From the monthly archives: "April 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Milkweed Assassin Bug on Milkweed?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 27, 2013 3:37 pm
I went in search of wildflower photo ops today, and also found some interesting insects. Is this a milkweed assassin bug on the milkweed? I took its red coloration, bright patterns, and Sumo-wrestler stance as warnings, and kept my distance. Good old zoom lens 😉
Thank you for any help in identifying this insect. I couldn’t seem to spot an exact match: http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=milkweed+assassin+bug
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Subject: Part II of Possible Milkweed Assassin on Milkweed
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 12:28 am
After looking at your ”assassin” archives, I’m beginning to think that the possible assassin bug I photographed yesterday may be a Bee Assassin, possibly a Yellow Bellied Bee Assassin, although it has a striped belly. I’m attaching a photo that shows the belly.
After reading through your archives and seeing how often your readers have received painful bites from assassin bugs, I’m extraordinarily thankful that I kept my distance from the handsome creature.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Dear Ellen,
We are very happy that you correctly identified this Bee Assassin in the genus
Apiomerus.  We do not believe that it is a Yellow Bellied Bee Assassin, Apiomerus flaviventris, as the species is only reported from Arizona and California as well as Mexico according to BugGuide.  It looks to us like a Bee Assassin, Apiomerus spissipes, and you can compare images on BugGuide which look very much like your individual.

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Subject: Part III Possible Milkweed Assassin Bug on Milkweed?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 9:07 am
Well, it looks like I’m zero for two on this one. Although this red insect was near the milkweed, it looks upon further review as though it’s actually on a Texas primrose. Attached is a blurry image of the insect as it flies to another plant, primrose in the background. Sorry, and it’s a good thing I’m not trying to make a living as a field biologist, eh? Here’s a link to the Texas primrose, a very beautiful wildflower. http://paintedflowerfarm.com/pages/plants/natives/primrose,texas.htm
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin near Texas Primrose

Bee Assassin near Texas Primrose

Don’t be so hard on yourself Ellen.  You did eventually correctly identify the Bee Assassin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Accidental Photo of What May be an Exposed Bird-Dropping Moth
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 27, 2013 5:23 pm
I was photographing this honey bee on the wild milkweed today (may be Antelope Horn Milkweed?) and I later noticed a tiny fly (bee?), an ant, and what may be an Exposed Bird-Dropping Moth in the photo. No, I didn’t make up that name. 🙂 Here is a reference I found online: http://www.outdoornatureclub.org/Moths/content/9136_Exposed_Bird-Dropping_Moth_20100801_large.html
Warm, cloudy weather with scattered showers.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Honey Bee and Moth on Milkweed

Honey Bee and Moth on Milkweed

Dear Ellen,
There are many moths that have coloration and markings that seem to mimic bird droppings, and when we first saw your subject line, we thought you must have meant one of the Wood Nymphs in the genus 
Eudryas.  Your moth does resemble the Bird Dropping Moth, however, we don’t believe it is the same species.  You were focused on the Honey Bee, so the details in the moth are not as sharp.  We did find another good image of a different species called the Small Bird Dropping Moth, Tarachidia erastrioides, on the Fontenelle Nature Association Nature Search website, but again, we don’t think it looks like an exact match to your moth.

What's That Moth???

What’s That Moth???

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified, Unusual Egg Case
Location: Southern Michigan
April 27, 2013 7:39 pm
Dear Bugman:
I found this unusual looking egg case, while hunting for fossils. It was in a crumbly, sedimentary boulder, along with dozens of sow bugs, which were exposed when I split the rock open. The eggs are visible as round bumps through the papery/silky covering. Was wondering if some type of spider made this, or another kind of arthropod such as the sow bugs?
Signature: Chris O

What's That with the Sow Bugs???

What’s That with the Sow Bugs???  A Spider Egg Case.

Dear Chris,
We do not recognize this thing, but we would not rule out a fungus.  We are posting this as unidentified and we hope that either we or our readership might find and answer for you.

Dear Daniel:  After looking all over the internet for similar photos & an answer, I found a link on Bug Guide which has an almost identical photo of this type of egg sac.  It appears to be the creation of a type of ground spider.  Species mentioned during my searching are gnaphosid, zelotes and corrinidae.  Here’s a link to the pic on Bug Guide:  http://bugguide.net/node/view/181688/bgpage

Dear Chris,
Thanks so much for following up on this posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I named him Ryno
Location: Costa rica Jungle
April 27, 2013 5:07 pm
This is a little friend I found deep in the Jungle in Costa Rica. Anyone who what he is?
Signature: Ryno

What's That Caterpillar???

What’s That Caterpillar???

Dear Ryno,
We do not recognize this unusual looking caterpillar.  Generally Butterfly Caterpillars are not hairy, but we suspect this might be a Nymphalid Caterpillar.

Keith Wolfe responds to our identification request
Greetings “Ryno” and Daniel, this is a last-instar Caligo atreus (http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillars/dblinks/searchplaycat4.lasso?-Search=GCAcaterpillars337&herbivore%20species=atreus).  Note the numerous white tachinid (http://www.nadsdiptera.org/Tach/Gen/tachintr.htm) eggs behind the head capsule, the inevitable doom of which it might possibly escape if pupation occurs before the maggots hatch.
Best wishes,
Keith

Hi Keith,
Thanks for getting back to us on this.  We didn’t realize those were Tachinid Fly eggs.  Good to know.  We hope this Owl Butterfly Caterpillar escapes being eaten alive by the fly larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Costa Rica unusual antennae grasshopper
Location: Cahuita, Costa Rica
April 26, 2013 11:46 am
Greetings.
I haven’t been able to identify this critter beyond probably immature, probably Acrididae. When I first saw it, I couldn’t even figure out which part was the head. Some photos are out of focus, but I included them for general anatomical shapes.
Photographed in Caribbean foothills of the Talamanca range, near Cahuita, Limon, Costa Rica in late February, late afternoon on the mossy side of a tree about eye level. I’m guessing it was about 2 cm long.
Signature: Karin

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Dear Karin,
We did a quick search of Costa Rican Grasshoppers on the internet, and we came up blank.  Meanwhile, we have contacted Piotr Naskrecki who is an expert on Katydids.  We thought he might be able to assist with this different Orthopteran group.

Autoreply from Piotr Naskrecki
THIS IS AN AUTOMATIC REPLY: I will be in Mozambique until June 2nd, 2013. During this time I will have limited access to e-mail. I will respond to your message as soon as I can.
Cheers,
Piotr

Information Courtesy of Karl
November 12, 2013
Hi Daniel and Karen:
This nymph is a variety of Lubber grasshopper (Romeleidae) in the subfamily Romaleinae and tribe Procolpini. I photographed the same or very similar grasshopper nymph in the Arenal region of Costa Rica in 2010 (photo attached), and identifying it turned out to be far more challenging than I would have expected for such a distinctive insect. I eventually decided that the genus was Munatia. The genus has only two species, M. punctata and M. biolleyi, both of which are present in Costa Rica. I used the keys and descriptions provided by Rowell (1998) to identify my grasshopper as M. biolleyi. The color of Karen’s grasshopper doesn’t quite match the descriptions provided by Rowell for either Munatia species (base color should be some shade of brown or green) but it is essentially identical to my nymph and Rowell’s descriptions in all other respects. Based on the Caribbean location of Karen’s photo and several key anatomical features (e.g., shape of the pronotum and the presence of a small but prominent white tubercle in the middle of pronotum) I believe it be M. biolleyi as well. Hopefully Piotr can eventually provide confirmation or an alternative identification. Regards.  Karl

Grasshopper:  Munatia biolleyi

Grasshopper: Munatia biolleyi

Thanks Karl,
Your knowledgeable research is always appreciated.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stonefly?
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
April 26, 2013 3:02 pm
hi bugman!
This colourful flying insect had a collision with my brother’s mower. I think it’s a Stonefly. The closest match I’ve been able to find is Utaperla gaspesiana.
The eggbundle was attached to the insects abdomen.
Signature: Storm

Giant Stonefly with Eggs

Giant Stonefly with Eggs

Dear Storm,
While we agree that this is a Stonefly, we disagree with your species identification.  While the markings on
Utaperla gaspesiana as pictured on BugGuide look similar to the markings on your individual, we believe you have a Giant Stonefly in the genus Pteronarcys.  We were most curious about the egg bundle, so we did some research.  We located a similar photo on FlickR with the comment:  “Found this on a screen door, perhaps 100 yards from a brook. Large (2″?) egg-laden female. I think it may be Pteronarcys dorsata. May 28, 2011.”  The photographers, Jerry Schoen took the image in White Oaks, Williamstown, Massachusetts.  That same photo can be found duplicated on numerous other websites including The River’s Calendar.  The Elk River Guiding Company website also has a photo of a Stonefly with Eggs.  You can read more about Giant Stoneflies on BugGuide.

Giant Stonefly

Giant Stonefly

Thank you for submitting your photos.

Giant Stonefly

Giant Stonefly

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination