From the yearly archives: "2012"

Subject: New bug in Dorothy’s garden
Location: Redding, California
May 27, 2012 9:05 pm
I take a lot of pictures of the flowers around the Treehouse Senior apartments, where I live. Particularly of the many different flowers that appear year round in my neighbor Dorothy’s garden.
This year, a new bug has been starring in photographs of iris and day lilies.
It is only about a quarter inch in length. It is green with iridescent golden markings. I think I have 3 good images.
Signature: Phil Seymour

Scudder's Bush Katydid Nymph

Hi Phil,
This is an immature Scudder’s Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia, and members of the genus are found throughout North America.  You can compare your photo to this image from BugGuide.  This species is quite common in the garden outside our Mt Washington, Los Angeles offices.  Katydids feed on leaves and blossoms and the Scudder’s Bush Katydids seem quite fond of the blossoms on the rose bushes in our garden.  They are never plentiful enough to do any major damage, and we are content to allow them to feed and grow.  Just last week we photographed another Katydid nymph in our garden, and we believe it is a Broad Winged Katydid.

Subject: It moved!
Location: Slatington, PA
May 28, 2012 8:53 am
My mother found this thing outside of her house. She thought it was stick, and rightly so. And then it moved! EW! Please tell me what it is, I have never seen anything like this!
Signature: Mandy


Hi Mandy,
This is an Inchworm or Spanworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae.  They get their common name from the manner of locomotion.  As you can see in the photo where the Inchworm is up-side-down, there are three pairs of true legs near the head and only two pairs of false legs or prolegs near the posterior end of the body.  Most caterpillars have five pairs of prolegs and that enables them to move in an oscillating manner.  There is a drawing on the Enchanted Learning website that illustrates the anatomy of a typical caterpillar.  Inchworms need to crawl forward on their true legs and then loop the rear end of the body forward.  Many Inchworms are excellent twig mimics, and they are known to grasp a stem with the prolegs and stick the rest of the body straight out exactly like a twig.  Our Bug of the Month Posting for April 2011 was the Inchworm and the posting illustrates both the manner of locomotion and the twig mimic behavior.  

Subject: What is Simon?
Location: Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK
May 28, 2012 6:15 am
Simon was found flying around a light last night. Presume he came in the open window from the nearby woods. We lost him for a bit but found him this morning in the cats’ water bowl.
Signature: McSpuddles


Dear McSpuddles,
This is the third request we have received this week from the UK to identify a Cockchafer.  We only posted one other one.  Cockchafers are a species of Scarab Beetle and they are also called May Bugs because of their seasonal appearance.  They are attracted to lights as your letter indicates.

Subject: Wolf or Fishing Spider
Location: north of Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2012 6:52 am
Dear Bugman. This beauty showed up on my parents’ porch in Western PA, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. No water sources nearby, but it’s much larger (and seemed a slightly different shape) than the wolf spiders I’me familiar with in this area. Possibly a fishing spider out looking for prey, since it’s been so dry around here lately? Regardless, after it sat for it’s portrait, we just let it sit there, despite my mom’s dismay.
Signature: Jeff

Fishing Spider

Hi Jeff,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  Though they prefer to live near water, it isn’t always the case.

Subject: Unknown PA flies
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2012 8:51 am
So there are these flies in the back yard and we can’t figure out what they are. They look a bit like deer flies, but have this really bright yellow gold furry thorax. Then we found two engaged in — um — adult activities and it looks like the males and females have different coloring. They are about 3/4 inch long. Any idea what kind of flies these are? Thanks!
Signature: Jeff

Mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies

Hi Jeff,
Your photograph is of mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies,
Chrysopilus thoracicus, and each spring we get a few identification requests and they are often of mating pairs.  According to BugGuide:  “Life Cycle Details unknown. This fly is observed in early to mid-spring perched quietly on low vegetation in deciduous woodlands.”

Subject: At a loss.
Location: Western kentucky/Owensboro area
May 24, 2012 10:27 am
Dear bugman,
Typically your site reveals the answer to my bug question but this time I am stuck. I have looked for three days on What’s that Bug and cannot find the mystery bug that keeps returning to my screen door. I thought it was a beetle because it seemed to have lightning bug qualities *note I am a novice but a good researcher*. Here is a picture. Picture 1.
Picture 2-I have also included the Luna Moth that was here on the same screen door a few weeks ago just for your pleasure.
Thanks and your website is so valuable best on the net!
Signature: Jenn N Kentucky

Banded Hickory Borer

Hi Jenn,
The end of the week was a bit rough for us, and we are trying to answer and post as many letters as possible, hence the tardiness of our reply.  This pretty beetle is one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  After a bit of searching, we identified it as the Banded Hickory Borer,
Knulliana cincta thanks to the BugGuide archive.