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

Subject: Type of green bug?
Location: San Gabriel valley area
November 27, 2013 2:23 pm
We found about 20 of these bugs (about a quarter of an inch long) among some tomato plants. At first we thought we’d come across ladybug larvae but saw that the casings actually had ”spiky things” (as my 6-year old called it) coming out of them. It’s not until we examined the casings further that we saw these green bugs among the tomato stalks.
My son asked what types of bugs they were (I’m pretty good at identifying most bugs) but this one had me stumped. I thought it was some type of leaf cutter bug, but when I looked it up, all I found were Leaf Cutter Ants.
Thnx!
Signature: ?

Keelbacked Treehopper

Keelbacked Treehopper

The Keelbacked Treehopper, Antianthe expansa, is a significant garden pest on tomato and other plants in the family, including eggplant and peppers.  The spiny insects you describe are the immature nymphs.  Both adults and nymphs have piercing mouthparts adapted to sucking nutrient rich fluids from the plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful bug!
Location: Las Barracas, B.C.S. Mexico
November 27, 2013 3:59 pm
Hi Mr. Bugman,
This beautiful bug was on the ledge of my kitchen window several nights ago. I was fascinated by his front feet which looked feathery or as if he was wearing furry gloves. I am located in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Thanks for any info. you can provide.
Signature: Bajabirdbrain

Longicorn

Longicorn

Dear Bajabirdbrain,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, and we are relatively certain it is is the subfamily Lamiinae. We tried searching BugGuide, but we could not find a conclusive match.  We will continue to try to identify the species for you.  Your individual looks similar to
Acanthoderes giesberti from Cerambycidae Species Details, so we suspect it might be a close relative.  We will seek out an additional opinion.  We simply cannot resist posting identification requests with such positive subject lines like your “Beautiful bug!” subject and we agree with you fully that this Longicorn is a comely specimen.

Longicorn

Longicorn

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this insect
Location: ms
November 27, 2013 5:48 pm
Please help me
Signature: kasie dickerson

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Dear kasie,
This Giant Ichnuemon in the genus
Megarhyssa is commonly called a Stump Stabber because of the method employed by the female when laying eggs.

Update:  April 8, 2014
We are frequently asked if Giant Ichneumons can sting, and we always reply that they cannot.  We just found a fascinating article.  According to Icheumon Wasps by Lloyd Eighme on Skagit.wsu:  “It might frighten you, but if you could watch it long enough you would be amazed at what it does. It lands on the bark of a tree and crawls up and down, tapping with its long antennae, obviously searching for something. Eventually it finds the spot it is looking for and begins to drill into the bark with its long needle-like ovipositor. It has detected the larva of a horntail wasp chewing its tunnel in the wood an inch or more below the surface of the bark. The ovipositor is made up of three stiff threads, hardened by minerals, that fit together with a groove in the center. Vibrating those sharppointed threads forces them into the bark and sapwood of the tree to contact the horntail grub in its tunnel. An egg is forced down the ovipositor to parasitize the grub. If the ichneumon parasite larva killed its host, they would both die, trapped in the solid wood which the parasite is unable to chew. It only feeds on the nonvital organs like the fat body until its host has nearly completed its life cycle and has chewed its way out near the surface of the bark. Then it kills and consumes its host grub and completes its own life cycle to emerge as another giant ichneumon wasp in the genus Megarhyssa (mega=large; rhyssa=tail) to start over again. You can see both Megarhyssa and its horntail wasp host in the MG collection.
People often ask if the ichneumon wasps will sting them with their needle-like ovipositors. The wasps are interested only in laying eggs in caterpillars or other insects, but if you handle a live one it may try to sting you in self-defense. Small ones could not likely penetrate your skin, but larger ones might be able to

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: North Israel
November 29, 2013 8:45 am
Pls help me identify this bug
Signature: R.S Shorrosh

Firebug

Firebug

Dear R.S. Shorrosh,
Your insect is a Red Bug,
Pyrrhocoris apterus, and it is commonly called a Firebug.  According to TrekNature, it “is a common bug in Israel. Its an Euro-Siberian species.  It can be found all over the Mediterranean region in Israel in high densities. It feeds of fruit juice and dead insect haemolymph.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Death’s head hawkmoth
Location: Vereniging, Vaal Triangle, Gauteng, South Africa
November 29, 2013 12:51 am
Dear ’Bugman’
I’m currently a Science teacher in Vereniging, Vaal triangle area and I’ve been a field guide for many years prior to returning to teaching.
One of my learners brought this larvae to me this morning and my first though was that it was the larvae of a lunar moth, but after doing some research on the internet, I’ve noticed that although the lunar moth larvae and the Death’s head Hawkmoth’s larvae look quite similar, they are indeed quite different and I’m quite convinced that it is indeed a Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos) larvae, but I’m not sure about the distribution and I would just like to confirm it and if it is indeed, would you perhaps know what the Afrikaans name is?
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.
Signature: Regards: Cobus

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Cobus,
We concur with your identification of the Hornworm of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos.  There are three species in the genus and they share the common name, and Acherontia atropos is the species found in South Africa.  We do not know the Afrikaans name for this fascinating moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: So Many of these Critters in our Tree!
Location: Brownsville Texas
November 28, 2013 8:02 pm
Howdy from South Texas! I was with my folks on Thanksgiving day and we found hundreds of these critters bunched in large groups on our oak tree. At first we thought they were lady beetles in larvae form but now we’re not sure that’s the case! We have some interesting fights with pests in our garden throughout the year and we were wondering if we should be concerned about this insect or not or if it’s a beneficial critter.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Mike in Brownsville

Twice Stabbed Lady Beetle Larvae and Pupae

Twice Stabbed Lady Beetle Larvae and Pupae

Howdy back at ya Mike,
Your initial instincts were correct.  These sure look to us like the Larvae and Pupae of Twice Stabbed Lady Beetles in the genus
 Chilocorus, a group with spiny larvae.  Here is a matching photo from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they feed upon “Scale insects, especially in trees” and their preferred habitat is “Usually arboreal (in trees) where scale insects are found.”  A comment posted by Eric Eaton to BugGuide states:  “The larvae have the spiny appearance shown here, and the pupae are encased in the last, split larval skin.”  We have included a close crop of one of your photos, and lightened the image to show this feature.  So, you have a beneficial insect population feeding on Scale in the oaks.

Twice Stabbed Lady Beetle Pupa

Twice Stabbed Lady Beetle Pupa

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination