  Any human less dense than wood could potentially be penetrated by a female Wood Wasp, though we have never received a report of that occurrence.  We have gotten some nice recent photos of Giant Ichneumons, which are the primary predator of the Pigeon Horntail.

Cool insect in South West Turkey
Location: South West Turkey- Kayakoy
September 25, 2011 6:49 am
Hi Bugman,
we were looking for creatures in Kayakoy in South West Turkey and found this little chap. It was about 1-1.5 cm long and was found in ground level vegetation among the ruins of the village. Superb camouflage.
Hope you can help.
Thanks for your time
Signature: Andy

Turkish Insect is Golden Egg Bug

Dear Andy,
We are a bit puzzled by this creature’s identity and we need additional time for research.  Our first thought is that it must be a Hemipteran, but the clubbed antennae gives us a strong reason to doubt.  The wings indicate that this is an adult.  We will continue to research this after posting and we hope to get some additional opinions.

Comment from Carmen T.
I think it’s Phyllomorpha liciniata. Right appearance plus right location for distribution.

Ed. Note
Once we received the comment, we did a bit of research, and confirmed on BioLib that Phyllomorpha liciniata is the correct identification, and also that it is in the family Coreidae, the Leaf Footed Bugs.  Images can also be found on Israel Insect World  with information in Hebrew and Gallerie Insecte with information in French.  We also learned on Evolutionary Population Biology that the female lays her eggs on the back of the male.  Behavioral Ecology also contains research on the shared parenting for Phyllomorpha liciniata which is called the Golden Egg Bug.  The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council) has one of the most thorough papers posted on this species and its unique mating habits.  The study by Montserrat Gomendio and Piedad Reguera begins with this information:  “Female golden egg bugs follow a flexible oviposition strategy because they lay eggs on other conspecifics (male and female) and on the host plant (Paronychia argentea). In natural populations a much higher proportion of males than females carry eggs and, among egg carrying adults, males carry more eggs than do females (see below). Females cannot lay eggs on themselves, so egg carrying females are always carrying other females’ eggs. It is less clear whether males carry their own offspring, other males’ offspring, or a combination of both. This has generated a controversy about whether egg carrying by males is a form of parental care, a case of intra-specific parasitism, or a combination of both.” 

Identify spider please
Location: South British Columbia, Canada. Okanagan Region.
September 24, 2011 4:18 pm
We have these spiders come out in fall. Someone identified them as a type of trap door, related to tarantula. I would like another opinion please. They have ranged from not aggressive at all to being very aggressive. We have warm to hot summers and mild winters. They like to come inside our house when it gets cool out in fall and when maybe it is mating season?
Thank you,
Signature: Best wishes?

Folding Door Spider

Hi Curt,
We agree with the identification you received, however, we will take that a bit farther.  Based on photos posted to BugGuide, we believe your spider is the same species as an unidentified species in the genus
Antrodiaetus.  There are several images on BugGuide from the Pacific Northwest with the same coloration.  Folding Door Spiders are one group of Trapdoor Spiders.  We also believe your individual is a male.  Males often wander in search of mates while females remain in their burrows, hence it is less likely to encounter a female Trapdoor Spider.  Despite your observation that some individuals act aggressively, Trapdoor Spiders are not considered a harmful species to humans.

Folding Door Spider

Hi Daniel,
Awesome, thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate the time you have taken.
This one in particular was very calm. When I find them in our house, I always catch them and let them go outside. It gives us an opportunity to have a good look at them as they’re quite interesting. Over the past ten years or so, we have run into several wandering around our back door and in our basement. In addition, we have a lot that look like different types of wolf spiders but many more that look like the hobo spider too. I find it hard to tell the difference.
Regarding the folding door spider, the first time I saw one was when our cat went to get a closer look at something. I saw the spider rear up and then run after our cat! I thought I was seeing things! It kind of looked like it was bent upward and its front legs were spread apart and in the air as it ran. In another instance, when I was trying to catch one in our house, it reared up like the one that chased after our cat and then jumped at me. I had the heebie jeebies for days. All the other ones we’ve caught have been calm. Maybe the ones that have seemed aggressive have not been, and are just after warmth or going towards vibration or something? Or maybe they were just very passionate? Seems too Hollywood.
Thank you for the information.


Is this one of those Silver Argiope?
Location: Mansfield, Ohio
September 23, 2011 5:24 pm
OK so i am REALLY NOT a spider person but i have never seen this kind of spider. She hangs out on my garage door where here huge round egg sac is. I have read about the orb weavers but one difference i find is that she does not have a bumpy thorax. They also said they are not common in the north, i live in Mansfield, Ohio. She is full size cause i bet she measures if not a full inch close to it.
Signature: Freaked out by silver spider

Banded Garden Orbweaver

Dear Freaked out …,
You have the genus correct, but not the species.  This is actually a Banded Garden Orbweaver,
Argiope trifasciata.  Like the other members of the genus, the Banded Garden Orbweaver is not considered dangerous, however, it might bite if it feels threatened or if it is carelessly handled.