From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

Subject: Soft bodied, light green spotted bug
Location: Utah, West Desert
July 27, 2013 9:40 pm
I have not been able to identify this bug via Google images, FB post in a permaculture site or in any of the books I have at home or researched at the Library. So, if you are able to identify this bug I would have to answer Yes, you are an expert!
Signature: Lisa

Spotted Blister Beetle

Spotted Blister Beetle

Hi Lisa,
We didn’t even notice the challenge you baited us with until we correctly identified your beetle as a Spotted Blister Beetle,
Epicauta normalis (or Epicauta maculata), which we first located on the Utah Pests page of the Utah State University Cooperative Education site and then confirmed on BugGuide.  According to Utah Pests, which mentions the Spotted Blister Beetle is one of the most common members of the Blister Beetle family Meloidae in Utah:  “Alfalfa growers and livestock owners should always be concerned with blister beetles.  These beetles belong to the family Meloidae and produce cantharidin, a chemical toxic to people and animals. Smashing one of these beetles against the skin can lead to painful blisters and swelling.  A recent incident with alfalfa hay infested with blister beetles resulted in the death of a horse, which are particularly sensitive to this beetle’s toxin.  When livestock eat hay containing cantharidin the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts become irritated and complications can lead to death.  If blister beetle poisoning is suspected (symptoms include blisters and colic among others) contact a veterinarian immediately.”  There are several other very similar looking species also called Spotted Blister Beetles, including Epicauta maculata, which is also pictured on BugGuide.

Subject: Beetle
Location: S. Calif. Mojave Desert, sandy wash, Pinon Juniper woodland
July 27, 2013 10:40 pm
This beetle was on a Purshia glandulosa plant. (Antelope Bitterbrush) in the Mojave Desert–in Pinon Juniper woodland. There were many and they hid from me. I found a cluster of them on a broken branch probably utilizing the protection, moisture or sap of the broken limb. They were very shiny, with a blackish/bluish tinge to them. Very beautiful, they captivated my attention. There was also a tiny red one amongst them, seen to the lower /middle portion of photo. There was only one plant that I noticed them on. All other purshia in the area were clean. I found a straggler on a buckwheat but that was it.
Signature: Wendy

Probably Bordered Plant Bug Nymphs

Probably Bordered Plant Bug Nymphs

Hi Wendy,
These are not beetles.  They are True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera.  We wish your photo had a better view of the larger individual which does not yet appear to have wings.  We are not certain, but we believe these are Bordered Plant Bug nymphs in the genus
Largus.  They look very similar to this image posted to BugGuide.  Your individuals lack the red marking that is prominent in most Largus nymphs.  Perhaps desert dwellers lack the markings.  See BugGuide for more information on the genus Largus.

Bordered Plant Bug Nymphs we believe

Bordered Plant Bug Nymphs we believe

Subject: Large Moth
Location: Kansas US
July 27, 2013 3:51 pm
What kind of moth is this? I found it on my porch this morning.
Signature: Ronda R

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Rhonda,
How fortunate you are to have had this Polyphemus Moth sighting in conjunction with National Moth Week.  The name Polyphemus Moth is taken from the cyclops of Greek mythology and refers to the eyespots on the lower wings which are hidden from view in your photograph.  Moths with eyespots on their underwings use them to frighten off larger predators by revealing the spots when they are disturbed.  We hope our own Elyria Canyon Moth Night event this evening brings us a few showy specimens. 

Subject: Black and white moths in the peach and nectarine trees
Location: Torrance, CA
July 26, 2013 11:33 pm
I know I have Oriental Fruit Moth larvae in my fruit, but this isn’t the adult. These guys are hanging out in my peach and nectarine trees. What’s my new worry?
Thanks in advance!
Signature: Linda Eremita

Pyralid Moth

Pyralid Moth

Hi Linda,
We believe this is a member of the superfamily Pyraloidea which contains Crambid Snout Moths and Pyralid Moths.  There is a Peach Pyralid Moth,
Dichocrocis punctiferalis, but if this photo on FlickR is to be believed, it is not your moth.  We also located an antique print of the species.  We may need to do additional research on this, and as we are leaving town unexpectedly, we hope to have a more definite answer to you in the next day.

Julian Donahue provides an identification
Always a detour. First, the name of your moth.
Yes, it’s a pyralid, but these days it’s in the Crambidae, split from the Pyralidae.
The moth is Glyphodes onychinalis (no common name), a native of Indo-Australia that was recently rediscovered in California (an earlier population disappeared) in Culver City by Don Sterba. It’s larvae feed on ornamental oleander (Nerium oleander) and the milkweed Gomphocarpus fruticosus (both of which impart toxicity to the adults).
The adult moths perch on any variety of nearby trees, but most certainly came from larvae that fed on nearby oleander. The record from Torrance is an apparent range extension, and the moth may be expanding its range from where it first appeared (most likely an accidental introduction).
I’m attaching a better photo from Don Sterba, the original discoverer of the new infestation, but note that it is copyrighted and may not be suitable for What’s That Bug?
Julian

Subject: What is it, and how do I kill it?
Location: NE Ohio
July 26, 2013 11:52 am
Hello! My name is Logan (female). I have discovered some kind of teeny tiny bug (mites, I think) in my bed and the area surrounding it. I’ve burned my sheets and vaccummed like crazy, but they’re still there. I havnt noticed any bites, but maybe I’m just lucky. They’re much too small to be bedbugs. I’ve lived in the same house for 19 years and never experienced this problem before. About a month ago I took a trip to Honduras, so I’m wondering if I brought back some hitchhikers. I was thinking they might be tropical rat mites, but I’m not sure because we have no rats or birds they could live on. It’s been hot and humid in NE Ohio. I tried to play detective and looked at one under my microscope. I managed to get some good pictures. If anyone could take a stab at what this creepy bug is, I’d be forever greatful! Thanks!
Signature: Logan

Which Mite is this???

Which Mite is this???

Hi Logan,
This is certainly a Mite, but we haven’t the necessary expertise to determine which species.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply an identification.