From the daily archives: "Thursday, December 19, 2013"

Subject: Insect emergence
Location: North Florida
December 15, 2013 8:17 pm
Hi! This looks like an emergence of insects from the sack that looks like a twig. The sack is attached to a cement block wall of my mom’s house near Jacksonville, FL. I wasn’t able to find any other pictures like this on my Google search. I thought they might be spiders but I’m not sure. Can you help?
Signature: Donna

Newly hatched Leaf Footed Bugs

Newly hatched Leaf Footed Bugs

Dear Donna,
These are newly hatched True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera, and hatchlings may be difficult to identify to the species level.  With that said, we believe these are newly hatched Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae, and there is a photo on BugGuide of hatchlings identified as being in the genus
Leptoglossus that looks very much like your image.  There are several members from the genus in Florida.

Subject: BUG IN MY NEW APARTMENTS
Location: scarborough, Ontario, Canada
December 15, 2013 2:40 pm
Hi guys!!
Okay so I moved into a new basement apartment yesterday (its December and quite cold) When I first walked in I saw about 4 of these bugs dead in a small spider web. so I just cleaned it up and thought of nothing since the apartment had been vacant for about a month. Then last night I saw about 4 more of these bugs walking. I killed them. I didn’t see any this morning, but then after I had breakfast I saw 3 more in the bedroom. One of which was crawling out from under the baseboard. I need to know what this is. Im afraid I have an infestation and I just moved in. I don’t know what this is though. I hope you can help.
Signature: Tania

Woodlouse

Woodlouse

Hi Tania,
This is a Woodlouse, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
 Porcellio spinicornis thanks to photos posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, these Woodlice are found:  “wherever cool, dark, moist places are available to shelter woodlice from dryness and heat during the day.”  Your basement apartment fits that description.  Woodlice are benign and they will not harm you, your pets, your apartment or its furnishings.  They may be a nuisance if they are plentiful, but they are basically benign creatures.

Subject: insect found on back porch
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
December 15, 2013 6:14 pm
Is it possible to identify the insect in the picture
Signature: Gary T. Schenk

Millipede

Millipede

Hi Gary,
This is a Millipede, and it is not an insect.  Insects have three pairs of legs and Millipedes, which belong to the class Diplopoda, have from 47 to 375 pairs of legs, according to BugGuide.  Millipedes generally feed on decaying plant material.  They roll into a ball to defend themselves as your one image illustrates.

Millipede

Millipede

Daniel
Thank you very much
Merry Christmas to you and yours
Gts

 

Subject: chrysalis
Location: Sidney, Maine
December 19, 2013 4:31 am
My friend’s son touched the cocoon and pretty quickly developed contact dermatitis. We’re wondering what butterfly/moth/something else? makes this cocoon.
Signature: Julia Hanauer-Milne

Possibly an Asp Cocoon

Hickory Tussock Moth Cocoon

Hi Julia,
It might not be possible for us to provide an accurate species identification based on your somewhat blurry image of a cocoon in a plastic bag, but we will try to provide you with some explanation.  Many furry caterpillars have utricating hairs that can cause irritation, especially in sensitive individuals.  Many of those caterpillars also use the hairs when spinning a cocoon to protect the pupa.  A chrysalis is the the pupa of a butterfly and this is definitely not a butterfly.  Furry caterpillars are generally moth caterpillars.  The Asp or Caterpillar of a Southern Flannel Moth is one that comes to mind, however, this species is generally found in Southern states.  BugGuide does have a photo of the cocoon and the pupa housed inside, and they look somewhat similar to your photo.  BugGuide reports the genus from as far north as New York, but BugGuide also provides this disclaimer:  “The information below is based on images submitted and identified by contributors. Range and date information may be incomplete, overinclusive, or just plain wrong.”
  We would not entirely discount that this cocoon belongs to an Asp, but considering your location, that is probably unlikely.  Bangor Daily News has an online article warning of the stinging Hickory Tussock Caterpillar, Lophocampa caryae, which states:  ” [Charlene] Donahue [forest entomologist with the Department of Conservation] advised people to leave the caterpillar alone because of the possibility of a reaction. They also should be cautious when cleaning up leaf litter on the ground since any hairs left behind by the caterpillar also could cause problems with some people, she added. She recommended that people wear gloves when cleaning up yards.  Some people aren’t bothered by the caterpillar but others could have a reaction that ranges from a mild to fairly severe rash, according to Donahue.  ‘It’s like poison ivy,’ she said.”   That article does not picture the cocoon.  The cocoon of the Hickory Tussock Moth pictured on BugGuide looks like a very close match to your cocoon, and considering the attention it has been getting in Maine lately, we believe that is a proper identification.

Subject: S. Texas Caterpillar
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
December 19, 2013 6:47 am
For the past two months, I have been finding the caterpillars wandering my property on the ground, on plants, on buildings and nestled in the crevices of my trash cans. They are intriguing with their long groups of white hairs protruding out.
Is this a dangerous caterpillar, or nothing to worry about?
Signature: Tim Weitzel

Possibly Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Possibly Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Tim,
This is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Halysidota, however we don’t believe it is either the Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota tessellaris, or the Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota harrisii, both of which are represented in our archives.  In our opinion, it most closely resembles the Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota cinctipes, which you can view on BugGuide.  Carelessly handling this caterpillar might result in contact dermatitis, however this is not a species that is generally listed among caterpillars with stinging spines or utricating hairs.