From the monthly archives: "March 2012"

Hyalophora cecropia
Location: Mariposa, CA
March 30, 2012 7:04 pm
Hi bugman!
We found this beautiful silkmoth in our living room. I understand that this moth usually is found east of the Rockies. We are in Mariposa, CA. Thought you might enjoy this sighting.
Signature: Kristin

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Dear Kristin,
Your identification is not correct, but the error is understandable.  You have identified your moth’s genus correctly, but you were visited by the Ceanothus Silkmoth, a relative of the Cecropia Moth that ranges along the west coast.  The bushy antennae identify this as a male.  You can get additional information on the Ceanothus Silkmoth on BugGuide.

Beetle on lawn
Location: Bowie, MD
March 31, 2012 12:20 pm
My daughter’s (besides being totally creeped out by them) would like to know what this was.
Signature: Dan Delaney

Oil Beetle with Fire Colored Beetles

Dear Dan,
The large beetle is a Blister Beetle called an Oil Beetle in the genus
Meloe, most likely a female.  The smaller beetles are a different species, and we suspect they are not even in the Blister Beetle family.  Blister Beetles exude a compound known as cantharidin as a defense mechanism.  Chatharidin can cause blistering in skin.  The other beetles might be Soldier Beetles, and they do not have a chemical defense.  They might be harvesting the cantharidin to use since they cannot produce the compound.  We will keep trying to identify the other beetles.

Update:  March 31, 2012
Thanks to a comment from Mike, we are happy to learn that these are most likely Fire Colored Beetles, though BugGuide does not provide any explanation for this behavior.  We also found a photo of
Pedilus terminalus on Meloe posted to BugGuide and the behavior is explained here on BugGuide.

Another flag footed CR bug picture!
Location: Platanillo, Costa Rica
March 30, 2012 11:29 am
I took this picture this morning from my casa in the hills of Platanillo – isn’t he a beauty? I saw your other member’s picture when searching for the type of bug this may be. Can you tell me the official name of this lovely creature?
Signature: Paula

Flag Footed Bug

Hi Paula,
This gorgeous Flag Footed Bug,
Anisocelis flavolineata, is represented in our archive with this photo of a mating pair.  You may also verify its identity on Ribbit Photography.

Bug Identification
Location: Charlotte, NC
March 30, 2012 10:38 am
Can you help us identify this little greenish looking bug we found in our home? We live near Charlotte, North Carolina. It was found yesterday, March 30, in my dad’s shirt taken straight from his dresser drawer — not outside the home.
We are especially curious since my brother, who lives in NYC where there’s obviously a severe bedbug problem, just visited us (after he has recently been exterminated for bedbugs himself). We were EXTREMELY careful to avoid him bringing them into our home (didn’t bring luggage, took a shower as soon as he got here, washed the clothes he was wearing in hot water) but I think we’re hyper-aware about any bugs we see now.
Signature: Skiddish in NC

Lablab Bug

Dear Skiddish,
Stop your fretting.  This is not a Bed Bug, but it is a somewhat newly introduced exotic species from India or China that has turned up in prodigious numbers in several southern states.  The Bean Plataspid or Lablab Bug feeds on kudzu, so it has no shortage of food in your area.  Lablab Bugs are known to enter homes when cool weather approaches.  The Digital Charleston has a nice article on the Lablab Bug. 

Anchor Stinkbugs?
Location: South Central Missouri
March 29, 2012 5:55 pm
My mom has a bunch of these mating all over a patch of horseradish. I’ve done some research and the closest thing I’ve found is the Anchor Stinkbug, but these seem a little different. The pattern on their bodies is more of an X shape (wings? could that be because they’re more mature than all the ones I’ve seen online?). We want to know what they are before we try to get rid of them. They don’t seem to be eating the leaves, but there is quite a bit of blistery yellowing. My understanding is that if they are anchor stinkbugs we might want to keep them around to eat caterpillars. Thanks!
Signature: Will Runyon Jr.

Mating Harlequin Bugs

Hi Will,
While these are Stink Bugs, they are not predatory Anchor Stink Bugs.  They are actually a plant feeding species,
Murgantia histrionica, and they are commonly called Harlequin Bugs.  Both winged adults and immature nymphs use sucking mouthparts to withdraw fluids from plants in the cabbage family, and they are likely responsible for the yellow spots on the leaves of the horse raddish.  You may read more about Harlequin Bugs, also called Calico Bugs or Cabbage Harlequin Bugs, by visiting BugGuide.

What is this thing?
Location: Tucson, AZ
March 29, 2012 4:34 pm
I dug up a dying plant in my front yard today and came across this weird bug. There was actually 2 but one got in the shovel’s way. It has a hard maroon colored shell and this tail-like thing that curls around to the top. It doesn’t have any legs but its like no worm I’ve ever seen. We live in southeastern Arizona and its spring.
Signature: Madison

Sphinx Moth Pupa

Dear Madison,
This is the pupa of a Sphinx Moth.  If you are able to identify the plant you dug up, we might be able to provide the species identity of the moth for you.