From the monthly archives: "December 2012"

Subject: what is this?
Location: tucson, az
December 4, 2012 1:46 pm
found this caterpillar on my orange tree, what kind is it?
Signature: stephen

Orange Dog

Hi Stephen,
This is the caterpillar of the Giant Swallowtail and it is commonly called an Orange Dog.  Though they feed on the leaves of citrus, we doubt they will ever be plentiful enough to cause a problem.  The adult Giant Swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly.  It is native to eastern North America, but its range has expanded to the eastern states with the cultivation of citrus trees.  Citrus is not its native host plant, but it has easily adapted its preferences to be able to flourish with the cultivation of citrus.

Subject: South Florida Spider
Location: Fort Meyers, fl
December 4, 2012 9:05 pm
I found 2 of these at a new house I just bought in fort Meyers,fl… What kind of spider is this? Do I have a nest?
Signature: Plee

Huntsman Spider

Hi Plee,
This Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, is an introduced species that has naturalized in the Gulf States.  It is considered a harmless species, but since it is a nocturnal hunter that feeds on Cockroaches, you might want to consider allowing them to share your new home.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Subject: what’s this bug, please ?!
Location: west central florida
December 4, 2012 10:34 pm
found this in my florida garden today –
do you recognize it ?
thank you !
Signature: lynnie

Grizzled Mantis

Hi Lynnie,
Though this Grizzled Mantis,
Gonatista grisea, is easy enough to see on this wood background, she will nearly disappear and be impossible to find on bark or a lichen covered branch like this individual from our archives.

Back to the future bug
Location:  Yunnan, China
December 4, 2012
Hello Bugman!
I encountered this fabulous neon hemipteran while doing a Habitat build in Yunnan, China near Pu’er. My guess was it’s some kind of shield bug but wanted your expert opinion and maybe a species name. I feel like it should be something like Cyndii lauperesqueae.
Marian Lyman Kirst

Shield Bug is a nice Insect Accessory

Dear Marian,
We agree that this is a Shield Bug, but our initial internet search did not turn up any matches.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in a species identification.  We are obsessed with the complimentary color scheme of your nail polish and the Shield Bug, so we have tagged this posting as a Buggy Accessory.  In the future, please use our standard submission form as it makes our posting life so much easier.

Possible Identification Courtesy of Karl
December 14, 2012
Hi Daniel and Marian:
This one may be a toss-up. I thought I had it when I came across several photos of Poecilocoris sp. and Poecilocoris rufigenis that appeared to be a close match. Further digging, however, turned up numerous images of the Giant Jewel Bug (Eucorysses grandis) that looked just as good. The latter species is wide spread in Asia, occurring in at least Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Java. I believe Eucorysses grandis is the currently accepted name but it also shows up under the synonyms Cimex grandis and Chrysocoris grandis. If I had to choose I would probably go with Eucorysses grandis as the correct identification, but I can’t be certain. Regards.  Karl

Thanks for the research Karl.

Subject: Shiny wasp-moth?
Location: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
December 4, 2012 12:44 pm
Took a picture of this cool-looking dude at a friend’s apartment in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico at the beginning of December. Around an inch in length, and completely unafraid/uncaring of my camera.
I’ve done some digging and some people have suggested I check Sessidae or Euchromiina, but I haven’t had much luck in finding this specific guy yet.
Signature: Gravekeeper

Wasp Moth: Nyridela chalciope

Dear Gravekeeper,
You got good advice.  We identified this Euchromiinid as
Nyridela chalciope on the Moth Photographer Groups Moths of Puerto Rico Moths section.  We then confirmed its identity on the Moths of Jamaica website where we read that:  “Method of identification: description in Hampson (1898) p. 219 (as corrected by Forbes (1930)) and comparison with black and white illustration of similar N. xanthocera in Hampson (1898).
Notes: this species is virtually identical to N. xanthocera, except that the antennae are completely yellow in the case of xanthocera whereas in chalciope they are black along most of their length and only yellow at their apices .”  Based on that description, it would appear that you have
Nyridela xanthocera and the Belize Moths website appears to confirm that.  Moth PHotographers Group Antilles Checklist only includes N. chalciope and not N. xanthocera, so we will have to backtrack and say that this is Nyridela chalciope.  The mounted specimen on the Harvard University’s Caribbean Insects page has all yellow antennae.  We are going to trust Harvard on this one despite some conflicting information in other places.  Though the species name may be debatable, we are at least confident we have the correct genus.   

That was very quick and thorough! Thanks for the help, I’ll let the guys at the WhatsThisBug subreddit (where I initially posted the picture) know the answer–they were just as stumped on the species. I carry my camera everywhere, and I always jump at the opportunity to take pictures of strange critters I stumble upon– you’ll definitely hear from me again!
Eduardo Rivera

Thanks Eduardo,
Can you please provide us with a link to WhatsThisBug because we are curious about our competition.

No problem. Reddit is the biggest forum on the internet, and is populated by thousands of very specific subforums on every topic imaginable (from video gaming to politics to celebrities to sciences). One such sub-reddit is What’s This Bug?, at . You post an image and location, and the visitors of the forum will try and help with identification. Most are hobbyists and aficionados, not entomologists–they just really like bugs!

Thanks for the information Eduardo.


Subject: Daniel – Baby Orb Weavers?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
December 4, 2012 2:01 pm
There are many, many, many of these little babies on the wheel barrow this morning. Are they orb weavers?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Brown Widow Spiderlings

Hi Anna,
The appearance of these Spiderlings and their presence on a wheelbarrow caused us to speculate that they were hatchling Brown Widows.  This image from BugGuide confirmed that speculation.  BugGuide states:  “Found around buildings in tropical climates.(1) However, it is an introduced species and is the most human-adapted of the species occurring in the South Eastern US. Its webs may occur anywhere there is sufficient space to make one. It may be extremely abundant on houses and other man-made structures (e.g., barns, fences, guard rails, bridges). It reproduces frequently and disperses rapidly, making it nearly impossible to control.”  They are not as dangerous as the Black Widow, and BugGuide notes:  ” It is recognized that this particular species of widow is most likely not medically significant (not an immediate medical concern to those who are bitten). (Net Ref (4)) The brown widow produces clinical effects similar to that of the black widow but the typical symptoms and signs being milder and tending to be restricted to the bite site and surrounding tissues.”

Oh, my.  Thanks very much.  They’ve now dispersed, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them!
As an aside, I just counted 16 Monarch caterpillars.