From the monthly archives: "January 2012"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Moth
Location: Jacksonville, FL
January 29, 2012 10:33 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this lovely moth, in a screened patio. It has a lovely subtle green shade on the body and rear wings. I thought it would be easily identified by the ”tail”, but I’m proving myself wrong. :}
I love finding and photographing insects!!
Signature: Dan

Long Tailed Skipper

Hi Dan,
Though it looks somewhat moth-like, the Long Tailed Skipper
Urbanus proteus, is actually a butterfly.  Skippers are generally considered to be a transitional species between butterflies and moths, though they are classified as butterflies.

Long Tailed Skipper

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Identification request
Location: Moapa, Nevada
January 28, 2012 8:43 pm
I’m after an identification confirmation or other options. Images of Paracotalpa deserta are the hardest to find of the four species. That said, this matches Field Guide to Beetles of California description for a ”Little Bear” scarab beetle with January thru March time of appearance, creosote-bursage desert habitat, and general description as ”black”. These were 9mm long.
Signature: Bruce Lund

Darkling Beetle: Edrotes ventricosus

Dear Bruce,
The antennae on these beetles are wrong for a Scarab.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a Darkling Beetle, Edrotes ventricosus, by matching to photos posted to BugGuide.  The species has been reported in California and Nevada.

Darkling Beetles: Edrotes ventricosus

THANK YOU for the identification AND especially for the antennae comment.
The latter sent me back to field guides and websites to look at what I
missed and OF COURSE the antennae are not correct for a scarab beetle and
are correct for the Tenebrionidae. I’m just starting to work in the
insects and my learing curve is nearly vertical.
Bruce

You are most welcome Bruce.  It always helps to have more than one set of eyes when doing unusual or difficult identifications.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  April 21, 2013
While we believe much of the information here is correct, we believe the family to be Hepialidae, not Cossidae.  Check Csiro for verification.

Canberra moth
Location: Bruce, Canberra
January 28, 2012 7:13 pm
Last night we found a massive moth on our porch, it was about 10cm in length and weighed about 45 grams. We were worried that our cats might think it would make a nice snack so decided to move it. It jumped onto my hand and was heavy and warm. We put it in a tree. We were worried it might not survive the move…..this morning we got up to check on the moth….and it had met up with another moth
Signature: Mel

Ghost Moth from Australia

Dear Mel,
We are pretty certain that you had an encounter with a Ghost Moth in the family Cossidae, possibly
Endoxyla leucomochla which is pictured on the Butterfly House website.  The caterpillar is a wood borer that is called a Witchetty Grub, though alternate spellings include:  “Witjuti, Witchedy, Wichetty, Witchety, witchjetti”.  According to Butterfly House:  “The adult is a large finely mottled grey moth, with wings suffused with rusty red towards the bases, and with a wingspan of about 16 cms. It has degenerate mouthparts, and so cannot feed. It relies for energy totally on the nourishment taken in by the Caterpillar earlier in its life.”  We would not discount that it might be some other member of the genus as they all look quite similar.  There are many possibilities pictured on Butterfly House

Mating Ghost Moths

According to the Brisbane Insect website, Ghost Moths are also called Wood Moths and:  “Moths in the family Cossidae are from large to very large size. They have long and narrow wings like those of Hawk moths. They are mostly brown or grey in colours. Most have the inverted “U” shape on thorax. When rest, they held their wings roof-wise. The adult moths in this family do not feed so their mouth parts are largely reduced.”  While he was researching his book, The Curious World of Bugs, Daniel learned that an Australian Ghost Moth has the record number of eggs laid for a non-social insect, 29,100.

Mating Ghost Moths

Thank you so much for your speedy reply – I got a little bit addicted to your website today.  I actually think it is a Wattle Goat Moth (Endoxyla affinis) – I have some even better photos now (they spent alot of time mating in our garden and it was easier to get good pics in the arvo) – anyway, let me know if you want me to send them through. What an amazing pair they were.

Hi again Mel,
The Wattle Goat Moth,
Endoxyla affinis, did occur to us as another possibility.  We would love to post one or two better images.

