From the monthly archives: "March 2013"

Subject: Another Strange Florida Bug
Location: Apollo Beach Florida
February 28, 2013 9:41 am
I took this photo a few months ago in Apollo Beach Florida. The bug was on a second floor window of a model home in a new development. Any ideas as to what it is?
Signature: Curious Marc

Mantisfly

Mantisfly

Dear Curious Marc,
Congratulations on being selected our Bug of the Month for March 2013.  This is a Mantisfly or Mantispid, a predatory species in the family Mantispidae.  There are several genera represented on BugGuide, and because of the silhouetted image, we aren’t certain of the classification, but we strongly feel this might be a member of the genus
Dicromantispa which is also represented on BugGuide.  Though they resemble both Mantids and Wasps, Mantisflies are not closely related to either group.

Subject: Name that bug
Location: Waltham, MA
February 28, 2013 8:24 pm
We found this bug flying around our apartment in MA. Any idea what it is?
Thanks.
Signature: Been bugging me

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Really?  This Western Conifer Seed Bug appears to be swimming, not flying.  They often enter homes during the winter to hibernate.  Thw Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the pacific northwest, but since the 1970s, it has been increasing its range across North America and it has been introduced to Europe in the 21st millennium.

Subject: Texas moth
Location: Rio Medina, Texas
February 28, 2013 5:36 pm
I live 8 miles from San Antonio, Texas in Rio Medina… I searched this moth I saw today & never did see or find it online. Do you know what the name of this moth is?
Thanks from South Central Texas
Signature: Richard Z

Calleta Silkmoth

Calleta Silkmoth

Hi Richard,
This is a Calleta Silkmoth,
Eupackardia calleta, and BugGuide has a very thorough information page on this desert species that has been reported from Arizona and Texas, though it ranges into Central America.  Your individual appears to have misshapen wings, or perhaps it has just eclosed and the wings haven’t yet fully expanded.  BugGuide provides this information on the life cycle:  “males are diurnal, females nocturnal. Possible mimics of toxic Pipevine Swallowtales [sic] Battus philenor(1)
Adults usually emerge in the late afternoon thru evening
Females call males in the early morning between 7:00am-Noon (mating occurs at this time)
Female moths take flight after sunset and immediately begin laying eggs the same day
Eggs are often deposited in rows or small groups on both surfaces of host plant leaves and stems
Early instar larvae (1st-3rd) feed gregariously
Laster instar larvae (4th & 5th) are usually solitary
The cocoon is usually attached to a twig of the host or nearby plants, rarely if ever incorporates leaves, and is often spun low or tucked away in the shade (often found at base of host plants)
*Some Central American populations are reported to be nocturnal in breeding habits.”
  It appears your individual is a female as her antennae are not as developed as those of typical males.

Calleta Silkmoth

Calleta Silkmoth

Subject: Daniel – Monarch Butterfly Eclosion
Location: Hawthorne, CA
February 28, 2013 4:35 pm
Hi Daniel,
First, I’m sorry I haven’t sent photos before now. We lost our first Monarch and it kinda threw me for a loop. It was my first time seeing this wonderful process but I could tell at the beginning that something wasn’t right with him. Another eclosed just behind us just afterwards and flew after a few hours. The first was still around the next morning. When we got back from our weekly grocery shopping, it was on the ground with a back leg folded up underneath itself and dragging its right wing. It has a place of honor in back and I hope to grow a milkweed plant at that very spot. That said, I’ve now seen two more eclose and there are still two left. Maybe another 5-6 days left for them. We spotted six chrysalides total but maybe there are more! The two remaining chrysalides are definitely the last two caterpillars and I will be glad to be able to get out back and clean up the garden once they’ve completed their metamorphosis. So far, one we don’t know the sex of, two males and one female. It’s been difficult to choose which photos to send as this is such a wonderful process. The first of the three is the first butterfly just starting to pump the fluid from his abdomen into the wings. The other two are from a different eclosion. Also, I have a very good friend who was visiting from Oregon last week and she took the three remaining already eclosed chrysalides home with her. She wants to cast them in silver and make jewelry from them. We don’t know if they are too delicate for this, but I’ll get a necklace if they aren’t.
Hope all is well with you and that you have been enjoying our beautiful ”winter” weather.
Signature: Anna Carreon

Mature Monarch Chrysalis

Mature Monarch Chrysalis

Hi Anna,
This wonderful documentation of your Monarch population is greatly appreciated and we are certain our readership will find them helpful.  We are sorry to hear that you have not had 100% survival rate.

Monarch Eclosion

Monarch Eclosion

Your adult male Monarch is surely a comely specimen.

Male Monarch

Male Monarch

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much and I’ll try to keep you posted when the last two eclose.  It’s been a great experience, one I wish I’d had as a kid.
Anna

I think I was a little off on the remaining chrysalides.  One looks as though it will eclose today, tomorrow at the latest.  The other won’t be far behind, as they pupated within a day of each other.
Anna

Update March 1, 2013
I did notice that the site looked not quite right and I couldn’t navigate as before, but waited a few days and then all seemed to be better.  We did have eclosion of the fifth Monarch Butterfly about an hour ago.  I wasn’t around for it and am not sure why it was not hanging from its chrysalis when I discovered.  It’s slowly crawling up the Mexican Milkweed stalk that it pupated on, so I’m keeping a close and protective eye on it.  Could have been that a finch or a wasp disturbed it, but I’ll never know.  Back out to the back, and thanks for letting me know your site is experiencing problems.
Anna

Hi Anna,
The webmaster is away and there are some technical difficulties preventing new postings and additions from showing live.

Update March 2, 2013
So, our last butterfly eclosed today.  It was a boy.  Seven known chrysalides:  1 unknown, 2 female, 4 male.  Three didn’t make it.  I don’t know if that’s a good ratio or not.
Anna
I should say seven known.  Hopefully there were more that slid out under our radar.