From the monthly archives: "August 2012"

Subject: unknown bug/caterpillar in vt
Location: monkton vermont USA
August 26, 2012 2:52 pm
We found this bug on our deck – we have other photos
Signature: Dylan Weaver

Monkey Slug

Hi Dylan,
You were astute to recognize this Monkey Slug as a caterpillar.  It is actually the caterpillar of the Hag Moth,
Phobetron pithecium.  The Monkey Slug is capable of stinging, so handle with caution.  We are amused that this Monkey Slug was photographed in the city of Monkton. 

Subject: Flying Appalachian Ugly Bug
Location: Appalachian part of New York State
August 26, 2012 4:14 pm
I was told about your website by a California lady that takes beautiful pictures of beautiful bugs. I grabbed my camera to see what kind of bug pictures I could take.
This picture was taken at approximately 42.074009N and 76.847949W at about 0730 on 25 August 2012. It is a wooded area just about 15 yards north of the Chemung River.
It is a rather ugly bug and it was eating(?) breakfast(?) on a leaf.
Can you identify either the breakfast or the bug?
Signature: whytepaper

Flutter Fly

Dear whytepaper,
We quickly identified your Flutter Fly in the genus
Toxonevra thanks to bugGuide.  We thought it resembled the Picture Winged Flies, and it is classified in the same superfamily Tephritoidea.  According to the Flutter Fly family page on BugGuide:  “larvae phytophagous or predaceous on longhorn & bark beetle larvae (Cerambycidae, Curculionidae: Scolytinae)” and the adults are found “on flowers and low-hanging branches in shady habitats, larvae under bark, and in flower buds and stems.”  This represents a new family for our website.

Mr. Marlos,
Thank you so much for identifying the flutter fly.  I am just beginning and will try and study your sight so I won’t bother your staff with boring pictures.
Anna Carreon told me that she has already sent you a note that she is the California Lady whose pictures I am envious of.
Thank you again for the rapid response to the flutter fly identification.
John White

Hi John,
Anna frequently contributes wonderful photos and letters to our site.  We hope to get some interesting images from you in the future.  If you see any gaps in our archive, please submit images.

Subject: Black Witch Moth
Location: southwest
August 26, 2012 4:34 pm
This lady was sitting in our office, in Hollywood. quite impressive at 6”
Signature: paul

Female Black Witch

Hi Paul,
Thanks for sending your photo of a female Black Witch.  We have read that they are now naturalized in the areas of the U.S. closest to the Mexican border, but most U.S. sightings are from migratory individuals that fly north during the Mexican rainy season and appear in September.  The migration is quite curious since they do not really survive the northern winters.

Subject: What is this??
Location: Flemington, NJ
August 26, 2012 5:58 pm
I hope you can help me. I have a veggie garden that’s an above ground box with cuccumbers, zucchini, cannalope, potatoes & celery grouped together. Towards the middle of July I developed a problem with powdery mildew on my zucchini plants and shortly after that I found these bugs. I think they are beetles, they are tiny, a little bigger than a tick and easy to squish. What are they and how do I kill them?
Signature: Mrs. Jessica Pante

Squash Bug Nymphs

Dear Mrs. Pante,
These are Squash Bug nymphs in the genus
Anasa, most likely Anasa tristis.  According to BugGuide:  “” This is the most injurious species of coreid in Florida Injects a toxic saliva into plants, causing wilting and blackening of leaves. Can also act as vector of cucurbit yellow vine disease, which kills plants.  Adults are winged.  We do not give extermination advice.

Subject: Bug Carnage
Location: North-central Montana near Havre
August 24, 2012 8:50 pm
Stepped on this scary-looking critter in my bedroom in North-central Montana this August. I’m sure I’ve seen those frightening mandibles somewhere before.
Signature: Sandra R

Solifugid Carnage

Hi Sandra,
Thank you for recognizing that this is carnage.  Though it was frightening looking, this Solifugid was perfectly harmless to you because of its small size as well as its lack of venom.  Unlike other arachnids like spiders and scorpions, Solifugids, which are commonly called both Sun Spider or Winds Scorpions and Camel Spiders in the Middle East, lack any venomous fangs or stingers.  If Solifugids were larger, like the size of a German Shepherd as one Desert Storm veteran pointed out in a largely exaggerated account in our archives, they would pose a threat.  Interestingly, they have never, to the best of our knowledge, been the subjects of a horror film, though many of their characteristics can be seen in CGA movie monsters.
  The mandibles are able to open in all directions, as this photo from our archive demonstrates.

Horror Movie Camel Spider
Subject: Horror Movie “Camel Spiders”
August 27, 2012 1:08 am
Here’s the IMDB link:  A friend of mine saw the movie and he said it was horrible.
Signature: Jim

Thanks Jim,
The tagline for the movie is sensational.  It reads “Based on actual creatures that for years have tormented our armed forces in the Middle East, these creatures have now invaded the southwestern deserts of the United States.”
   We imagine that many of our service personnel have been horrified upon first viewing the large Solifugids from the Middle East, known as Camel Spiders, which are reported to have a leg span of five inches or more.   Camel Spiders might have mandibles big enough to bite the careless handler, but they are still lacking in venom, hence they are basically harmless to people.  They are formidable predators, however, and anything small enough to be captured will most likely be eaten in a most gory manner.

Subject: Food chain: cicada killer in action
Location: Takoma Park MD
August 24, 2012 4:41 pm
Hello WTB,
This cicada killer startled me somewhat as I was out weeding the garden. I initially thought it had deposited a bit of trash. When I realized the ”trash” was an annual cicada, I dashed in to fetch the camera and thought you’d like to see the outcome.
Signature: Takoma Park animal lover

Cicada Killer with Annual Cicada

Dear Takoma Park animal lover,
Wow, what a marvelous series of photos. 

Cicada Killer with food for her brood.

The female Cicada Killer is really a powerfully built wasp to drag and glide back to her burrow with a paralyzed Cicada for each egg she lays.

Female Cicada Killer provides for her offspring