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

Subject: Friend or Foe?
Location: Southern Plains
August 26, 2013 4:54 pm
I was outside tending to my raised bed vegetable gardens last week when I encountered this fascinating bug. It hovered over my yellow squash and cucumber plants several times so I was able to grab my camera and get at least one good picture of it. I’ve never seen anything like it so I’m curious to know what it is and if it is a beneficial garden predator.
Signature: PlanetZoo

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear PlanetZoo,
This is a Squash Vine Borer, a moth that mimics a wasp.  The larvae bore in the stems of squash and other related plants including cucumbers, so we have to go with foe in the vegetable garden.

Thank you ever so much for your quick reply and help!
I have much to learn yet about the fascinating world of bugs and veggie gardening, as well as how best to navigate your invaluable website!
Hope you have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: spider in my backyard
Location: burton michigan
August 26, 2013 5:49 pm
I hope you can help me out by telling me what kind of spider this is I have about 7 of them in my backyard
Signature: jim mogie

Spined Micrathena

Spined Micrathena

Hi Jim,
We matched the color pattern of your Spined Micrathena,
Micrathena gracilis, a highly variable species, to this photo on BugGuide.  Your photograph, with its bold color pattern and astute division of space, is very beautiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Port Sheldon Michigan
August 26, 2013 8:45 am
My neighbor was outside cutting the grass, she shrieked when she saw this on her brick patio. We have never seen a red and blue stiped caterpillar! Today is Aug 26, 2013. End of summer here in Michigan… We live on Lake Michigan and see lots of interesting bugs but this is a new one! I’m sending a picture and a video because he was using all his legs… Maybe eating something?
Signature: Milli

Millipede

Millipede

Hi Milli,
It is with the greatest of glee that we inform you of your namesake, a Millipede or Thousand Legger.  We will try to determine the species at a later time as we are just taking a break from stitching a seam.

Millipede L7

Millipede L7

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Male Pale Snaketail
Location: Grand Teton, Wyoming
August 22, 2013 4:15 pm
Dear Daniel~
Based upon coloration and range data, I believe I’ve identified this dragonfly (in Grand Teton National Park) as a male Pale Snaketail. Comparing it with the one on your site, it looks to be the same. would you agree? Thanks so much!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Male Pale Snaketail

Male Pale Snaketail

Hi Dori,
Thanks for you wonderful image of possibly a male Pale Snaketail,
Ophiogomphus severus, which looks like the individuals posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Very large roach-like beetle?
Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
August 26, 2013 6:02 pm
Hi! I am in the panhandle of Florida, right on the coast. Today I was very surprised to find what looked like the Mother of All Cockroaches outside of my office. The bug was about 3.5”-4” long and very wide- about 1”-1.25”. He had very thick legs and had wings. He looked very much like a cockroach except for his slightly curled, droopy antennae. I think he was injured (he was in the same spot most of the day) so I didn’t get to see how he moved. Also, sorry for not getting anything in the picture for scale – I was too terrified!
I hope you can help me. Thanks!
Signature: Natalie

Possibly Hardwood Stump Borer

Possibly Hardwood Stump Borer

Hi Natalie,
We wish you had a better view of the head and mandibles on this impressive beetle.  This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the subfamily Prioninae, but we cannot be certain of the species.  Based on the antennae and the thoracic region, it most closely resembles the Hardwood Stump Borer,
Mallodon dasystomus, which you can view on BugGuide.

Thank you for responding! Very interesting!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mexican moth?
Location: Mexico city
August 26, 2013 11:51 am
This winged beauty was found in my garden on August 24. Before dark it had expired. I took two pictures-before and after it passed. The wings are rather mangled and it had a difficult time fluttering about. The previous day it had rained continuously, but the afternoon was sunny and breezy. I took the picture in my roofgarden in the middle of Mexico city.
Signature: Monica

Giant Silkmoth:  Copaxa species

Giant Silkmoth: Copaxa lavandera

Dear Monica,
This is a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae, and we believe it is in the genus
Copaxa.  It most closely resembles either Copaxa lavendera or Copaxa lavenderojaliscensis.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion, and we suspect he may request permission to use your photo on his own website.

