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

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Spring Grove, Pa (south central PA)
September 24, 2014 5:25 pm
We found several of these in a pile of firewood in our backyard. They have bored many holes in the logs.
Signature: Michele

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Hi Michele,
This Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa is commonly called a Stump Stabber.  The female lays her eggs in wood that is infested with the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps and the larval Stump Stabber parazitizes the larvae of the Wood Wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tailless whip scorpion eating millipede
Location: South Mexico – Jungle
September 23, 2014 4:46 am
I have been reading (and loving!) your site for many many years and have never had anything to submit because I live in the UK where we do not have an abundance of large and/or exotic insects and where, due to my interest in all things bug, I tend to already be able to identify many critters. In fact I’m a little bit of a “bugwoman” myself, to my family and friends at least, who often save photos to ask me about. I have learnt much of what I know from your amazing site.
However, I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Southern Mexico where I spent much time in the jungle and encountered many wonderful creatures of the six, eight, and more legged variety.
I thought you might enjoy this picture of a tailless whip scorpion eating a millipede for your food chain series? Apologies for the photo quality I took these with my camera phone (the macro lens being shamefully hogged by my less insect-loving companion!).
Signature: Long time avid WTB reader

Tailless Whipscorpion eats Millipede

Tailless Whipscorpion eats Millipede

Dear Long time avid WTB reader,
Thanks for sending us your excellent image of a Tailless Whipscorpion feeding on a Millipede.  The quality of your image is much higher than most images we receive.  Regarding your comment about the fauna of the UK, we are surprised as there are many interesting creatures to be found in your location.  Though it contains some adult content, you may enjoy the film Angels and Insects, an adaptation of an A.S. Byatt Victorian novella.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange caterpillar (?) with face on it’s back?
Location: West Virginia
September 24, 2014 3:01 pm
Our kindergarten classes were outside on the playground at recess and found this bug. It has spots that appear to be a mouth and eyes on its head. We looked it up and thought perhaps it was a Pandora sphinx caterpillar but aren’t sure. My fellow teacher and I would love to know what it is so we can tell our classes more about it!
Signature: Welch Elementary Kindergarten

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Welch Elementary Kindergarten,
This distinctive caterpillar is a Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar.  The false eyespots might help protect the tasty caterpillar from predators like birds that may mistake a toothsome caterpillar for a much larger and potentially dangerous snake.  Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars feed on a variety of trees, including “Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum), Pondspice (Litsea aestivalis) Red, Swamp and Silk Bays (Persea spp.); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)” according to BugGuide.  They begin life as green caterpillars that are well camouflaged, but as the time for pupation nears, they often turn orange, leave the trees they have been feeding upon, and find an appropriate site to metamorphose into a chrysalis.  The adult Spicebush Swallowtail is a beautiful black butterfly with colorful markings.

Thank you so much!  We looked it up on the Smart Board and discussed the life cycle. We printed a picture of the butterfly so we can watch for them in the spring.
You have a great site!
Mrs. Merkle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
September 25, 2014 6:20 am
This guy was found outside in a kids Little Tikes wagon a couple days ago. The picture was taken with a cell phone but I’m not sure about the exact size.
Signature: Karrie

Harvestman

Harvestman

Hi Karrie,
This is an arachnid in the order Opiliones, and members of the order are commonly called Harvestmen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar?
Location: South Sudan, Jonglei State
September 23, 2014 11:58 pm
Hello,
I’ve found this bug in the Sudd of South Sudan (Jonglei State) which looks similar to a slug caterpillar.
But below (if I remember well) there were no legs, rather it was smooth like a snail.
Has this animal been identified and named yet?
Gregor Schmidt
Signature: ??

Slug Caterpillar

Slug Caterpillar

Dear Gregor,
We agree that this looks like a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae.  We will attempt to provide you with a species name.

December 13, 2014
Hello Daniel,
thanks for your personal answer.
Will you still provide a scientific name?
If the name is a “slug” caterpillar, does that mean that they don’t have legs like reals slugs?
Gregor

Gracious Gregor,
You must have very slow internet access in South Sudan if our response took three months to reach you.  We have not had any luck with a species identification, but our family identification of Limacodidae stands.  Like other caterpillars, Slug Caterpillars have real legs and prolegs.  Though it is a different species, we have a ventral view of a North American Monkey Slug to demonstrate how small the legs on a Slug Moth Caterpillar appear.

Yes,
you are right that internet access is not easy to get in South Sudan, at least in the remote area where I live. I am a German Catholic priest and work in the countryside for most of the year. My location is Old Fangak in Fangak County (Jonglei State) which can be found with Google earth. The picture was taken about 10 km north-east of Old Fangak in August 2012. After that, I never saw the animal again. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph the belly to see its legs.
Currently, we are in the focus because of the civil war. I live among the rebels and the government may attack us during the dry season.
Thanks for your quick answer. My next internet access will be in January.
Gregor

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth Eating Bug ID
Location: Florida
September 24, 2014 6:28 am
I discovered this small insect that apparently was eating a moth tucked under a wildflower. Would love to know what it is!
Thank you!
Signature: Laura Hayes

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Hi Laura,
The predator is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, and the prey is a butterfly known as a Skipper, not a moth.  Ambush Bugs frequently await prey while camouflaged on blossoms.  Your images are wonderful, both the action image and the excellent use of scale.

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bu

Thank you for the prompt reply and solving my mystery. I knew that was a Skipper! I still want to think of them as moths and forget.
Laura Hayes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination