From the monthly archives: "December 2013"

Subject: cateplillar with eyes to scare predators?
Location: gurgaon,india
December 1, 2013 8:41 am
We found this caterpillar in our garden- Gurgaon, India…and it looked beautiful and scary at first sight!!if there is one, does it mean there will be others too in our garden? in fact we saw another green with black strips ( pic-3) caterpillars in our garden!!
Our 8 year old daughter- Arushi- clicked these pictures….and we are very keen to find out more about them( both caterpillars )
Thanks
Signature: Arushi

Swallowtail Caterpiller

Swallowtail Caterpiller

Hello again Arushi,
Your second caterpillar is a Swallowtail Caterpillar, and in our opinion it is one of the species that feeds on the leaves of citrus trees.  Your photo does not have enough detail for a definite species identification, but we believe this is one of two species.  It is either a Lime Butterfly,
Papilio demoleus malayanus, or a Common Mormon, Papilio polytes.

Subject: cateplillar with eyes to scare predators?
Location: gurgaon,india
December 1, 2013 8:41 am
We found this caterpillar in our garden- Gurgaon, India…and it looked beautiful and scary at first sight!!if there is one, does it mean there will be others too in our garden? in fact we saw another green with black strips ( pic-3) caterpillars in our garden!!
Our 8 year old daughter- Arushi- clicked these pictures….and we are very keen to find out more about them( both caterpillars )
Thanks
Signature: Arushi

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Arushi,
Do you have any oleander growing in your garden?  This is a common shrub planted in many gardens that have a climate without low or freezing winter temperatures.  It is the caterpillar of the Oleander Hawkmoth,
Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii, and you are absolutely correct about the eyespots being effective deterrents against predation, especially from birds.  We are creating two distinct postings for your caterpillars so that categorization will be simplified.

Subject: Unknown bug ….to me!
Location: See letter above:  Tootgarook on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
November 30, 2013 10:54 pm
Hi, my name is Annie. On November 28, 2013 , at 3.50 pm, I noticed this bug on my plant. I have never seen it before and some research work came up with nothing similar at all. I posted a photo on Instagram in the hope someone could tell me, but so far no one does, even though several people have joint me in the research, lol! The back part of its body is bright yellow and black, and it appears to have some water blisters on it’s back., not rain drops as it was a dry and sunny day. The front part of its body is a reddish-dark brown and shiny, it has hairs all over its legs and upper body, and it reared up as in self-defence when I came closer. This bug was found in my garden in Tootgarook on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia . The photo I included is taken with a zoom lens, and is pretty much enlarged to its full capacity. Hope it is still good enough for you to identify this bug, lol! Thank you so much for your willingness to look into this kind of things, it is quite fascinating to get to know bugs better!
Kind regards: Annie.
Signature: Annie J Den Boer

Flightless Female Flower Wasp:  Thynnus species

Flightless Female Flower Wasp: Thynnus species

Dear Annie,
We have several similar images in our archives very similar to this creature, and in 2010, we did significant research and we thought we had identified a photo as a Flightless Female Flower Wasp,
Thynnus apterus.  We are not entirely certain the species is correct, but we are relatively confident with the genus.  Today we found a photo of a mounted pair of Thynnus brenchleyi on the Agriculture of Western Australia website that confirms the genus, if not the species.  There is no female Thynnus apterus pictured on Agriculture of Western Australia.

Dear Daniel.
Thank you so very much for this quick reply! I think the two compare well, although I have to admit that the one I photographed has more and also brighter yellow on the top of its back, but that could possibly have to do with age and/or variety, and quality of the photo!
I am very happy to be able to let this student in America know and tell him your website and the one of Agriculture of Western Australia, so he can have a look for himself.
Again, thank you so very much for your help, it is much appreciated,
With kind regards: Annie j Den Boer.

Subject: Little Yellow Fellow (spider)
Location: Costa Rica (Pital)
November 30, 2013 7:32 pm
I have been seeing these spiders for years, and there are a few different colors, but i cant seem to find the ”real” name for it. Could you guys help me?
Signature: Vince Nisly

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Hi Vince,
As you indicated, the Crablike Spiny Orbweaver,
Gasteracantha cancriformis, has multiple color variations, which include various combinations of yellow, black, white and even red.  See BugGuide for some of the color variations.  This is a harmless species that poses no threat to humans.