Bill Oehlke Confirms ID
Hi Daniel,
It could be Copaxa lavendera or Copaxa lavenderojalicensis.  I am not sure
if the new (2010) species (lavenderojaliscensis) will stand the test of
time.
I think only DNA barcoding analysis can be used to “accurately” distinguish
between the two species, and it may be that the parameters for determining
new species have been set too low regarding degree of difference for
determination of new species. In other words I would not be surprised if
lavenderojaliscensis is really just a slight DNA variation of lavender and
should be synonymized with that species.
Bill Oehlke
I will post it on WLSS as lavendera.

Daniel,
If you can find the elevation for this species, it might help to determine
between lavenderojalicensis and lavendera.
Do you have name of photographer? And contact info.
Bill

Monica responds
Dear Daniel and Bill
Wow! I am exited. You should know I sent it to you ID page on a whim, for I had already reported it to iNaturalist.org.
Re your questions: I am a Biologist and specialized on marine and wetland birds, but having lost my job a couple of years ago as technical adviser on wetlands for the federal government, I started paying more attention to my roofgarden.
I have a lot of different plant species: orchids, cacti, herbs, strawberries, among tomatoes, peas, squash, green and red tomatoes, Ficus trees, wild Mexican cherries (capulines), limes and mandarins, and many other edible and ornamental plants. I will attach a view of the garden. I have been cultivating it for the past 20 years.
I am a block away from Insurgentes Ave., the main road crossing Mexico city. You could say I am in the middle of the city. Not many green area near by, but most streets are planted with trees.
The month of August has been unusually mild and rainy. Just yesterday it rained the whole day, probably on account of a storm system in Oaxaca and Veracruz. This has been a good year for butterflies, probably due to the zinnias I planted this year, which have attracted many butterflies.
The moth in question I saw around noon past Saturday as we were getting ready for a birthday celebration. I could not believe my eyes when I discovered the specimen. It was alive, perched on an agave, probably A. variegata. I watched it for about an hour and wondered what it was doing at that time of day in such an exposed location. Around fourish it started fluttering about the garden, but seemed confused, flying low, not staying anywhere more than a few seconds. I left to attend my guests and about an hour latter it was flat on the flour. It seemed dead. So, I picked it up, took another series of pictures and left it for Mother Nature to take care of –in the shade of a potted lime tree. When I came back on Tuesday to check on it, it had disappeared. I thought maybe a bird or ants had taken care of it.
You may certainly make use of the images I took. My name is Monica Herzig and I live in Mexico City. Elevation at the site is circa 2240 m above sea level. If you check my report on iNaturalist.org you will find a map with the exact location, including coordinates.
Please keep me abreast with your findings. I have been visited by unusual species, including invasive ladybugs, and the Biologist inside me wants to scream climate change, climate change; thus, I would love to know more about this sighting.
Best regards,
Mónica Herzig (M.Sc.)

Dear Daniel and Bill
i went to this site in search for “my” moth
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Taxbrowser_Taxonpage?taxon=Copaxa%20lavendera
I was not aware there was such a variety of coloration for the species. Of all the images depicted there, the 2 images that most resemble my specimen are herewith attached. I would think that the specimen ending in <164> looks more like my moth only because both have a double wave-like design on their hind wings. In terms of the shade of fawn-colored wing surface, I would go with specimen <140>.
The valley of Mexico is surrounded by the Neovolcanic mountain system and the states of Puebla, Hidalgo, Edo. de Mexico, Tlaxcala and Morelos all all interconnected. I read the species is found from Mexico southward all the way to Peru. I would assume it in of Neotropical origin. Where can I find more info on its habitat preferences, breeding and behavioral habits?
Thank you for any info you may send my way. Best regards,
Mónica

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination