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

Make reservations now and support the non-profit Theodore Payne Foundation!!!
Local Lepidoptera: Butterflies and Moths of the L.A. Region with Daniel Marlos

Painted Lady

Learn What to Plant to attract Painted Ladies to your garden.
Choose Native Plants from the Theodore Payne Nursery.  Painted Ladies Migrate through Southern California on their way North in March.

Butterfly Lecture Saturday February 25, 2012
When Sat, February 25, 2012, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Where Theodore Payne Foundation, 10459 Tuxford St., Sun Valley CA 91352
Description This illustrated overview of butterflies and moths that frequent our local gardens and wild lands includes images of both adult and larval stages, as well as interesting facts on their habits and food preferences. 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,​m, and ends with a book-signing. Location: Education Center.
Fee: $20 Theodore Payne members, $25 non-members
To register, call 818 768-1802.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wolf worm
February 22, 2012 7:29 pm
Are there any entomologists associated with your site that would be willing to help with some questions regarding wolf worms?  The lady who does the blog rescued a kitten with a wolf worm infection in it’s sinuses…the kitten isn’t doing as well as she would like and would like some additional information.  Thank you for any help you can give.
Signature: Connie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hornworm Identification
Location: South Eastern Australia
February 21, 2012 11:09 pm
Our cat found this caterpillar somewhere in our backyard and brought it to the door. We’ve never seen one like this before. We have a large vegetable garden so I assume that is where our cat found it. Are they poisonous to animals and is there a chance that there will be more of them? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you
Signature: Paul & Cheryl

Portrait of a Hornworm

Dear Paul & Cheryl,
Before we even attempt your identification, which you can probably find on Butterfly House, we want to gush about the quality of your “Portrait of a Hornworm”, a truly stunning image.  We needed to adjust the levels and we did crop rather severely, but the quality of the slight overexposure lent itself nicely to the rich saturated colors of the adjusted file and the blown out fashion style white background smacks a bit of Avedon.  There are lots of links of Hornworms on
Butterfly House, and we will tackle that task at a later time.

Identification courtesy of Bostjan Dvorak
What a great caterpillar! This is probably a Psilogramma menephron larva (or a P. increta one, or a closely related species from this genus). They feed on Oleaceae (like olive-tree, privet and ash) and Bignoniaceae (like trumpet-trees). This one is on its pupating march, with its colour already changed – looking for a suitable place to burrow into earth, and therefore wandering around. It is autumn now at Your latitude – it would be nice to know whether this species overwinters there for some months… (It can also pupate in an ice-cream box, filled with humid earth.) The pupa is very beautifully shaped, with an elegant proboscis case. The moth is grey, but very elegant too, and fast flying. – This is a migrating species, and the moths feed at night, hovering above flowers…
Best wishes from Berlin,
Bostjan Dvorak

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Amazon River, Brazil
Ed. Note:  Tracey sent this photo in a follow up to a 3 Sphinxes from the Amazon posting.  We have requested additional information. 

White Witch from Brazil

Hi again Daniel
The white witch photograph was taken on 15 Feb 2011.  I can’t tell you the exact location but we travelled in a riverboat from Manaus in Brazil “for approximately 45 minutes on the Rio Negro to reach Guedes Lake”. (Can’t find it on a map)  We took a walk from the waterside not far inland.  It was taken mid morning local time and the moth flew away seconds after.
…  I’m very pleased you all liked them.

Ed Note:  June 11, 2013
We have been reading Chrysalis, the biography on Maria Sybilla Merian, and it has a wonderful account of raising the caterpillar in Surinam that resulted in this marvelous ecological drawing of a White Witch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Metallic rainbow beetle larvae in GA, USA wetland.
Location: Augusta, GA, USA
February 17, 2012 7:04 pm
Hi, I found these larvae in large nests (clumps of dried leaves held together with webs) in a common shrub in an Augusta, GA wetland on February 11, 2012. I don’t know the name of the shrub, but I know it’s very widespread in wetlands in the southeastern USA. At any rate, these nests were very common throughout the shrubs, with several nests per shrub, and each nest seems to contain several larvae in various instars. The largest larvae I saw were ~1 cm long.
Signature: Sarah


Hi Sarah,
WE are posting your photos as unidentified because we haven’t the time to research this at the moment.  Perhaps one of our readers will supply an answer in our absence.  The nest is quite a curiosity.  We wish you could supply the name of the plant.

Larval Nest

Comment from
That is the larva of Trirhabda bacharidis (Weber), a leaf beetle which is host specific to salt bush, Baccharis halimifolia. Don’t think it has anything to do with the “nests.”

It is interesting that the species name of the Leaf Beetle is derived from the generic name for the host plant.  We located this Coleopterists Bulletin article entitled “The Host Specificity and Biology of Trirhabda bacharidis“.  BugGuide calls it the Groundselbush Beetle.

Update from Sarah
March 31, 2011
I apologize for my tardy reply, but I believe the mystery is mostly solved.  I took the plant to a botanist and the bug to an entomologist at Georgia Southern University.  The botanist said the plant is Baccharis halimifolia, eastern baccharis.  The entomologist said he thinks the larvaea are Chrysomelid beetles, but he can’t identify them to species unless they’re grown out to adults.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this?
Location: Nort east , India
February 17, 2012 8:14 am
I sleep with my grandmother and i heard a few noises the next day i complained about it to my parents and when we split the wood into two we found these worms. they ate up all the wood used in the window pane!!!what are they???we usually thought that they were termites but they turned out to b something else.
Signature: lavanya

Metallic Borer Beetle Larvae

Hi lavanya,
These are the larvae of Metallic Borer Beetles in the family Buprestidae.  The larvae are wood borers that are called Flat-Head Borers and the adults are sometimes called Jewel Beetles because of their beautiful colors.  Larvae of Buprestids have been known to survive in milled wood for as long as fifty years.  See these photos on BugGuide for a comparison to some larvae from North American Buprestids.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination