From the monthly archives: "February 2014"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hyles population boom?
February 23, 2014 9:19 pm
is anyone else seeing a LOT of Hyles lineata right now?  I live in Riverside and am getting 5/day in house.  luckily, I love them!  I do have a bunch of epilobium which they’re probably feeding on.
Signature: Beth

Hi Beth,
Our offices are in Mount Washington, a Los Angeles neighborhood to the northeast, and we have had visits several times this week by Whitelined Sphinxes.  Though we are not seeing the numbers you are seeing, we can attest to them flying right now.  Last April, we had a period of time in early April where we would see as many as eight to ten Whitelined Sphinxes each night at the front door where they were attracted by the porch light.

WTB? Offices April 2013

WTB? Offices April 2013

hi Daniel, I teach at Oxy but am seldom there at night to see such things.  it seems early in the season  for the numbers I’m seeing…..
Beth

We have had a warmer and drier winter which will affect eclosion times.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mongolian insect
Location: Mongolia
February 22, 2014 11:06 am
I was in Mongolia and saw this giant cricket/grasshopper like creature. The biggest one I saw measured about 4 inches in length. They had no visible wings and only crawled along the ground much like a potato bug.
Signature: Erin

Shieldback Katydid

Katydid

Dear Erin,
This Orthopteran is a Shieldback Katydid.  We will try to contact Piotr Naskrecki to see if he is able to provide a genus or species name.

Piotr Naskrecki provides an identification
Hi Daniel,
A very interesting creature – this katydid is Deracantha, probably D. mongolica (Tettigoniidae: Bradyporinae: Zichyini). This group of insects has an interesting mix of very advanced and basal (“primitive”) morphological characters that may help explain the origin of sound production in katydids. Some species in this tribe have highly modified tarsi (feet) that are equipped with crampons-like spikes that help them walk on smooth rocks.
Cheers,
Piotr
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Thanks so much Piotr,
So, it is a Katydid, but not a Shieldback, and it is in a subfamily that is not represented in North America, correct?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle
Location: Alberta
February 23, 2014 1:14 pm
Hello I just found this beetle in my master washroom what is it? And should I be worried I have a 3 year old and I’m pregnant. Please let me know
Thank you
Signature: Joanna

Two Spotted Stink Bug

Two Spotted Stink Bug

Dear Joanna,
We are certain that being pregnant and having a three year old is cause enough to worry, you need not be troubled by this Two Spotted Stink Bug,
 Perillus bioculatus. While this is a predatory species and it might bite if carelessly handled, it is not aggressive towards humans and the bite would cause little more than localized discomfort.  According to BugGuide:  “Bold pattern is distinctive, though color variable.”

Thank you:) I still hope I don’t find anymore. I assume it came through the sink or something.

When the weather cools, Stink Bugs sometimes enter homes through gaps in windows and other tiny spaces so they can hibernate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ladybug?
Location: California
February 22, 2014 6:28 pm
It looks like a ladybug, but has a brown shell with black dots. It has many aspects of those of a ladybug. Such as hiding its wings beneath its shell.
Signature: whichever way seemed fit

Variegated Carpet Beetle

Varied Carpet Beetle

Dear whichever way seemed fit,
You have Varied Carpet Beetles,
Anthrenus verbasci, a common household pest.  The adults feed on Pollen and it is the larvae that do the damage in the home.  According to BugGuide, they feed on a “wide variety of materials of animal origin (wool, fur, skins…)(1); stored food materials and products (biscuits, cakes, seeds, wheat, maize, oats, rice, cayenne pepper, cacao, and dried cheese); adults feed on pollen.”  BugGuide also notes:  “The most abundant species in buildings; arguably, world’s most important pest of insect collections. Adults from indoor populations have a negative attraction to light, but near the end of their oviposition period they become attracted to light. Adults from outdoor populations show attraction to light. Adults are active fliers and often fly high above the ground. They enter houses through open windows, around eaves, soffits, and attic vents, and often lay eggs in the dead insects collecting in light fixtures.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Central New York
February 23, 2014 10:18 am
These bugs keep appearing in my house and do not know why. It came at the beginning of winter and is still here
Signature: Anonymous

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear Anonymous,
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive, exotic species that was introduced to North American and it is becoming a significant agricultural pest.  In addition to the threat it poses to ornamental and food plants, it is a nuisance because it enters homes to hibernate when cold weather sets in.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: False Widow?
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, U.S.
February 22, 2014 10:23 pm
Hello there-
I found this lovely lady (?) up in a corner near the ceiling of our San Francisco garage/basement (we live on a hill, so that wall is actually subterranean). There’s a similar but smaller spider nearby that I can’t get a good picture of because it’s tucked to far into a corner. I can’t guarantee how true the color are as the pic was taken with a flash. I was initially intrigued by the spider because it looked quite black in the dark and we do get the occasional widow in this region, but now that I’ve seen it up close, I’m wondering if it might be a Steatoda grossa?
Signature: SnorkMaiden

False Widow

False Widow

Dear Snorkmaiden,
We agree that your spider looks like the False Widow pictured on BugGuide
Your individual appears to be an immature female, and when she matures, she will lose the markings on the abdomen and BugGuide has nice images of the female life cycle.

Good to know. Many thanks for the response!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination