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

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Motshane,Swaziland
May 1, 2013 2:39 am
Hello,
We have these caterpillars in our garden on a number of bushes. The are numerous and devour every leaf before moving to the next plant. I live at Motshane in Swaziland and this is where the caterpillars are. I would like to know what moth or butterfly they come from.
Thank you for a wonderful site.
Signature: Jacqui

Saturniid Caterpillar

Saturniid Caterpillar

Hi Jacqui,
Alas, the best we can do right now is to provide a family for you.  This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae.  We will try to research the species later, but for now, we cannot take the time as we must leave for work.  We will also contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide the species for you.  The adult moths of members of the family Saturniidae are often quite large and beautiful.  It does look quite similar to this
Imbrasia species we posted recently from Rwanda.

Saturniid Caterpillar

Saturniid Caterpillar

Bill Oehlke provides an identification
Hi Daniel,
It is Gonimbrasia (Nudaurelia) wahlbergii
Please send more precise location and date if you can so I can document it
on the website.
Bill

Hi,
Where can I find information relating to the caterpillar. I am interested in the breeding cycle and would like to follow the caterpillar through the various stages.
Jacqui

Hi again Jacqui,
You already know what leaves the caterpillars feed upon.  You just need to provide them with a habitat for raising in captivity.  We do not raise caterpillars, but since you are now in contact with Bill Oehlke, he should be able to provide you with all the information you need.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Nighttime waspy thing?!
Location: Southern New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia
April 30, 2013 9:28 pm
Hello bugman! I have these annoying, non-aggressive wasp type bugs all over our property. I usually only find them at night, except for the occasional one that sneaks inside. I caught one the other day and he tried continuously to sting the paper towel, with what resembled a small stinger on his back end. They aren’t aggressive, they seem very unintelligent, and they are very thin in that there isn’t much matter to them. They are a reddish brown see-through color, with clear wings outlined in the same body color. I’ve found several different sizes of them as well. I’ve never seen or heard of a wasp being active at night, so I’m baffled as to what this could be! Southern NJ just outside Philadelphia, warm days(60-70º), cool spring nights(50-60º). Started noticing them last year around this time, lasting through the summer and warmer months of Fall. Any info you could give would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thank you 🙂 (this picture i s zoomed in very close)
Signature: Annoyed in NJ

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Annoyed in NJ,
This is some species of Ichneumon, a member of a very large family of parasitic wasps.  Some species are attracted to lights at night.  See BugGuide for additional information on this family including this tidbit of information:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates).” 

Thank you so much for the information and quick response!  I look forward to learning more about these little buggers!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly
Location: Morgantown, WV
April 30, 2013 6:17 pm
Hello Bugman!
I found this pretty thing in the road, probably stunned by a car strike. So I picked it up and set it in the sunshine after a taking a couple of pictures. I’ve seen this kind of butterfly before but haven’t been able to successfully identify it. I am thinking it might be a kind of skipper, but I’m only guessing. I would love to know what this is. They are pretty early here in WV, though I have seen quite a few cabbage whites and tiger swallowtails this week. Thank you again for your fantastic website!
Signature: Bugwatcher Guitry

Duskywing, we believe

Duskywing, we believe

Dear Bugwatcher Guitry,
You are correct that this is a Skipper.  It looks to us like one of the Duskywings in the genus
Erynnis, however, it doesn’t seem to perfectly match any of the species pictured on BugGuide.  BugGuide does note:  “The genus Erynnis (Duskywings) is probably the most difficult group of North American butterflies to identify in the field. However, the identity of a particular individual can often be narrowed to a few possibilities by noting the habitat and examining the range maps for each species (see INTERNET REFERENCES section below). A further critical comparison of an individual’s key field marks to those in reliably identified images is often enough to arrive at a certain or near-certain ID; examination of the genitalia may be required in some cases but is usually not necessary when the preceding steps have been taken with due care.”  The closest match, in our opinion, is Horace’s Duskywing (see photo on BugGuide), which is a wide ranging species reported in West Virginia.  According to BugGuide its habitat is:  “Open woodlands and edges, clearings, fencerows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, roadsides.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination