From the daily archives: "Wednesday, December 4, 2013"

Subject: Is this a Wooly Bear Caterpillar
Location: North Louisiana
December 3, 2013 6:07 am
We live in North Louisiana and found this bug on our porch on Dec. 2nd. The thing that is confusing is if it’s a caterpillar why does it have wings up behind it’s head? Would appreciate any help with identifying it.
Signature: J King

Freshly Emerged Buck Moth

Freshly Emerged Buck Moth

Hi J. King,
This is not a Woolly Bear.  It is a recently metamorphosed Buck Moth in the genus
Hemileuca and its wings have not yet expanded.  When they emerge from the pupa, many moths bear a strong resemblance to caterpillars, but once the wings expand, few people are likely to continue to see the resemblance.  Buck Moths get their common name because they fly very late in the fall and they are often encountered by hunters during deer season.

Thank you so much for identifying this moth – I have never seen one before and it was a thrill.  We did get to see it after it developed more but missed it when it flew away.

Subject: Panoploscelis?
Location: Ecuador
December 3, 2013 11:47 pm
Found this bug in my jardin.
Ecuador, Baños de Agua Santa
Thanks!
Signature: Leona

Possibly Lobster Katydid

Katydid

Dear Leona,
This is definitely a Katydid, but we cannot say for certain that it is a Lobster Katydid in the genus
Panoploscelis.  We will try to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can confirm its identity.  Your individual is a female as evidenced by her swordlike ovipositor.  Your individual does look very much like the Lobster Katydid pictured on VisualPhotos.

Piotr Naskrecki provides identification
Hi Daniel,
No, this is not Panoploscelis. It is a nymph of a species from the tribe Cocconotini (Pseudophyllinae), but hard to say which genus.
Cheers,
Piotr

Subject: Daniel – Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars
Location: Hawthorne, CA
December 3, 2013 7:34 pm
Hi Daniel,
We have seven Monarch Butterfly caterpillars as of today and wanted to share some photos with you. There were more, but we can’t figure out what happened to them. Maybe wasps, or goldfinches?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Good Morning Anna,
What a nice cheerful posting you have provided for us this morning.  We believe Goldfinches are seed eaters, so if there is predation, we would suspect wasps to be the culprits.  We planted some cosmos seeds already and they are beginning to sprout.

Wonderful!  Thanks for letting me know that the goldfinches aren’t eating my caterpillars.  I so enjoy putting out Nyjer seed for them in the winter.
Anna

Subject: grasshopper
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
December 2, 2013 12:25 pm
Hi!
Any information you can give me would be really appreciated and help me with my project of gathering words in the Zapotec language.
The following pictures were taken in the town of San Cristobal Amatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico on December 7, 2011. The grasshopper body measures about 1.5 centimeters, the back legs are maybe 2 (centimeters or longer). The back is brown, the ovipositor green striped with black. Legs are blue, orange, and yellow. The face and antenae are blue, eyes are brown. Very pretty!
Signature: Chivis

Grasshopper Nymph

Grasshopper Nymph

Hi Chivis,
Based on the size of this individual and its lack of wings, we believe this is a nymph.  What you are calling its striped ovipositor is actually its abdomen.  Sadly, we did not find any images in our web searching that match your individual, however we did find many photos of Chapulines, Grasshoppers that are roasted and prepared as food in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We don’t normally link to Wikipedia, but in searching for a link on Chapulines, our other numerous choices were blogs, many of which might not be reliable, so we made an exception.  We don’t believe your Grasshopper is the species that is eaten, but there may be numerous species that are eaten.  We looked through many images of living Grasshoppers from Mexico, and we cannot provide an identification for you.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck.

Grasshopper from Oaxaca

Grasshopper from Oaxaca

What is the Zapotec word for Grasshopper?  Is there a verbal distinction between the living Grasshopper and the roasted treat?  Though we are not certain if your species is one of the Grasshoppers popularly consumed in Oaxaca, we suspect it is probably edible and we are tagging it as an Edible Insect.

Grasshopper from Oaxaca

Grasshopper from Oaxaca

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for trying! I guess I’ll have to just say “type of grasshopper”. In this particular Zapotec there are a number of words indicating the particular kind of grasshopper: xench, kik, mbeso, ngwxiix, ngwley yer, ngwley nil, yeramas, ngsok, mbertang, mberzeyy. The one I asked you about is ngwley nil. I don’t know if this particular type is edible or not. I’ll have to ask when I get a chance. Some people in the Amatlan area do eat certain grasshoppers but it isn’t common.
Thanks for setting me straight regarding the abdomen. Ha ha. Obviously, I’m not very good when it comes to insects.
Chivis