From the monthly archives: "November 2012"

Subject: Woodland spider identification help
Location: Woods, in rock crevice, Andover, MA
November 29, 2012 7:58 pm
I know you are really busy during the holidays, but I thought I would send the email and hope you catch this post. I was photographing mushrooms and inadvertently took a photo of this beautiful spider. I was hoping you could tell me what it is. I thought it was a type of wolf spider but the markings didn’t fit.
Thank you and Happy Holidays.
Signature: Roberta

What’s That Spider???

Hi Roberta,
Thank you for your kind holiday greeting.  The eye pattern of spiders (See bugGuide) is one of the best means of classifying and identifying them, but alas, your photo does not show the spider’s face.  Nonetheless, we think this is a gorgeous photo and we are posting it.  Perhaps one of our readers can tell us “What’s That Spider?”

Subject: Daniel – Strange Fly
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 29, 2012 11:37 am
I pulled this guy out of the bird bath a while back and cannot, for the life of me, figure out what kind of fly it is. Any ideas?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Flower Fly, we believe

Hi Anna,
We believe this is another Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, but we haven’t the time this marvelous rainy morning to sift through the possibilities on BugGuide.  Let us know if you have any luck with species ID.


Subject: I swear I didn’t kill it, despite the flyswatter in the photo!
Location: New Orleans, LA
November 21, 2012 9:56 pm
I found what I assume is a moth of some sort ALREADY DEAD on my patio 11/21/12. The flyswatter was used to transport it into the light so I wouldn’t crush it with a paper towel.
It was in the mid 60’s when I found it after being in the upper 60’s most of the day. It definitely wasn’t there the night before.
I put it next to a cd for size comparison and also included a closeup of the body and then also the wings.
Signature: Jenn

Buck Moth found dead

Hi Jenn,
We were away from the office for Thanksgiving and we are just catching up on some old identification requests and posting the best of them.  This is a Buck Moth, a species we featured in October.  Buck Moths do not feed as adults and they only live for about a week.  We are quite certain this individual died of natural causes.

Thank you so much for the identification and for the ‘not guilty’ verdict!
I’m relatively new to this particular area and had not seen such a large bodied moth anywhere before, unless they were introduced during one of the many times that I covered my eyes while touring the Audubon Insectarium!
I’m now pretty sure that I saw the caterpillar version also on my patio a few weeks back and fortunately had sense enough to steer clear of its threatening spines.
My father will be pleased to know that y’all were able to help me, as it was his suggestion to contact you. I was a bit concerned that I could have an impending invasion of moth aliens and his initial identification of “big freaking moth” was not exactly helpful in calming my worries.
Thanks again!

Since the caterpillars of the Buck Moth are social feeders, we would imagine that there could possibly be years with significant adult moth populations.

Subject: What The!
Location: Northern New South Wales
November 29, 2012 9:27 pm
Found this inside my house last night, after recovering from a near heart attack I photographed and released it but would love to know what the heck it was as I have searched all australian bug websites and cannot find anything similar. It was approx 6 cm long
Signature: Kind Regards Caroline Thompson

Robber Fly

Hi Caroline,
We are not sure if we will be able to provide you with a species name, but this is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We frequently use the Brisbane Insect website to identify Australian bugs, but we don’t see any species there that look exactly like your individual.

Robber Fly

Subject: Daniel – More Bugs on Mexican Milkweed
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 29, 2012 11:42 am
I know this photo is blurry, but I found these eggs on the back of one of the Mexican Milkweed leaves the other morning. There were three or four of those little gray bugs there at the same time. All but one left before I got the camera out and focused(?). Any idea what they are?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Hemipteran Hatchling

Hi Anna,
The insect in the lower left corner appears to belong to the order Hemiptera which includes True Bugs as well as Hoppers.  Hatchlings are often quite difficult to identify to the species level.  This critter looks to us to be one of the Hoppers, though we cannot be certain.

Hi Daniel,
That’s what I was afraid of.  Oh, well.  Guess we have to take some of the bad along with the good, eh?