From the yearly archives: "2013"

Subject: Huge Neon Green Caterpillar
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
January 7, 2013 2:41 pm
I just found this bug in the middle of our office. We have no idea what it is. It is huge and vibrant green. It is probably 3-4” (not stretched out).
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you.
Signature: David

Ello Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi David,
Do you have a potted
Ficus plant in your office?  This is a Fig Sphinx Caterpillar, Pachylia ficus, and it is a highly variable caterpillar.  We frequently get photos of green and orange Fig Sphinx Caterpillars and there is also a brown form.  We suspect this individual has been feeding on a potted Ficus plant in your office and has gone unnoticed until it got ready to pupate, at which time it left the plant and sought a suitable location for pupation.  If the plant is a new plant, the caterpillar might have arrived on the plant from the nursery.  If the plant has been in your office for some time, the female moth may have gained entry through a window and laid eggs.  For more information on the Fig Sphinx, go to the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Correction:  Ello Sphinx Caterpillar, not Fig Sphinx Caterpillar
Thanks to a comment from Ryan which we now agree with, we believe this is actually an Ello Sphinx Caterpillar,
Erinnyis ello, that might have arrived on a poinsettia.  Sphingidae of the Americas has some nice photos of Ello Sphinx Caterpillars.  When trying to identify a caterpillar, it is always helpful to know the food plant.

Yup.  That’s it.  We had poinsettias in the office for the last month.  Thanks.

Subject: Blue Insect in Guatemala
Location: El Remate, Guatemala
January 7, 2013 1:08 pm
Hello. I took this photo of an insect in the jungle near El Remate, Guatemala. It was taken in the morning in June last year. I haven’t been able to identify it, and I am curious about what it is.
Thank you.
Signature: Stuart Edgar

Katydid:  Moncheca pretiosa

Hi Stuart,
This is one beautiful Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, however, we have not been able to locate any matching images on the internet.  The black ovipositor that seems to resemble a stinger is an indication that she is a female.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide a species identification.

Piotr Naskrecki provides an ID
Hi Daniel,
This beauty is Moncheca pretiosa (Conocephalinae).

Hello, Daniel.
Thanks for identifying it. I was always curious about it and someone told me about your website.
Thanks again.

Subject: New Year’s Spider 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
January 5, 2013 4:44 pm
I saw this guy hanging on the outside of our sliding glass door frame. The douglas fir needle next to him is about one and a quarter inches long.
It looked like he had several strands of silk coming from him when I put him on a leaf to transfer him elsewhere. Is this a Western Spotted Orbweaver?
Signature: Scott


Hi Scott,
This is one of the harmless Orbweavers, but we cannot say for certain which species it is.

Identification Request: Beetles on side of refrigerator
Location:  Pacific coast of Mexico
January 6, 2013
Hi Daniel,
I found this circle of beetles on the side of my fridge this morning. I’ve looked a lots of photos of beetles on Google Images, but haven’t found any that look like these.  I live on the Pacific coast of Mexico and have an organic farm, mostly coconut and fruit trees. I try to grow as much food as I can, for personal consumption but there are so many insects that it’s very difficult to grow veggies organically. I don’t remember having ever seen these bugs before.
I appreciate your help.

Hatchling Hemipterans

Hi Dobie,
Please use our standard form each time you send a request as it contains all the necessary information we need to make a posting.  These are not beetles.  They are hatchling Hemipterans or True Bugs.  There is not enough detail in your photo for us to provide a family or species identification.

Subject: What spider is it?
Location: Ranca Upas, Ciwidey, West Java, Indonesia
January 7, 2013 8:03 am
Hello Daniel,
Way back on 2010 I took this spider pic, but I haven’t got any clue what spider is it. Hope that you can help.
This guy have some interesting silver & black pattern abdomen.
Signature: Mohamad Idham Iskandar

Possibly Longjawed Orbweaver

Hi Mohamad,
This spider reminds us of the North American spiders in the family Tetragnathidae, commonly called the Longjawed Orbweavers.  We cannot substantiate that with any photos from Indonesia in our brief attempts at an identification.  You can compare your photo to the North American Longjawed Orbweavers on BugGuide.

Possibly Longjawed Orbweaver

Hi Daniel,
Thanks a lot for the info, after reading info from BugGuide, especially this line:
“They vary in appearance, but those most commonly found are long-legged, thin-bodied spiders. When at rest, they may cling lengthwise along a twig or blade of grass, holding on with the short third pair of legs. The long pairs of legs are extended.”,
and comparing the images to orchard spider that I found in Indonesia I’m more assured that this one is an Long-jawed Orb Weavers (Tetragnathidae).

Subject: Fire Bug
Location: VUng Tau, VIetnam
January 6, 2013 7:10 am
Dear Bugpersonnel,
Is this a firebug, a cotton stainer or a red? It was found in Vung Tau, Vietnam feeding and mating on some rather large red seed pods with large black bean-like seeds inside of them. One strange thing is that the bugs are the exact same color as the seed pods. I’ve searched the Internet and have found similar bugs which are called fire bugs. However, there are some important differences. These bugs have completely red legs and the markings are unique. I attached 2 adult matings and 1 juvenile.
Signature: William Allen

Mating Kapok Bugs

Hi William,
The family Pyrrhocoridae is commonly called the Red Bug family, and the family includes the Cotton Stainers as well as the Firebugs, so Red Bugs is the more general family name that includes the other genera and species.  With that said, we are having difficulty identifying your Red Bugs to the species level.  We found some family members that are found in Viet Nam, but any with these exact markings are eluding us. 
Dindymus rubiginosus which we found on Bugs for Amateurs as well as FlickR lacks the spots.  Pyrrhopeplus posthumus which we located on BiotaTaiwanica is a close match.  The drawing of the wing pattern for Dysdercus cingulatus which we found on is pretty accurate, but once we found a photo of the insect on Forestry Images, the spots seem too high on the wings and the black triangular scutellum is missing on your specimens.  Project Noah did not provide us with anything conclusive.  After spending some time trying in vain to provide a species identification, we have decided to post you images and we hope one of our readers might be able to assist.  We feel confident that you can use the general term Red Bug to describe your individuals which are in the family Pyrrhocoridae.

Kapok Bug Nymph

Update:  September 27, 2015
We just received a comment today pointing us to a link to Farangs Gone Wild and the Kapok Bug, Probergrothius nigricornis, which appears to be the proper identification for these Red Bugs.  Siam Insect Zoo & Museum also has images of the Kapok Bug that match.