From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

Subject: A good Upstate NY Nursery Spider pic for your site
Location:  Upstate New York
July 2, 2013 6:13 pm
Hi folks,
After checking out Nursery Web spiders on your site, I thought you might appreciate having this photo possibly for posting on your site.
I took this photo on June 3, 2013, on my front porch in Saratoga Springs New York. We have begun seeing a LOT of these in the past 2 years in this area and we have some friends who are a bit freaked out by them, but by doing some reading (here and other sources) I’ve been able to calm some concerns and let people know that these are basically harmless. Just big and kind of intimidating.
I believe that this one is a female full of eggs ready to birth soon.
Feel free to use it if you like. (and let me know if you want original full images, I took several).
Dave
Signature: Dave

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Hi Dave,
Your Nursery Web Spider is Pisaurina mira, and she really is quite lovely and an excellent addition to our site.

Subject: Unknown Beetle
Location: SW Indiana
July 2, 2013 6:31 pm
This is about 1/2 the size of a pea. It was sitting on a branch in the bush outside my front door. on 2 July. I thought it was a spider at first. Not sure what the ’cotton’ is coming out the rear. It did fly off.
Signature: jim

Planthopper Nymph

Planthopper Nymph

Hi Jim,
This is not a beetle.  It is the nymph of a Planthopper or Treehopper, a freeliving Hemipteran.  We will attempt to provide a species identification in the future.

Subject: Black and white
Location: Healdsburg, SONOMA CTY, CA.
July 2, 2013 8:30 pm
We found this black and white insect on a wall in Healdsburg, SONOMA CTY, CA. Can you help identify it?
Signature: DOMINICVS

Banded Alder Borer

Banded Alder Borer

Dear DOMINICVS,
This is a Banded Alder Borer or California Laurel Borer, and we believe it is one of the handsomest North American beetles.

I REST ADMIRED AND REMAIN GRATEFUL FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE AND ACCURATE RESPONSE!
I checked the name and now wonder why it has also the ‘funebris’ in its name….
Is it killing its mate or bringing bad stings?
Warmest regards.
DOMINICVS

Hi again DOMINICVS,
Though we do not know why “funebris” was chosen as its scientific species name, but we can assure you that Banded Alder Borers do not kill their mates, nor do they sting.  They do have strong jaws and might give a painful pinch if carelessly handled.

Subject: I <3 this grasshopper (locust?)
Location: Coryell County, Texas
July 1, 2013 11:23 pm
This grasshopper was hanging around the front door this afternoon. I love the heart-shaped pattern. What a face! Although this bug may be to blame for the large holes eaten out of the amaryllis leaves, it looks fascinatingly prehistoric. Breezy, cool (!) day at 80 degrees.
Signature: Ellen

Grasshopper

Grasshopper: Spharagemon equale

Hi Ellen,
We have a memory of posting a similar image in the past, but we are unable to locate it in our archives.  We have not had any luck with a species ID on the internet either, however, we did find two similar images, both from Texas.  One photo is on a forum called Texas Bowhunter and the other on Poetry From The Starlite Cafe.  Perhaps one of our readers can assist with this.

Update:  July 5, 2013
Ellen provided a comment that David J. Ferguson at BugGuide identified this Shorthorned Grasshopper as Spharagemon equale.

Subject: Katydid or Katy didn’t!
Location: Panhandle of Florida
July 1, 2013 8:16 pm
I saw this on a pool chair in the backyard and thought it was a run of the mill katydid, but it was more solid than the usual ones I’ve encountered before and it had this big ”stinger”. After a little research, I think it is, after all, a run of the mill katydid, and the ”stinger” is an appendage to inject eggs into plants and/or tree bark. Am I correct? Jeff
(FYI – I love the face shot!)
Signature: Jeff in the panhandle of Florida

Common True Katydid

Common True Katydid

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for sending us your photos of a female Common True Katydid,
Pterophylla camellifolia, which we matched to a photo posted to BugGuide.  Just because the word common is part of its name does not make her a “run of the mill katydid.”  We get far more images of Bush Katydids in the genus Scudderia than we do of Common True Katydids.

Common True Katydid

Common True Katydid

Subject: Mystery skipper?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
July 1, 2013 11:14 pm
Hello, I briefly saw this butterfly today in our garden, and was only able to capture two fairly clear photos. I think it’s a skipper, but can’t find the species. The closest I found online were a Fawn-spotted Skipper (Cymaernes odilia) seen on http://www.naba.org/sightings/archives/February2002Archive/FawnspottedSkipper.htm, or a Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) seen on http://bugguide.net.  Gorgeous weather, a cool front in July, wow! Eighty degrees! The butterfly visited a native hibiscus that has smallish leaves and flowers. I love the pollen on the butterfly’s legs, great pollinator! (By the way, the big, gorgeous swallowtails keep mocking me, and fly off over the rooftops and into the taller trees when I aim my camera their way, sigh. Who knew they could fly so high? I didn’t!)
Signature: Ellen

Skipper

Skipper

Hi Ellen,
We rarely try to identify Skippers to the species level because there are so many different species that look alike.  Both of your suggestions seem possible, and we would prefer to leave that identification to the experts.  We have encountered the same problem with Western Tiger Swallowtails which love to fly around the garden, but never seem to alight.