Ghost Moth

Here a some photos of both the male and female moth…..I think the female was the bigger one and had a very active scent gland which I took a photo of, the male had some blue on his head. Big storm last night and both moths have gone now 🙁

Ghost Moth

Thanks for sending additional photos Mel.  We hope they will contribute to a positive species identification.  The close-up photo appears to be a sexual organ.

detail of a Ghost Moth

The newest image you sent of the mating pair is also a nice addition.

Mating Ghost Moths

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown nymphs
Location: Mundlein, IL
January 27, 2012 10:30 pm
Enthusiastic fan, first time posting. I’ve used your archives to help identify insects in the past, but always knew the day would come when I would have to post a photo and ask for help. It seems that day has now arrived.

Springtails

While cleaning a basement in suburban Illinois, I found 8 dead nymphs in the bottom of an empty coffee mug. They appear to have gotten trapped in an early stage of their life cycle – I found two moltings in the mug with them. The nymphs are about 2 mm in length. They are reminiscent of tiny, hairy, wingless mosquitos, with big black antennae resembling spider forelegs. Their actual legs seem smaller and lighter in color than the antennae. The head and thorax are very small, bent perpendicular to the rest of the body, giving the body an ”L”-shaped profile. Half of them have a hairless, white, curling double-tail sprouting out the anus, the other half don’t (sexual dimorphism, or saprophytic fungus?).
The mugs were dry and empty when placed, so it seems unlikely a brood of mosquitos would have been hatched there, or arrived by flying there from some other location (and then unable to fly away). I suspect rather they are some flightless species that hatched in a crack somewhere and dropped down from the shelf above. However, they appear to me as such a Frankenstein collection of stitched-together parts from different creatures, I haven’t been able to classify them any narrower than Order Insecta. If these are indeed a brood of nymphs, what do you think the parents might look like? (And are they still out there, lurking in my basement?)
I tried to take photos with a macro lens and through a microscope, but the camera seems to have its own ideas about lighting no matter what I do. Through the microscope, I can clearly see the head, eyes, antennae, thorax, hair, legs, and erstwhile twin tails – if there are wings, I can’t discern them.
Please help – I’ve been showing off bug-identifying skills with which your site has empowered me, this has me stumped and a certain rep may be at stake
Thanks in advance!
Signature: A. P.

Springtail

Dear A.P.,
We are so sorry we are unable to provide you with instant gratification.  We are not even sure how to classify these Things.  Hopefully we will have some luck with research, or perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide us with some assistance.

Springtail

Update:  Two different readers commented that these are Springtails, and it seems so obvious now we feel silly for not being able to provide an identification.  This image from our archive is a perfect match.  Springtails are benign creatures that are sometimes considered a nuisance if they are plentiful.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Cost Rican Insect
Location: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
January 27, 2012 2:37 pm
Greetings
These two insects were observed on the bark of a huge tree (Terminalia) in the arboretum at LaSelva Biological station in the lowland rain forests of northeastern Costa Rica in late May 2006. They remained there most of one day but were gone (eaten, flew away?) the next morning. About 3 cm long as I recall
Signature: Chuck McClaugherty

Fulgorid Planthopper

Hi Chuck,
Two years ago, entomologist Piotr Naskrecki helped us identify this Fulgorid Planthopper as
Phrictus quinquepartitus.  There is a lovely drawing of it on FlickR.  Costa Rican tour company Taraba Tours calls it the Dragon Headed Bug. 

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Green Jungle Beettle?
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Subject: Green Jungle Beettle?
Location: Jungles of Western Belize
January 27, 2012 11:21 am
On our jungle hike yesterday, we noticed this beetle hanging out with leaf cutter ants on some freshly cut plants. It appears to have very distinct colors, and we hope it will be easy to identify. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Lower Dover Field Journal

Stink Bug

Dear Lower Dover Field Journal,
You are mistaken.  This is not a Beetle.  It is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, but we have not had any luck determining the species.  We will try some additional research.

Stink Bug

Thanks! If it’s any help it had violet under-wings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination