From the monthly archives: "September 2012"

Subject: Bug ID
Location: North Carolina (Durham)
September 28, 2012 6:41 pm
Help! These guys lay multiple deep red almost black eggs on budding flower bushes and seem to consume the flowers prior to them opening. Are they ruining my large flower bush? It is similar to a hibiscus. How can I control these? They seemed resistant to a natural pesticide or permethrin
Signature: Dr R

Scentless Plant Bug:  Niesthrea louisianica

Dear Dr R,
This is
Niesthrea louisianica, a Scentless Plant Bug without a common name.  They feed on the flowers and seeds of Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon and other members of the Mallow family, and to the best of our knowledge, they do not do any permanent damage to the plants.  We do not provide extermination advice.

Scentless Plant Bug

Subject: Unidentified bug in Montenegro
Location: Virpazar, Montenegro
September 28, 2012 4:00 pm
We hope you can help us identify this curious bug. My husband and I live in Montenegro at Lake Skadar National Park and the bug in question landed on our balcony a couple of weeks ago. We have no idea what it is. We’ve lived here four years and never before saw anything like it. Next to our lodgings is a smallhold farm where the owners keep pigs, sheep and cows and grow vines and vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, cabbages, etc. There are also fruit trees about with plums and apples in season at the time we found the bug(early September).
The insect was about 3 inches long and was able to fly.
We are so curious to know what it is. Hope you can help us! Thanks!
Signature: Emma Heywood

Mole Cricket

Hi Emma,
Mole Crickets like the one in your photograph are subterranean dwellers, but as your letter indicates, many species are capable of flight.  We get reports of Mole Crickets from all over the world.

Hi Daniel, thanks so much for clearing that up for us. They’re rare where we come from (the UK). What incredible creatures!
Best wishes

Subject: HELP!!!
Location: Western Sydney Australia
September 28, 2012 4:26 pm
Hi Bugman, I found groups of these what appear to be caterpillars that seem to have fallen out of a tree onto a driveway at a group of factories – they seem to be working together to move across the driveway, but I’m concerned for their wellbeing, especially that they may be squished by a car…
Signature: Yo, Dumbo 🙂


Dear Yo, Dumbo,
Though they are often mistaken for caterpillars, these are the larvae of Sawflies, members of the insect order that contains wasps and bees.  In Australia, the larvae of Sawflies in the family Pergidae are commonly called Spitfires.  You can compare your photo to the ones posted on the Brisbane Insect website.

Subject: Howdy from south Texas!
Location: A very rural part of Bexar county in south central Texas
September 28, 2012 5:07 pm
Howdy, bugman! This is a cool site, my daughters and I just had a fun time browsing through….
By any chance do y’all recognize this bug? My 9 year old assures me she’s a spider because she has 8 legs. We just took the picture today, September 28th. This ”spider” has been hanging out on our bug-covered south Texas porch for about 2 days…no evidence of a web anywhere!
Thanks in advance, we’re going nuts trying to figure out what we’re looking at here!
Signature: South Texas dad


Dear South Texas dad,
Your daughter was astute to count the legs, but this is not a Spider.  It is a Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs in the order Opiliones.  Harvestmen and Spiders are both Arachnids.  The markings on this individual are quite distinctive, yet we could not find a match on BugGuide.  We do have a matching image of a Harvestman from Wimberly, Texas in our own archive, but we never identified the species.  Harvestmen lack venom and they are perfectly harmless.

Hi Daniel, thanks so much for writing us back with that amazing information! My daughter was thrilled to get your compliment, too 🙂 Wimberly is just up the road from us so I imagine the picture in the link you sent us is probably a close relative of our harvestman..and we are all glad to know she’s harmless!
Thanks again 🙂

Subject: Is this a democrat bug?
Location: Springfield Missouri
September 29, 2012 8:59 am
I can’t tell from the picture on your website if this is an eastern box… bug I would just like a confirmation. These were found outside of my workplace in downtown Springfield Missouri.
Signature: CuriousKids

Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Dear CuriousKids,
Your identification is correct.  This is an aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs which are sometimes called Democrat Bugs.  Your individuals are all immature nymphs, though at various stages of development or instars.  Adult Eastern Boxelder Bugs have black wings with some red veins.  Sightings this year have been plentiful.

Subject: Stout’s Hardwood Borer
Location: Redwood City, CA
September 28, 2012 6:23 pm
We seem to have had an ’infestation’ of sorts for the past month. I don’t know how they are entering the office, but we are on the 2nd floor and there are quite a few trees outside. These guys fly around, are up on the carpeted walls, or in boxes. They bite each other’s legs off if kept in the same container.
Signature: -D

Stout’s Hardwood Borer

Hi D,
Perhaps you have some new construction or new furniture at your office and wood that was infested with Stout’s Hardwood Borer larvae was used as a raw material.  Your observation that they bite each others’ legs off might explain why this Stout’s Hardwood Borer from our archive and this individual that our editorial staff photographed are also missing legs.  It is possible that males battle with one another for dominance.

Stout’s Hardwood Borers