From the monthly archives: "June 2012"

Subject: Spiky Neon Caterpillar
Location: Grapevine, Texas
June 1, 2012 3:10 pm
I found this caterpillar on my neighbor’s vine. Can you please identify this for me?
Thank you!
Signature: The Bug girl

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Bug girl,
This is the caterpillar of a Gulf Fritillary, and it will metamorphose into a lovely orange and black butterfly with large silver spots on the undersides of the lower wings.  The caterpillar feeds exclusively on the leaves of the passionflower vine.

Subject: funky badass looking moth
Location: holmen wi
June 1, 2012 10:56 pm
found this cool looking moth, i thought it was a fly at first but the body is very mothlike. its red and black as you can see, but the wings when looking at them just right are shiny green
holmen wisconsin
Signature: with letters

Squash Vine Borer

Dear with letters,
You were very observant to classify this Squash Vine Borer
Melittia cucurbitae, as a moth as it is a very effective wasp mimic.  The female Squash Vine Borer lays her eggs on the stems of squash, melon and related plants.  The larvae are stem borers and their feeding negatively impacts the health of the plant.  You can read more about the Squash Vine Borer on BugGuide

Subject: Some kind of beetle???
Location: Carolina, WV
May 31, 2012 11:35 pm
My daughter and I found this handsome bug outside of our home last week, 5/23/12, in Carolina, WV. She is very fond of discovering things and learning about the beautiful world around us. I try to take that curiosity and make it a learning experience for use both. I took some pictures of various insects and plants and then tried to identify them online. Unfortunately I have been unsuccessful in discovering anything on this little guy. I would appreciate your help.
Signature: Bobbi Jean

I continued searching your site, and I believe I found it! Could this possibly be Purpuricenus humarils? I understand if you dont get the chance to reply.  I loved looking at all the pics and comments during my search.  Thanks bunches!

Purplescent Longhorn

Hi Bobbi Jean,
We are happy to hear that you were able to self identify your Purplescent Longhorn,
Purpuricenus humeralis, by searching our labyrinthine archives.  This is really a very beautiful beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae mine in dead branches of numerous hardwoods.” 

Subject: Identify butterfly
Location: Northwest Missouri
May 31, 2012 9:19 pm
Found this butterfly hanging about our campsite. Would like to identify and any information or acces to such regarding the species. State park, white oak and hickory upland forest. 5/19/2012
Signature: Thomas Orr

Greater Fritillary

Dear Thomas,
This is one of the Greater Fritillaries in the genus
Speyeria, but we are not certain of the species.  We often have trouble differentiating the Fritillaries from one another, but they are difficult to confuse with other butterfly genera.  To further complicate identifications, some species have numerous regional subspecies.  According to BugGuide:  “This is one genus that is unlikely to be confused with any other. These are medium to large sized, broad-winged butterflies (most are over 2 inches in wing span, all at least nearly this large, and many species are much larger). Most have a distinctive pattern of black dashes and spots above and with rounded or oval (usually silvered) pale spots below, particularly on the hind wing. There are a few species in which colors may be modified from the usual orange ground, and several in which light spots below may be unsilvered. In S. diana the pattern and coloring are highly modified, but this species is also very distinctive and recognizable at a glance. ”  The habitat you describe most likely contains many violets, the food plant of the Fritillary caterpillars.  Since it is now June 1 and we need a Bug of the Month, we can’t think of a lovelier choice than your Greater Fritillary. 

Subject: fishing spider?
Location: Catoctin Mountains, Maryland
May 28, 2012 8:49 pm
I know you’ve had a lot of these lately, but mine was too pretty not to share. I thought she was a wolf spider at first, especially because we have creeks around but the house (she was hanging out over our sliding door) doesn’t have water particularly close to it. I caught her in a glass so my 17-year-old brother could text a picture to his arachnophobic girlfriend… what a romantic… then took a few pictures myself.
Signature: Jenny

Fishing Spider

Hi Jenny,
This really is a lovely Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  The striping and coloration on the legs is especially nice.