From the monthly archives: "November 2013"

Subject: Honey bee?
Location: Houston, TX
November 23, 2013 7:53 pm
I put a log on the fire and, sadly, it was inhabited by this bee. It was stuck in the fireplace screen and when I tried to remove it, it’s head fell off. I tried to put it back together. It seems larger and darker than a regular honey bee, but not quite a bumblebee. Suggestions? Thanks!
Signature: treyzmama

Leaf-Cutting Bee

Leaf-Cutting Bee

Dear treyzmama,
This appears to be a Leaf-Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile.  According to BugGuide:  “Most nest in pre-existent holes in wood. Female typically cuts neat, more-or-less round pieces out of leaves to serve as separators between cells of nest.”  There was most likely a nest in the log you threw on the fire.

Subject: Moth ID
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
November 19, 2013 12:48 pm
I was in January 2013 in Costa Rica and saw a lot of bugs.
I search the net and bought some books but still didn’t find all the names.
Maybe you can help me with the determination of a few species.
This Arctiidae spec I found in Monteverde, january 2013 Costa Rica
Signature: ?

Dirphia horcana we believe

Dirphia horcana we believe

This is not an Arctiid, but rather a Saturniid or Giant Silkmoth.  We visited The World’s Largest Saturniidae Site and we believe it is Dirphia horcana.  You may view a mounted specimen on Lepidoptera Pro.  We will try to contact Bill Oehlke for confirmation.

It is a Dirphia horcana female.
Dirphia subhorca females have brown lower wings while female horcana have orange underwings.
I would like permission to post this one so can you give me contact info. Very nice photo
Thanks ,

Subject: identification
Location: jeffersonville, indiana ohio valley
November 22, 2013 11:07 am
Hi bugman!
a friend found this sucker outside her door a couple nights in a row. at some point it managed to sneak into her house. personally i think it is someone’s pet that has gotten loose as i have not been able to find any indigenous species that are quite right. its body was about 4 inches in length not counting legs or antenna. she also said it reached up toward her when she tried to scoop it up and out of the house. she joked that it tried to punch her!
Signature: BUGMAN!!!

Wheel Bug, we believe

Wheel Bug, we believe

Though your photo is lacking in detail, this appears to us to be a Wheel Bug, the largest of the predatory North American Assassin Bugs, and we challenge the claim that it was four inches in length.  Two inches is a much closer estimate of its exact size.  The Ohio Birds and Biodiversity website has a wonderful profile on the Wheel Bug.


Subject: Butterflies Costa Rica
November 22, 2013 10:41 am
Where can I legally collect butterflies in Costa Rica as a tourist.  Visiting in December.
I know I cannot catch them in the National Parks.  Are there areas where it is ok?
Signature: Tor Bredal

Hi Tor,
We don’t know the answer to your question.  Since we do not endorse the collection of insects for anything but scientific purposes, we will not research this matter, but we would urge you to consult with customs prior to your trip.  Though you may be able to locate someone with private property who permits collecting insects, leaving Costa Rica with potentially protected insects and returning to you native land with contraband might result in criminal detainment.

Hi Daniel
Are you telling me that all butterflies collected in Costa Rica are potentially protected
Best regards

Hi again Tor,
We are not saying that.  We do not know the laws for collecting within Costa Rica or for passing through customs, but we would not want you to be detained for trying to export insects.  There is big money in contraband protected butterflies.  Our friend Julian Donahue, the lepidopterist, always secured government permission prior to collecting on trips.  We are urging you to research this matter thoroughly.  We will contact Julian to see if he can provide a comment to this posting.

Thank you that would be very helpful. The Costa Rican Embassy in Norway did not know anything. I know much about Red List and which ones that are threatened. To apply for a permission would be of interest.
Best regards

Julian Donahue explains butterfly importation restrictions
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for overseeing the importation of animals and their products (the Department of Agriculture oversees the importation of plants and plant products). All such items must be declared upon re-entering the U.S.; if the Customs Inspector finds undeclared items, you will be referred to the wildlife officer and subject to confiscation and/or legal action. Permits are generally required in advance if wildlife items are being imported for commercial purposes.

The Fish and Wildlife Service enforces foreign laws: if a permit is required to collect in and/or export from the country of origin (regardless of what the local residents may tell you to the contrary), then you will have to produce that documentation when entering the U.S. Otherwise, your specimens may be confiscated.

Regardless of whether the country of origin requires permits to collect and/or export, a Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife Form 3-177 must be filled out; the form is available online at:

A quick Google search (which also showed this very What’s That Bug post on the first page) produced information on obtaining permits for scientific research, but nothing that specifically applies to avocational/recreational collecting. You may want to view these pages, however, which have contact information that will allow you to pursue this question further with the various Costa Rican authorities:

Although I am not aware of any Costa Rican butterflies that are on any official lists of protected species, travelers should be aware that many fish and wildlife products are prohibited from entry into the U.S. I recently visited a USFWS warehouse in Denver, Colorado, that was crammed to the rafters with confiscated wildlife, from furs and feathers to bags full of purses made from toads, and shelves full of turtles, coral, seashells–and butterflies!. For further information on items that may be prohibited, see

Additional information may be obtained from the USFWS Office of Law Enforcement


Subject: Lovely Ontario Spider
Location: South Mountain, Ontario, Canada
November 21, 2013 1:42 pm
I’ve been watching a lovely (I’m assuming) mama spider all summer/fall as she made a magnificent web on my front porch. She always hung out by the ceiling, so I let her be. She was/is huge and I am quite impressed with her. I wondered if she was a Sac Spider, but that’s just based on Google Image, which also showed pictures of snakes when I typed in ”Spiders of Ontario”… About a month ago, I noticed that she disappeared so I wished her well and hoped she survived the winter. I’m in South Mountain, Ontario, Canada – half an hour north of the St. Lawrence River and the NY border. I got home from shopping today and she was back, climbing up my front door frame. So I grabbed my camera and caught her magnificence. Her body & head are about an inch long and when walking, her legs stretch out to be about 3 inches. She has four spots on her back, but they are also little indents, almost like someone used a pin in dough. Three of t hem can be seen in the photo, the one that is hard to see is a smaller one on the top left corner of her pattern.
To give you an idea of our climate, right now it is hovering around 0 degrees (Celsius) and going below zero at night. Do you know what kind of spider she is? Will she survive the winter? I think she’s lovely, so I do hope so.
Thanks for any info.
Signature: Fiona



Hi Fiona,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  The spiders in this family build a classic orb web and they remain in the web to snare prey.  They are not considered dangerous, though large individuals might bite.  Female Orbweavers are often much larger than their mates.  Orbweavers live a single season, and they mature in the autumn, when they are largest and most visible.  We apologize, but we do not feel comfortable taking the identification of your spider to the species level.

Subject: Am I now to evolve into one?
Location: Brisbane City Australia 4000
November 21, 2013 3:00 pm

So. Yesterday

well you see. I live in Brisbane

Anyway. I wanted a KFC chicken leg

You know Kentucky Fried with the eleven herbs etc

Well I Sat on a chair at the Transit centre eatery Roma street

Felt a sharp pain like glass

thought to myself. well. I’m sitting in a chair ,,,so I ignored it. Till!


reaching around at my but and crunch!

stood bolt upright and looked at the chair. Nothing ?

It was then I saw it move

A bug on the weave of the chair

It’s grey colour didn’t disguise it.

After I looked up

I then took some photos of it

* i’ve then called out to the clearer

She snapped up the bug with a napkin

Said sorry about that and went to walk away

• I said hey I’ll have that

She put a handout and dropped the serviette into mine

It was then I got a close-up look at the bugger as I unwrapped him. Ok and or her

Not yet dead but is now

So yes I still use still have this bug (not living)

And even now using my iphone and with a double tap on in the screen the close up images of this thing give me the creeps

Tell me

Am I now to evolve into one?


Signature: Wes

Stink Bug Nymph

Stink Bug Nymph

Dear Wes,
This is an immature Stink Bug, and we are not certain of the species, but you may search the Brisbane Insect website to determine a more specific identity for the culprit.  We are amused that your clearer snatched the critter away.  Perhaps she was worried about litigious action against KFC.  Generally, we state that Stink Bugs are harmless, but we have heard it said that “If it has a mouth, it can bite.”  Stink Bugs have mouths designed for piercing and sucking nutrients, generally from plants, but your first hand experience indicates that they might bite humans.  We did assume you were human.  Can you please clarify that.

Thanks for the info Daniel aka Bug Guy
To answer you question till this point I do receive a lot of feedback to the contrary as to my being
How ever I am alive and in the land of the living
And. I will most defiantly solider on
Guess I will let “The Bug Thing” rest for now
My bite. As you say it must be ,has healed without No marks
Took a day and a bit
But. Hey. I’m cool
Thanks again
Wes – Brisbane