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

Subject: Assisting in Assassin Bug IDs
Website: http://bugguide.net/user/view/10012
April 24, 2013 8:43 am
Greetings from another Dan the Bugman,
I’m interested in offering my services in assassin bug identification.  I’m not sure what your process typically entails, but if you would be willing to forward me ID requests for reduviid-ish images, I would be happy to take the identification as far as I am able.  I am trying to gain a wider exposure to this group, especially in the Old World, something my role as a Contributing Editor at BugGuide.net can only take  so far; thus, I think this arrangement would be mutually beneficial.
Looking forward to your response.
Regards,
Dan
Signature: Daniel R. Swanson

Dear Dan,
I am thrilled at your offer.  Please feel free to look at any Assassin Bugs in the archives and provide identifications or comments.  I will be sure to contact you in the future with any new postings that are difficult.
Daniel

Resin Bug,  Amulius sp. (Harpactorinae: Ectinoderini)

Resin Bug, Amulius sp. (Harpactorinae: Ectinoderini)

Dear Daniel,
Glad I can be of assistance and excited for what the archives might hold.  I will probably just start at the oldest page and slowly and periodically work through them to the most recent (although I tend to really enjoy this type of thing so it may go quicker than anticipated).  That plan brings up some questions, mostly relating to North American fauna.  Do want me to comment on most images?  For example:
1) if you’ve concluded an image is a species of Zelus, but I can tell you its Z. renardii, would you like a comment?
2) if you’ve stated, “I think” or “I’m pretty sure it’s species ZZZ”, would you like me to confirm that?
3) do all my comments go through you?  If I say “no, this is not a reduviid, it’s a nabid” will you see it?  For that matter, is the average contributor still linked to their image, i.e. will they see my ID?
4) the oldest image is a teneral (and added shot, nymphal) wheel bug.  At the time, that ID wasn’t offered, I’m guessing because you’ve obviously grown and know a lot more species now than when you started.  Should I still offer up an ID for things you know now and have IDed a lot on your site but didn’t at the time?
I will certainly correct wrong identifications, and I do not plan to comment on correct identifications backed by reasonable confidence (e.g. wheel bugs or masked hunter nymphs) or posts without images.  Unless you prefer I do, I probably will not provide references or citations (e.g. keys, descriptions) relating to my identification (in many cases, there are none except my own notes), although I may include various details, e.g. subfamilial ranking; geographic distribution; “10 species in southeast Asia” so the contributor knows a species ID is unlikely.  I think too I will simply sign my comments as “drswanny” if that’s fine by you.  That will keep my BugGuide handle associated and further cultivate my association with reduviid identifications in the online community.
Thanks again for this opportunity,
Dan

Dear Dan,
We like to think of our site as a nice chatty place and that that is one of its charms.  For that reason, we have decided to post this conversation and we will illustrate it with the first Assassin Bug you identified for us.  Upon a first read, I believe the answer to all of your questions is “yes” but we will go through them systematically.

1) Yes, please identify any common genera identifications to the species level, including all Zelus.
2) Yes, when our answers are not definite, by all means confirm any general responses.
3) Yes, I approve all comments, but after one comment is approved, the subsequent ones generally go live automatically.  I try to read and approve all comments except SPAM.  The person who submitted an image for posting is not linked to their posting, however if they supply a comment, we believe as long as the email address submitted is accurate, the querant will be notified of all subsequent comments.  The querant will only see your comment if they revisit the site or if they have previously supplied a comment to the original posting.
4) Yes, please identify old posts.  I knew very little in 1999 when one identification request a month was considered frequent mail.  Alas, I do not visit the archives much.  That is pretty much water under the bridge and there isn’t even enough time to read and respond to all submissions now, especially in the summer months.
Any anecdotal information is greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.
Daniel

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wondering if this is a spider
Location: Dordogne,France
April 25, 2013 6:18 am
Dear WTB,
I took this picture in my kitchen before putting it in the garden- it looks like it could nip. It was probably staying out of the sun. I cant say I’ve seen one here ever -France. It is about 1-1.5 cm in length. It looks like venom from spiderman , maybe the inspiration. Thanks
Signature: Alan Harvey

Checkered Beetle

Checkered Beetle

Dear Alan,
This is a Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae, not a spider.  According to BugGuide, Checkered Beetles are:  “predaceous on other insects, larvae mostly on wood- and cone-borers; some adults feed on pollen; a few species are scavengers.”  Your Checkered Beetle looks somewhat similar to this image of
Thanasimus formicarius from FlickR.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug in backyard
Location: Stafford Tx. USA
April 24, 2013 12:06 pm
I live in Stafford TX and found this critter in my yard on a piece of iron…what is it??? Should we run !!!
Signature: Randy

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Dear Randy,
This is a most curious set of photos, and we are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton prior to posting.  This is a Caterpillar and we believe it might be an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus
Catocala.  They grow quite large.  You can also compare your image to this photo of an Underwing Caterpillar on BugGuide.  We are most curious about the surrounding objects.  They look like the pupae of parasitic Wasps known as Braconids.  The wasps are generally quite species specific.  Here is a photo from our archive of a Hornworm parasitized by Braconids.  The curious thing about your photo is that the pupae are not attached to the caterpillar.  Again, we hope to get a more professional opinion for you.

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Daniel:
I’m not an expert on caterpillars, but I think your scenario is right on.  Definitely braconid pupae.  This would be something interesting for Bugguide, and maybe someone else there knows more.
As of yesterday I am now writing blogs (ghostwriting, actually) for The Blogger Pool for a major third party client in the pest control industry.  So, I may not always get back to you as quickly as usual.  Plus, my wife and I are visiting her family out of state May 5-13, just so you know I won’t be online very often then.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

WTB
Location: Columbia, SC
April 22, 2013 6:07 pm
This spider was very fast and appeared to be actively hunting when found.
Signature: Ryan Marshall

Florida Predatory Stink Bug Nymph

Florida Predatory Stink Bug Nymph

Hi Ryan,
This is not a Spider but a True Bug with six legs and sucking mouthparts.  There is always a danger with common names when a location is given, especially if the range occurs more widely than the name indicates.  This is a Florida Predatory Stink Bug nymph,
Euthyrhynchus floridanus, and though the name might indicate it is only found in Florida, its actual range, according to BugGuide, is from Pennsylvania to Brazil.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: tree hopper species?
Location: Blythewood, SC
April 23, 2013 8:29 pm
Found a bunch of these all huddled together on a branch. Some had a horn, others didn’t. I am guessing male and female. What species is this? Thy did not want to move or come off the branch.
Signature: ?

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper

Dear ?,
The Oak Treehopper,
Platycotis vittata, comes in both horned and hornless variations that have nothing to do with the sex.  Thank you for supplying photos of both variations in a single posting.  There are also striped and solid colored individuals.  You can read more about the Oak Treehopper on BugGuide.

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what kind of bug is this ?
Location: Telferner Texas
April 23, 2013 8:24 am
I found this bug at work and have never seen one before i would like to know what it is.
Signature: Kimberly wright

Striped Blister Beetle

Striped Blister Beetle

Dear Kimberly,
This is a Striped Blister Beetle, Epicauta vittata.  According to the Featured Creatures website:  “Striped blister beetle is one of the most damaging of the blister beetles to vegetable crops in areas where it occurs. This is due to its feeding preferences, which include several common crops and greater preference for foliage than some other species; its propensity to feed on fruits of solanaceous plants; its relatively large size and voracious appetite; its strong tendency to aggregate into large mating and feeding swarms; and its high degree of dispersiveness, which can result in sudden appearance of large swarms of beetles. It also has been implicated in the transmission of bean pod mottle virus to soybean.”  Like other members of the Blister Beetle family, the Striped Blister Beetle should not be handled as it can release a substance, cantharidin, that is know to cause blistering in human skin.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination