From the monthly archives: "December 2011"

Heliconian emerges from Chrysalis
December 29, 2011
Location: Kinshasa, Congo
December 22, 2011 4:06 pm
Daniel and Keith,
We got emergence !  Unfortunately no one was home when it happened to get pictures of the process but we got pictures of the butterfly here :
Does it look like Acraea zetes after all ?

Acraea Chrysalis prior to emergence

Daniel and Keith,
We were lucky to find the butterfly after emerging yesterday.  Unfortunately everyone was out of the house when the event occurred sometime between noon and 4pm.   You can see pictures of the chrysalis that morning and the butterfly in the series created here.  I hope species confirmation can be made with picture of the butterfly form.
Thanks again.

Newly Metamorphosed Acraea

Dear Katy and her dad,
We would love to include the emerged imago on our site, however, we would like to request that you attach the images to your response as it is not possible to grab the images from Flickriver.

Newly Metamorphosed Acraea species

Please find images attached

Large Spotted Acraea or closely related species

Dear Katy and her Dad,
We are thrilled to get your new photos for our website.  In addition to creating an addendum to your December 22 submission of the Acraea Caterpillar and Chrysalis, we will be creating a brand new posting that links to the original.

Large Spotted Acraea or closely related species

Keith Wolfe responds
Hi Katy,
Having little firsthand experience with Acraea adults (it is the unglamorous 75% of a butterfly’s life that fascinates me), I emailed noted authorities Torben Larsen ( and, just to be sure, Dominique Bernaud (  Both confirm your butterfly to be the light form of Acraea zetes; A. z. zetes f. menippe to be exact.  Also, please tell your father that I finally heard from the last of the four experts I contacted regarding this earlier Charaxes caterpillar – 2011/07/26/charaxes-caterpillar-from-the-congo/.  Unfortunately opinions varied, so my best guess after considering all the data is Charaxes (possibly) brutus.
Keep up the excellent effort, Katy and Dad!  Besides being fun and interesting, especially when done together, bug hunting has the very real potential for discovering something new to science.
Best wishes for good health and happiness in the New Year,

Anyone know what this pretty bug is?
Location: South Florida
November 30, 2011 2:09 pm
This bug was in our backyard. It caught my attention because it seemed to be having problems flying. I video taped it walking in circles ”dragging” it’s butt. When my Black Lab went to check it out it did fly a little but never went up in the air. It then just kept fluttering it’s wings like a warning for my Lab to go away. FYI .. My Lab didn’t hurt it. 🙂
Signature: Donna

Xylophanes pluto

Dear Donna,
We are so sorry for the delay.  Though we are posting your letter quite late, we are thrilled to be able to include it in our archive which prior to your letter had only one photo of this moth.  This is a Sphinx Moth,
Xylophanes pluto, a lovely moth that is found in Florida and South Texas and tropical countries to the south according to the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  Thank you for including a side view that shows the yellow coloration on the underside of the body.  We are copying Bill Oehlke on our response and he may request additional information from you for the comprehensive database he has compiled on Sphinx Moths in North America.  We suspect this is a newly metamorphosed individual that recently emerged from its underground pupa.  It might have been waiting for its wings to fully expand, dry and harden before embarking on its maiden flight.

Xylophanes pluto

household bug
Location: ireland, dublin – ceiling and under beds
November 30, 2011 3:42 pm
dear mr. bugman
for many years now i have had these white small 1cm size chrysalis hanging from my ceiling and now i have uncovered them under the beds, along with oodles of small black piles…? they seem to like leather and clothing under the beds but i have never seen them produce anything like a moth or worm? can you advise
I do not think them any harm but wonder if they contribute to my asthma and allergies, dust mites etc
Signature: debbie m

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Dear Debbie,
These are Case Bearing Moth Larvae, a common creature found in homes worldwide.  While we do not believe they contribute directly to your asthma, they often feed on organic debris like shed hair from pets as well as people.  The accumulation of debris under beds and various other places might be contributing to your asthma, and the Case Bearing Moth Larvae are just symptoms of a pre-existing dust problem in your home.

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Really interesting! Do you mean the moth lives inside the casing and moves about in it? As I have never seen any moths in the house or anything emerge from them? Are they living and moving about in the white case
Kind regards
Debbie Millington

Hi again Debbie,
The case is spun by the larva and occasionally incorporates sand and debris in its construction.  The larva lives in the case.  Eventually the larva will pupate in the case.  Perhaps they have never had a chance to emerge as tiny adult moths because you have discovered them and cleaned them away.  It is possible that Case Bearing Moth Larvae my eat organic fibers and protein, hence being considered Household Pests.

What type of bug is this please?
Location: Buffalo, NY
December 1, 2011 1:58 pm
What type of bug is this please?
I added my correct email address. Previous one was misspelled. Thanks!
Signature: Dev

Bed Bug

Dear Dev,
First we apologize for the delay.  We have a small staff and we are unable to respond to all the requests that we receive.  Our identification requests are at their lowest with the arrival of winter in North America, so we are trying to catch up on some unanswered mail.  Had we responded sooner, you might have begun taking steps to ensure that you do not develop an infestation.  We get many frantic requests to identify creatures found in beds because of growing internet and journalistic coverage on increasing populations of Bed Bugs, especially in urban centers.  Most of those identification requests are false alarms, however in your case, we believe you have a real Bed Bug.  You should probably seek some professional assistance if you have any indication that there are more Bed Bugs at the location where this individual was found.

Whats this bug!!!!
Location: Puerto Rico
December 4, 2011 9:36 am
Hey I’m doing a proyect about animals and I was wondering the name of the species of this bug. I found it at Puerto Rico. at night soo please replay as soon as possible thank you very much 😀
Signature: Jenny

Stink Bug

I’ve found the name s Loxa viridis!

Hi Jenny,
Congratulations on finding your own identification.  We were going to suggest that it might be the Stink Bug
Loxa flavicollis, which is the only member of the genus represented on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide the type locality is Jamaica.  We cannot say for certain which of these two species is the actual correct identification, however, we are confident that we have both properly identified the genus.

What is this?
Location: Inside a house in Atlanta, GA
December 4, 2011 11:44 am
My wife totally freaked out when she saw this crawling up the wall Sunday Dec 3 in Atlanta, GA. She asked me to catch it and then release it outside. It moved at a great speed, but I was able to get it into a box. But before I got it outside it must have jumped out of the box. Definitely NOT an insect, spider, milli or centipede,
Signature: David JR

House Centipede

Dear David,
We want to begin by apologizing for the delay in our response, but we are using some free time during the holidays to catch up on unanswered mail and posting the best letters we find.  We also want to commend your wife for suggesting that you catch and release this creature, and commend you for humoring her request and preserving harmony in the home, and we want to acknowledge this commendation by tagging you both as Bug Humanitarians.  Though your letter indicates that this is definitely NOT a centipede, you are incorrect.  This is a House Centipede, a shy nocturnal hunter that will help to keep undesirable creatures like Cockroaches from infesting your home.  It does not look like most Centipedes because of its longer legs, but it is a true Centipede.  We have maintained for years that this is a harmless species, and though it is possible that it might bite a person if it is carelessly handled, the greatest harm it seems to do on a regular basis is to startle folks with its rapid movements.  Though you were unsuccessful in removing this House Centipede from the home, you can rest assured that it will continue to prey on undesirable creatures while hopefully passing unnoticed by hiding during the day.

I never did slow down and say thank you for taking the time to send me a reply.  I was able to send a picture to my biology instructor and he also said it was a centipede.  I guess I had just never saw one before, that is why I was so sure it wasn’t one . . .   So after he said that was what it was, I googled “centipede” and sure enough, the pictures and descriptions of centipedes on the websites I found matched exactly.
Anyhow, again thank you for taking the time to answer my inquiry.
David JR
Atlanta, GA