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

Subject: What type. Of bug is this
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
August 25, 2013 11:41 am
I don’t recall ever seeing this before. It’s about 1.5 in (2” including wings
Signature: Donna

Annual Cicada

Annual Cicada

Hi Donna,
Annual Cicadas in the genus
Tibicen like your individual are often mistaken for large flies.  Annual Cicadas are sometimes called Dog Day Harvestflies.  They make a loud sound like a buzz saw that can be heard in the trees in mid to late summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasitic larvae explode from lizard a la Alien
Location: Gainesville, Fl
August 25, 2013 8:49 am
So my friend found an ailing lizard (Anolis carolinensis) yesterday in north-central Florida. He thought it might die, so he took it with him in some sort of rescue attempt. Anyway, he looks at it an hour later, the lizard was dead, and the small black dot behind the lizard’s front leg had exploded into a gaping hole filled with large wriggling larvae of some sort. It certainly appears as though they were trying to escape after their host had died. He knew I’m into reptiles, so he showed it to me. The lizard was quite familiar, but the parasites less so. They look kind of like maggots to me, but most fly maggots are in dead things, when these were clearly inside the living lizard and killed it.
Signature: lizard guy

Lizard with Maggots

Lizard with Maggots

Dear lizard guy,
We agree that these look like maggots, but we do not know of any flies that parasitize lizards.  We will continue to do some research, but we are posting your letter and photos in the hope that one of our readers can come to our assistance.

Maggots emerge from Lizard

Maggots emerge from Lizard

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Katy-Did type bug?
Location: Montreal Canada
August 25, 2013 7:17 am
Hi, i’m from Montreal, Qc, Canada and i found this bug last night in bathroom and took picture.
I released it afterwards so I hope it’s a beneficial insect…and not a pest. Please give me good news?
Thank you very much! Melina, Montreal.
Signature: Melina

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Melina,
This is a Tree Cricket in the genus
Oecanthus, and like Katydids, they are classified in the suborder Ensifera with other longhorned Orthopterans.  Though they feed on leaves, we consider Tree Crickets to be benign as they do not get plentiful enough to defoliate trees and shrubs.  They are also insect musicians, so if you enjoy the sounds of the night, they are beneficial.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd Moth in Maryland
Location: Central Maryland, USA
August 25, 2013 11:04 am
Bugman, this odd looking moth-like bug looks like a mix between two bug types. Thought it may be a adult antlion but couldn’t find anything like it in my books or on your great web site. I’ve not seen anything like it before-any insights?
Signature: Roger S.

Band-Winged Grasshopper

Band-Winged Grasshopper

Hi Roger,
This is a Band-Winged Grasshopper in the subfamily Oedipodinae.  According to BugGuide:  “Most species of this subfamily, as implied by the common name, have a dark band crossing the hind wing somewhere between the middle and outer margin, most have the basal part (or “disc”) of the wing colored. A few species have entirely dark or clear hind wings. The relative placement and shape of the dark band, as well as the color of the base is often of great help in identifying the species. The pronotum usually has a median ridge, and sometimes aditional lateral ridges, that vary in height and whether cut or not (and in how many times cut). Many make crackling, buzzing, or ticking sounds when they fly (crepitate). ”  The Band-Winged Grasshoppers are camouflaged against the dirt and dried vegetation when they are at rest.  Upon flying, they flash their banded hindwings which are then hidden again when they alight.  Any predator is searching for the brightly colored meal it spotted, but the resting Band-Winged Grasshopper is safe as long as it doesn’t take flight again.

