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

What’s that Bug?
Location: Austin, TX
April 28, 2012 10:25 pm
Just found your website while trying to identify this bug that I took a photograph of. While trying to take a photograph of a Cactus Rose from the Prickly Pear Cactus in Austin, Texas, I saw these two bugs that look like they are from the katydid or grasshopper family with their hinged backlegs and long antennae. Any help in identifying this would be helpful as I am going to have this photo published in a book and would love to identify the bug!
Thank you for your help!
Melissa Wood
Signature: Melissa Wood

Short-Wing Katydids

Hi Melissa,
Your insects are Katydids and the individual in the center of the blossom is an immature specimen.   The second individual is a female based on the presence of an ovipositor.  We believe we have identified them as Short-Wing Katydids in the genus
Dichopetala based on photos posted to BugGuide.  We will try to verify our identification with Piotr Naskrecki, a noted expert on Katydids.

Piotr Naskrecki concurs
Hi Daniel,
The poor katydid held by his legs and looked upon disapprovingly is Pediodectes, almost certainly P. haldemani. The short winged katydids are Dichopetala, but it is impossible to say which species from the photo (and the male is still a nymph.)

Hi Daniel,
I appreciate your help very much.  I had no idea how many species of Katydid’s there were until I started trying to search for a picture of this one!  My goodness!  Thanks for taking the time to get confirmation; please let me know if you do.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Forest of Pitas, Sabah, Malaysia.
April 29, 2012 3:45 am
Hello again Mr.Bugman,
I would like to ask about the identity of this strange insect.
This insect has a pair of long mandibles to pick anything suitable from it’s surroundings to pile it onto it’s collection on it’s back.
I believe it collects these things to help it in camouflaging just like the way some assassin bug nymphs pile their dead prey on their back.
It has some spike-like hairs.
It’s head looks like that of an antlion.
Signature: Xing

Lacewing Larva

Hi Xing,
Your observations are quite astute.  The reason the head reminds you of an Antlion is that this Lacewing Larva is in the same insect order as the Antlions.  This camouflage behavior is quite common in Lacewing Larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This Guy Looks Like A Biter
Location: Venice, CA
April 27, 2012 8:09 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this half-pinkey sized friend in my parking garage. Looks like some type of centipede with nasty looking pincers. I’m not sure what type, nor have I have ever seen one quite like it around here before. I made sure he scurried over to a drain to avoid being crunched. Thanks for your help in identifying this prehistoric looking beauty!
Signature: Todd

Stone Centipede

Hi Todd,
We believe this is a Stone Centipede in the order Lithobiomorpha based on counting the legs on your individual which concurs with this description on BugGuide:  “Adults have 15 pairs of legs and 18 body segments.”  Centipedes have venom and a bite might produce a reaction. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Red and Blue Coloured Cicada
Location: Costa Rica
April 28, 2012 12:32 pm
Dear Bugman,
I encountered this beautiful Cicada last week in Costa Rica, however, I cannot find any information or pictures of it on the internet. Could you tell me which species it is? Thanks in advance. Kind regards, Sjoerd Biesmans
Signature: ?


Dear Sjoerd,
We do not recognize this insect and we have not had any luck in our initial search of the internet with regards to identifying it.  While it is Cicada-like, we are not totally convinced it is a true Cicada.  It might be some other Free-Living Hemipteran in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha that also included Treehoppers as well as Cicadas, and we have our suspicions that this might be some species of Treehopper in the family Fulgoridae.  See BugGuidefor some North American representatives of the family Fulgoridae.  There is something about the front legs and eyes that makes us doubt that this is a Cicada. 
Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Not Cicada, rather a Treehopper

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for your response. I’ve been looking around a bit more also to find out exactly what kind of unusually beautiful cicada-like bug this is.
The closest I’ve come so far is that it is most likely a plant or tree hopper indeed, probably a Scaralis spp.  Yet I’m not sure which one.
What are your thoughts on this? Thanks for the effort.
Kind regards.
Sjoerd Biesmans


 Thanks to your research, we believe we may have identified your Treehopper as Scaralis neotropicalis on Encyclopedia of Life.  It is one of the Fulgorid Treehoppers based on information on the AnimalBase website.

Hi Daniel,
I’ve looked at neotropicalis also and though it looks very similar, it seems to be lacking the blue on the abdomen and the blue/white vein like structures in the wings.
I think it is Scaralis for sure, but I’m not sure if it is neotropicalis. On the other hand, in this illustration:
the one looking most like my picture would indeed be Domitia (thus Scaralis) neotropicalis, but the one in the picture on encyclopedia of life seems more like a Domitia miscella..
Complicated… Seems like some of the webpages might have their facts wrong…
Thanks again, kind regards.
Sjoerd Biesmans

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Polyphemus Moth?
Location: Birmingham, AL
April 28, 2012 6:03 am
We came home this evening to find a visitor hanging out on our screen door. It’s about 5” across. It doesn’t have the ”feathery antennae” of male polyphemus moths, so I’m guessing it may be a female? Any help is appreciated! Also, it has stayed on the screen very still for several hours now, despite us going in and out of the door. Is this normal, and is the moth safe? Thanks!
Signature: T. Noland

Polyphemus Moth

Dear T. Noland,
Your identification of a female Polyphemus Moth is correct.  A female Giant Silkmoth filled with eggs has a heavy cargo to lift, and since she does not feed as an adult, she is judicious about the expenditure of energy.  If she does not mate, she will die without reproducing.  If she stays in place releasing pheromones for several days, she doesn’t run the risk of falling prey to the many predators that would welcome a good meal provided by her body full of eggs.  The male will be able to scent her out with his antennae.  If she stays in place, she may eventually attract a mate and then she will fly off to lay eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful arthropod?!
Location: Naples FL
April 26, 2012 9:27 pm
Hi, and thank you for your help! I took a photo of what I believe is a cricket, but I have never seen one so colorful before. The photo was taken April 24, 2012, in Naples FL. I love the vibrant color, but it certainly seems like it would only attract predators as well. Can you name this bug?
Signature: Heather Argyle

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Hi Heather,
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper,
Romalea microptera, really is a colorful creature and there are two distinct color variations, the other being black with orange markings.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are flightless. Coloration is aposematic (warning), apparently this species is distasteful to vertebrate predators. When disturbed, it will spread its wings, hiss, and secrete a smelly fluid from its spiracles (1).  In some regions individuals are prevalently black, in others orange or yellow.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination