From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

Subject: Ground beetle (Pasimachus sp.)
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
July 1, 2013 10:53 pm
Hi bugman,
I came across three of these beetles yesterday (Monday 07/01/13) and thought you might like a pic of one. Until I found these three beetles I had never heard of Pasimachus, even though I have loved insects and have avidly hunted for them since I could walk (I am now 27). I am so happy to have found these as they are pretty freakin awesome. I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I enjoy visiting your website multiple times a day.
Thank you for all the awesomeness you provide!
Signature: Michael

Ground Beetle:  Pasimachus species

Ground Beetle: Pasimachus species

Hi Michael,
Thank you for sending in your photo.  We haven’t posted a photo of a Ground Beetle in the genus Pasimachus in a few years.  We don’t feel too confident attempting a species identification.  Several members of the genus have blue margins like the one in this image from our archives.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “Large, extra-robust, flightless ground beetles (elytra fused into rigid shell). Huge jaws, head, pronotum. Some have blue margins. Typically run about under or on leaf litter in forests” where they eat caterpillars and other larval insects.

Subject: Four Lined Plant Beetles, yellow & green
Location: Naperville, IL
July 1, 2013 6:21 pm
Hi Daniel~
Happy July! It’s been a long time (I think) since you’ve had one of these four-lined plant beetles (Poecilocapus lineatus) depicted, and I’ve never seen them around my neck of the woods until this year. They’re munching on some hydrangea leaves, and I found this yellow one and this green one on the same leaf. They’re very pretty little pests. All the best to you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Four Lined Plant Bug

Four Lined Plant Bug

Hi Dori,
Thanks for the new submission, however we have a correction to make to your text.  You have the scientific name correct, but your common name is not.  This is a True Bug, not a Beetle.  True Bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts and they do not chew.  The brown spotting on the leaves might be due to the feeding which involves sucking nutritious fluids from the plants.  According to BugGuide:  “nymphs and adults feed preferentially on members of the mint family (wild mint, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, hyssop, oregano) but will attack a variety of wild plants (thistle, dandelion, burdock, tansy, loosestrife, sumac) as well as cultivated flowers (carnation, geranium, chrysanthemum, snapdragon, phlox) and crops (alfalfa, ginger, currant, raspberry, cucumber, lettuce, pea, potato, radish, squash).”  Hydrangeas are not mentioned as a food plant, but lists of food plants can often be incomplete.  Thanks again for supplying us with excellent new images of some Four Lined Plant Bugs,
Poecilocapsus lineatus.

Four Lined Plant Bug

Four Lined Plant Bug

Hi again~
It occurred to me after I sent these photos that these are not beetles at all, but rather, four-lined plant bugs, as in true bugs and hemipterans, not coleopterans. Sorry for the confusion; earlier today, I was watching a ladybird beetle larva molt into an adult, so I had beetles on the mind.
All the best,
Dori

 

Subject: Is this a stag beetle?
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania (Pittston)
July 1, 2013 8:51 pm
I’m curious if this is a stag beetle and what type it is. This is the 2nd one I’ve seen the past two nights. I’ve been at my home over 10 years now, and this is the 1st time I’ve seen a beetle like this here. The photos are of the one I saw tonight. The one from last night was somewhat larger, and unfortunately, was not able to photograph in time. Since my dog actually found it on our back porch (and got a little pinch), I was wondering if this beetle is harmful to dogs?
Signature: Eric M

Stag Beetle Eyes Penny

Stag Beetle Eyes Penny

Dear Eric,
You are correct.  This is a Reddish Brown Stag Beetle, Lucanus capreolus.  It is a male and it is not harmful to people or pets, but you should be forewarned that he is capable of pinching and it is conceivable that a pinch might draw blood, but rest assured that the Stag Beetle has no toxins nor poisons known to man.  We hope your photo doesn’t start rumors that Stag Beetles and other bugs are responsible for our debt problems, especially given this home invasion.

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Subject: ants collecting honeydew from aphids
Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada
July 1, 2013 6:05 pm
Hello there,
I came across these very busy ants on the weekend. While I knew they collected the sweet secretions from aphids (which I have heard called ”honeydew”), I had never actually seen them in the process. Hopefully in this photo you can make out the aphids and the ants coming and going. This was at the top of a fair-sized thistle. Anyway, I thought you might like it for your collection.
Signature: Alison

Ants and Aphids

Ants and Aphids

Hi Alison,
We don’t know what species of Ant nor Aphid you have.  We are rather fond, though, of the common name often given to Aphids of Ant Cows.

Subject: Bug identificatio
Location: Boise, Idaho
July 1, 2013 3:02 pm
We live in Boise, Idaho and have an infestation of these small bugs. They can fly, but we see them mainly crawling. They are outside, but are also inside our house and camper.
Signature: bugged and curious

Elm Seed Bugs

Elm Seed Bugs

Dear bugged and curious,
This one was almost a stumper because this is a newly reported invasive, exotic species, the Elm Seed Bug,
Arocatus melanocephalus, a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae that was first reported in North America in 2012.  Even BugGuide does not have a photo yet, however, BugGuide does provide this information:  “Detected in sw Idaho, marking the first time it’s been spotted in the U.S. according USDA Native to south-central Europe” and “Invade homes during the summer to escape heat, and then stick around through the winter.”  Finally, BugGuide notes:  “One generation per year and adults overwinter. Doesn’t pose a threat to trees, despite their name — but does tend to enter houses and buildings in huge swarms.”  We generally take our identification needs to BugGuide first as it is such a comprehensive database for North American species, and though we suspected this was some type of Seed Bug, the lack of photo caused us to check other possibilities in vain.  Finally, we just did a web search of “true bug infestation Idaho” and we found a photo and a link to the Barrier Lawn & Pest Inc. commercial site with photos and a description.  There was a common name but no scientific name, and this helpful information is provided:  “The Elm Seed Bug is a new invasive species in Idaho, discovered in the treasure valley in the summer of 2012. … Elm seed bugs originate in south-central Europe, and are closely related in appearance to the Box Elder Bug, the only obvious difference is the size, with Elm Seed Bugs measuring at just under a quarter of an inch. Elm seed bugs are nuisance insects:  They don’t bite or cause damage, but become problematic because of their large numbers and tendency to enter homes. Elm seed bugs overwinter as adults, mate in the spring and lay eggs on elm trees.  The larvae feed on seeds (particularly of elm trees) in May-June, and become adults in the summer.  Like most true bugs, the Elm Seed bug has scent glands that produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.”  Additional searching led us to a pdf fact sheet produced by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture that has extensive information on the Elm Seed Bug.

Subject: Cecropia moths mating?
Location: SW Ontario
July 1, 2013 10:49 am
We found these 2 moths mating on the gate post to our pool. We think the fat one is the female as she has smaller feathered antennae. They have been there since yesterday having a little alone time until we decided to take photos of them (moth porn? LOL)
The close up photo of the female looks like she is smiling. (lucky girl)
Signature: Kristyn

Mating Cecropia Moths

Mating Cecropia Moths

Hi Kristyn,
We never tire of photos of procreating insects and other bugs.  These mating Cecropia Moths make a lovely couple.  We hope she gets to lay her eggs so that you will be treated to future generations of Cecropia Moths.

Female Cecropia Moth:  In flagrante delecto

Female Cecropia Moth: In flagrante delicto