Daniel, thank you for the quick and thorough response.  I would never have guessed it was a grasshopper the way it had the wings spread out!  Guess it was on its last legs in life and thus was laying flat.  Thanks for posting my picture onto the site, looks like a great addition to all of your wonderful reference pictures already there.
Roger S.
Severn, Maryland

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crickets in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 22, 2013
Daniel,
A couple of quick questions.
Growing up on Mt. Washington,  I was often lulled to sleep in the summer months by the hundreds of crickets in the open lot above our home.  When I purchased the family home in the early 90’s,  not only were the crickets absent, so were butterflies, bees, birds and damn near everything after the malathion spraying.
I occasionally hear some crickets in the evening, but not often.  I’d like to repopulate, but before I take any type of action, thought I would check in.  I can’t seem to find any real information on whether crickets are invasive,  pest like,  damaging to flora or any other real info.  I see that Mole crickets are a pest.
What are your thoughts?
Also saw an interesting insect this evening hovering around an outside light.  Very lacy, silver gray in color, perhaps 1 1/2 inches long, with a build very, very similar to a dragonfly.  Didn’t have a camera handy, but I will keep an eye open for it again.
Thanks,
Doug Nickel

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Doug,
The two “singing” insects we find in our Mount Washington garden with frequency are Tree Crickets and Katydids.  We would not release pet store crickets in your yard.  We were going to provide you with links to What’s That Bug?, but it appears there is technical difficulty right now.

Male Scudder's Bush Katydid

Male Scudder’s Bush Katydid

Update:  August 25, 2013
Well, we managed to create a post and provide some links.  We will check with Julian Donahue regarding other Crickets or musical insects in Mount Washington.

Julian Donahue responds
While Kathy and I enjoy hearing the tree crickets on warm evenings, I haven’t spent any time figuring out the other crickets I occasionally see–sometimes I see some that look like field crickets, but are more slender. And sometimes I find camel crickets drowned in the pool, but these are incapable of producing any sound.
Julian

Update:  September 29, 2013
Daniel,
Thanks for the note.  I alway appreciate your replies.  And am very glad to have such a knowledgeable Mt. Washington neighbor.
In all my years living in Mt. Washington 1963 til 1983 and 1992 to present, I don’t ever recall seeing a Tree Cricket.  I’ll keep my eyes open in the future.  In regard to the Bush Katydid,  unless they turn brown and have short antennae,  I’ve never seen any of those over here on Crane either.
However I have seen common house crickets and I am telling you prior to the Malathion disaster (may those public servants roast in hell) the entire 5 lots behind us sang every night with house crickets.
Do you think there might be various pockets around the hill.
Honestly, when I was a kid the hill behind us sang every night in the summer. On and off since we moved back, but not like in the 1960’s – 1970’s.
What’s your take?
Thanks.
Doug

Hi Doug,
Charles Hogue lists both the native black Field Cricket,
Gryllus species, and the brown European House Cricket, Acheta domesticus, as living in the Los Angeles area.  We haven’t really noticed either in Mount Washington, however the European House Cricket is the species sold in pet stores.  Were your childhood crickets black Field Crickets or Brown House Crickets?  As an aside, while living in Glassell Park in the early 1980s, we did have a Field Cricket take up residence in the drain of the bathroom sink.  It would “sing” whenever the water was turned on.  We were careful not to run the water too hot or too hard so that the cricket wouldn’t get scalded or washed away.  It lived in the bathroom for several weeks.  If there were Field Crickets in Glassell Park, we cannot imagine them not being found in adjacent Mount Washington.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flame Skimmer (Libellula Saturata)
Location: Northern part of Grand Tetons National Park
August 6, 2013 9:24 pm
Greetings!
My family and I just got back from a vacation to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park. True to form, I think I took more pictures of insects (and the occasional arachnid) than anything else- they have a rather different crop of bugs out west than we do in our native Missouri. My favorite was this handsome skimmer. He looked like amber in the bright sunlight, and though several of his relatives were zipping about, he was the only one near enough to the bank for me to snap his photo. I had to balance precariously on a small rock in a rapids below a waterfall to do so, though, inching the camera ever-so-slowly closer to keep him from darting off.
Anyway, after a thorough scouring of BugGuide and WTB, I think I’ve got him pinned down as a male Flame Skimmer (Libellula Saturata). I always enjoy WTB, and I hope you enjoy this picture!
Signature: Most sincerely, Helen

Flame Skimmer

Flame Skimmer

Hi Helen,
Thank you for your lovely photo of a Flame Skimmer and your detailed letter.  We were away from the office when you submitted this and we are just now catching up on a bit of unanswered mail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination