From the monthly archives: "July 2012"

Subject: Unidentified crawling object
Location: Tokyo, Japan
July 30, 2012 8:37 pm
Hi Mr.bugman,
My daughter and I found this Caterpillar on my slippers. We liked it so much we decided to keep it. After much research on what type of spices it was we came up with nothing. As of only one day with us I believe it has either started to build its cocoon or molt? I’m not sure. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you so much
Signature: Shane and Hayden Silva

Caterpillar of Indian Fritillary

Dear Shane and Hayden,
This is the caterpillar and chrysalis of the Australian Fritillary,
Argyreus hyperbius, but the path that took us to that discovery was a bit convoluted.  We first recognized that the correct family is Nymphalidae, the Brush Footed Butterflies, but our searching of caterpillars from Japan did not prove fruitful.  We decided to see if we could at least determine the butterfly species from that family that are found in Japan and we were led to this FlickR page of Nymphalidae in Japan, and upon checking the species one by one by combining the scientific name and caterpillar in the search engine, we eventually found this photo of your caterpillar on Thaibugs.  The entire life cycle is depicted on the Butterfly House website where it is called the Australian Fritillary, but the image of the caterpillar is very contrasty and the colors do not show very wellLearn About Butterflies calls this the Indian Fritillary and we have a nice photo of an adult female Indian Fritillary from Japanin our own archives.

Chrysalis of Indian Fritillary


Subject: Pls identify this bug
Location: Kottaya District,KeralaState, India
July 31, 2012 12:01 am
Could you Pls identify this bug ? . I took this pictures.
Signature: Honestly speaking, I donno what it means 😀

Hopper Nymph

This is the nymph of one of the Hoppers in the insect order Homoptera.

Dear Daniel Marlos
Thank you for prompt reply and cooperation. I was struggling to get some information about the bug.Your reply helped me a lot !! .  You are doing a great service to persons like me. May God bless you 🙂 🙂
Have A NiceDay 🙂
Keep In Touch 🙂

Subject: Please help me identify this flying insect
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
July 30, 2012 11:51 pm
Hi – This little guy is a brilliant green – He was hanging out in my bathroom for about a week. Very happy to stay in one place on the wall for hours, before moving to a new spot. I can’t seem to find out what he is. Can you help me? Thanks!
Signature: – Scott

Green Lacewing

Hi Scott,
This pretty little predator is a beneficial Green Lacewing.  They are sometimes called Golden Eyes.  Both adults and larvae are important predators that feed on small insects, especially Aphids.  We receive some reports that both adults ad larvae will bite, but the bite is not dangerous, merely an annoyance.  The BugGuide family page has some wonderful information.

Subject: Stinging Catepillar
Location: 70 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta
July 30, 2012 11:38 am
I saw this guy in late July in a shrubby area in the boreal forest while working. He was about 2.5-3 inches long with a distinct red stinger. I have no idea what species this is…
Signature: Chebb

Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Chebb,
Your speculation that because this caterpillar has a horn, it is capable of stinging is incorrect.  This is the perfectly harmless caterpillar of the Bedstraw Hawkmoth, a member of the family Sphingidae that has caterpillars commonly called Hornworms.  There are several different color variations to the Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar including black with spots and green with spots as well as your olive drab example.  The Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Bedstraw in the genus
Gallium and Fireweed in the genus Epilobium.  You can read more about the Bedstraw Hawkmoth on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Subject: Nebraska bug
Location: Beatrice NE
July 30, 2012 1:51 pm
Hello bugman,
I was working in Beatrice NE and spotted a wonderful looking orange and black bug and was hoping you could tell me what it is.
Signature: Regards,

Cow Killer

We cannot help but to wonder if you were fortuitously wearing heavy gloves when you discovered this Velvet Ant that is commonly called a Cow Killer, or if you donned the gloves because the aposomatic or warning coloration caused you to suspect you might need them.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps that are reported to deliver a very painful sting if they are carelessly handled.  We have heard several different origins to the common name Cow Killer, and both seem plausible.  One explanation is that the sting is so painful, it could kill a cow, though that is something of an exaggeration, and the second explanation we have heard is that the sting could contribute to the death of a cow when the cow reacts to the sting.  The stung cow might run into a ditch or in front of a car or otherwise injure itself to the point that it must be euthanized.  You can read more about the Cow Killer, Dasymutilla occidentalis, by referring to BugGuide.  We decided several years ago that the reputed pain of the Cow Killer’s sting warrants it a spot on our Big 5 list of the most dangerous insects and arthropods.  Since we receive so many Cow Killer reports in August, we have decided to tag your submission as the Bug of the Month for August 2012. 

Thank you for the bug identification,
A gentleman I was working with was fortuitously wearing the gloves but felt more comfortable picking  the velvet ant up because he had them on.  He was very noticeable located in a  non vegetated area next to a large industrial complex out in the agricultural fields surrounding Beatrice NE.  Thank you for your assistance in identifying this bug and I look forward to using your website in the future.
Lars Smith, Project Scientist
Sand Creek Consultants, Inc.

Subject: What in the world is this?!
Location: Castle Rock, CO
July 30, 2012 3:08 pm
Hi, We found this flying around our kids trampoline enoclosure today..very big and loud! Is that a stinger on its backside?? Would love to know what this is and is it as harmful as it looks?
Signature: The DeYoung Family

Pigeon Horntail

Dear DeYoung Family,
This Pigeon Horntail is a type of Wood Wasp, and what resembles a stinger is actually the ovipositor, the organ the female uses to lay eggs.  Pigeon Horntails do not sting people.  The ovipositor is used to deposit eggs under the bark of dead or dying trees and the larval Pigeon Horntails are wood boring insects.  While we do not blame you for killing what might have appeared to be a harmful insect, we hope that in the future you will remember that Pigeon Horntails are harmless and the larvae help to break down dead trees so that the nutrients can be reabsorbed into the soil.