From the monthly archives: "October 2013"

Subject: Bug
Location: South Central Indiana
October 26, 2013 12:55 pm
We found these bugs in some hunting equipment. I believe they came from a pair of antlers with part of the skull and skin still attached. Can you tell us what they are?
Signature: Bugged

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Dear Bugged,
These are the larvae of Carpet Beetles in the family Dermestidae.  Beetle larvae in this family will eat a wide variety of organic materials, including fur, feathers and wool.  Dermestid Beetles are responsible for major losses to museum specimens including taxidermy displays.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: santa fe, new mexico
October 26, 2013 4:08 pm
This one is from a friend in Santa Fe. It didn’t look like you had a photo on your site, so I figured I’d ask if you knew what species it was.
Signature: Patrick

Possibly Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar

Possibly Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Patrick,
This is a Swallowtail Caterpillar, and it might be an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, but considering your location, we think it is more likely the caterpillar of a Two-Tailed Swallowtail.  This image from BugGuide is a nearly perfect match to your individual.  Many caterpillars change color just prior to pupation.  This caterpillar was most likely green until just recently.  The orange color is an indication that it has finished feeding and it is searching for a good location to transform into a chrysalis.

Subject: Tiny, graceful, and apparently not a fairyfly
Location: southern California
October 25, 2013 9:19 pm
Hi again! I’ve written in a few times, and am very grateful for the identifications. I found this little flying beauty on one of my bug walks in southern California today (October 25). It is in a garden; there is a stream nearby, but not immediately proximate to this plant. The insect is about the size of a mosquito. With its long, delicate abdomen, it looked like a fairy to me when it was in flight, but as far as I can tell the term ”fairyfly” is applied to a totally different kind of insect. After spending some time unsure of where to even begin in identifying this lovely creature, I’m conceding defeat. Can you help me?
Signature: Amanda

Possibly Syrphid Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Amanda,
We really wish your photo revealed some individual features of this unusual insect.  The head and eyes look like those of a Fly in the order Diptera, and the body most closely resembles that of a wasp in the order Hymenoptera.  The fly family Syrphidae contains many individuals that mimic stinging Hymenopterans, so that is our best guess.  We were unable to find any matching images on BugGuide, but we did locate two that are somewhat similar, including
Baccha elongata and Pseudodoros clavatus.  Though they look somewhat similar, we are quite certain neither of those is your species.  The hind legs on your individual are very distinctive, which should aid in the correct identification.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton for assistance.

Possibly Syrphid Fly

Robber Fly

Update:  Bee Fly is Another Possibility
We are now entertaining the possibility that this might be a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae as there is a similarity to the genus
Systropus that is pictured on BugGuide.

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
This is actually a robber fly in the subfamily Leptogastrinae.  Most of the genera have this skinny appearance.
Eric

Thanks very much to you and Eric! I had actually briefly entertained the idea of a robber fly because of the way it was hanging, but I just thought it was much too small so I didn’t look closer at that idea. That’s great to know.

 

Subject: Please help me identify
Location: North west province, south africa
October 25, 2013 11:00 am
Hi, I found this creature crawling across my kitchen floor in hartebeespoort South Africa. It had red ’tentacles’ that emitted a nasty odour that it retracted. I figure it is some kind of swallowtail. Can you help me identify the species.
Signature: Jo

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Jo,
This is the caterpillar of a Citrus Swallowtail,
Papilio demodocus, and we are guessing there was a citrus tree nearby.  Like the individual in the link we provided, your individual is most likely searching for a place to begin metamorphosis.  The adult Citrus Swallowtail is a lovely butterfly.  We wish you had been able to provide an image of the osmeterium, the forked scent gland that is characteristic of Swallowtail Caterpillars and other species in the family Papilionidae including this Fuscus Swallowtail Caterpillar from our archives.  This photo from Getty Images identifies the Citrus Swallowtail as being in a different genus, and the name Princeps demodocus may represent a recent taxonomic change.

Thank you for that response. It is great idea you guys have and it’s nice to know there is somewhere one can go to have one’s bug questions answered. Keep well.
Jo

Subject: What is this insect
Location: Maidstone, Kent u.k
October 25, 2013 7:08 am
Found in our home, in langley, Kent. England. Countryside location,
Can you tell me what this insect is?
Signature: ??

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

The Western Conifer Bug is native to the Pacic Northwest, and it was accidentally introduced to Europe early this century.

Subject: What’s that Bug?
Location: Hungary
October 25, 2013 2:47 pm
Hello! I’m looking for a bug name. Mostly I find this bug in the warmer rooms, it can fly. I think this is a cockroach, if so, what kind? I uploaded three photos. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Attila

Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Hi Attila,
Your photos are quite blurry, but the insects are unmistakably Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae, and they are most likely Western Conifer Seed Bugs,
Leptoglossus occidentalis, a species native to the Pacific Northwest which greatly expanded its range across North America, no doubt with the help of traveling humans.  In the early years of the 21st Century, it was also reported to have become established in Northern Europe.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often enter homes to hibernate when the weather cools.