From the monthly archives: "April 2015"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Los Angeles: black tiny fly likes water w short clear wings
Location: Los Angeles, CA
April 28, 2015 10:33 pm
Hi,
Thank you so much for all of your service throughout the years. I often make donations & spread the word!
This latest bug is stumping me: We live in east Los Angeles near Pasadena & the SGV (inland)- tonight I noticed approx 20-30 fruit-fly-esque bugs dead or dying in the bathroom sink. They seemed to be coming in through a tiny opening in the bathroom window, so my husband went to the roof to check it out. He said there are thousands on our roof!! He’s spraying now but we can’t find anything similar-looking enough online.
They seem to obviously be attracted to water but do not look like drain bugs.
PLEASE HELP!
(We’re so worried they’re termites but they don’t have long wings)
Signature: Gratefully, Meg

Argentine Ant Alate

Argentine Ant Alate

Dear Meg,
The person who can solve your infestation problem will probably win a Nobel Peace Prize as the solution will improve the quality of life for Californians, the people of Japan and the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, as those are the three places where super-colonies of Argentine Ants,
 Linepithema humile, are making millions of people’s lives miserable, especially in hot summer months when 1000s of Argentine Ants invade homes in search of food and water.  Your images are of winged reproductive queen and king Argentine Ants, known as alates, on their nuptial flight and according to BugGuide:  “Winged queens mate once with a winged male, after which they can continuously produce fertile eggs for as long as 10 years- until death. Unlike most ants, several productive queens of this species can share the same colony, with one or more leaving with some of the workers to form a new colony when it gets crowded (this is known as ‘budding’).”  Here are some good images on BugGuide for comparison.

Argentine Ant Alates

Argentine Ant Alates

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Carribean moth
Location: St. John, USVI
April 28, 2015 1:03 pm
Hi there Bugman!
On our recent spring break vacation in St. John, USVI, my son found a beautiful moth, which we have not been able to identify. I have searched online and Robert has combed through all his many bug books to no avail! We also took our pictures to the island’s nature center, but they couldn’t help us either. A professor at the University of Maryland suggested he was one of the tropical tiger moths. After looking through lots of images on your site, I’m guessing it is some type of wasp mimic.
I’ve attached two images of the insect. He was inside our vacation home, which was up a fairly high mountain on St. John. It was small, probably less than an inch long, and about the same across the widest part of its folded wings.
We would appreciate any info you can provide!
Signature: Tamara and Robert Grant

Tiger Moth: Cosmosoma species

Wasp Moth: Cosmosoma achemon

Dear Tamara and Robert,
This diurnal Tiger Moth is one of the very effective wasp mimics in the genus
Cosmosoma and members of the genus are commonly called Wasp Moths.  We found a matching image on the Puerto Rico Moths page of Moth Photographers Group where it is identified as Cosmosoma achemon.  There is also a nice image on Insetologia, our sister site from Brazil.  Moths of Jamaica lists the range as:  “South America and Greater Antilles.”

Wasp Moth: Cosmosoma achemon

Wasp Moth: Cosmosoma achemon

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the speedy ID – I can’t wait to tell Robert when he gets home from school today!
Tamara

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle larvae?
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
April 28, 2015 3:53 am
Hi, I came across this strange insect in my yard ( Adelaide Metropolitan area). It followed me, definately turning around several times each time I stepped over it. It had 6 legs, long antennas, small whitish green & black spotted wings behind its head, but a very bold orangey-red & black spotted large grub-like shaped body. It was large – over an inch long in total. My yard is totally paved, but it is over hung by big yellow scented gum trees. I have searched for beetles that look similar & beetle larvae but drawn a blank. Wondered if anyone had any ideas?
Signature: Thanks, Gill

Newly emerged Black and White Tiger Moth

Newly emerged Black and White Tiger Moth

Dear Gill,
This colorful creature is a newly emerged Black and White Tiger Moth,
Spilosoma glatignyi, and its wings have not yet expanded.  According to the Butterfly House website:  “The species may be found over the whole of the southern half of Australia.”  The Esperance Fauna site provides this interesting information:  “From the Arctiidae family, Spilosoma glatignyi is a stunning looking moth which despite its beauty, apparently tastes pretty awful in order to discourage predators. It sports bright red colors to visually signal its distasteful nature, but apart from predators that may find it roosting during the day, it would serve little purpose and possibly has another function. However to advertise to potential predators at night, it uses a high pitched vocalisation to warn them (particularly bats) that they are not worth eating. The larvae protect themselves with a covering of irritating hairs and feed from a wide variety of plant species.” 

Hi Daniel,
Thank you very much for sharing your expertise.
Much appreciated!
Gill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Confused in Alaska!
Location: Fairbanks, AK
April 27, 2015 7:18 pm
Hello! Hope your spring has brought all sorts of buggy critters your way. My son found the strangest bug crawling across the leaf mould beneath some willows. My first thought was, could this be a half-pupated butterfly? She had a body like a short fat fuzzy grub (I could see pale green flesh in between the abdomen ridges when she flexed), butterfly-looking legs that pranced, and what appeared to be little fuzzy wing nubs. She had a very tiny head with no proboscis or discernible features, only spindly antennae.
What is she?
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Rebecca Frenzl

Flightless Female Moth

Flightless Female Moth

Dear Rebecca,
What we know for certain is that this is a flightless female moth, and we have done considerable research, and though we do not have a definitive response, we believe we are close.  The Moth PHotographers Group has a page devoted to flightless female moths.  Our first research took us to the possibility that this might be one of the females in the genus
Orgyia, the Vapourers or Tussock Moths, and the Douglas Fir Tussock Moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata, is found in Western Canada, so we thought that might be a good candidate, but based on the images posted to BugGuide, the legs and antennae are much shorter than your individual.  Though images of flightless female moths can be difficult to find online, a look at the mounted pair of Douglas Fir Tussock Moths on Forestry Images confirmed our belief that it was not your species or genus.  We next turned our attention to the genus Lycia in the Spanworm family Geometridae, and the Stout Spanworm seemed like a good candidate as it is found in Western Canada, according to BugGuide, but alas, BugGuide only has images of males with wings pictured.  The Belted Beauty, Lycia zonaria, which is pictured on the Highland Butterflies UK site looks like a good match physically, but it is an old world species and the markings are different.  Except for the markings which are different, the Belted Beauty pictured on UK Moths also looks quite similar to your individual.  We are concluding that since the genus Lycia is represented in Canada by two species according to BugGuide, and both the Stout Spanworm and the Twilight Moth, Lycia rachelae, are reported from western Canada, that one of those species is most likely your flightless female moth, but alas, we had no luck finding any online images of females to compare.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had.

Flightless Female Moth

Flightless Female Moth

Flightless Female Moth

Flightless Female Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Smurfapillar?
Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
April 27, 2015 4:09 pm
Hi,
I found this bright blue little guy in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. I tried to look him up online, and couldn’t seem to find anything remotely similar. He was crawling on the ground in a high desert area where I was walking my dog and taking pictures of Prickly Pear blossoms. The area had been fired, to kill weeds and pests, probably in January or February. The grasses and weeds are coming back pretty well, now, but there’s still a lot of ash and charred ground. I took a bunch of photos, but the guy was moving at a good clip…head and tail going like crazy.
Thanks for your time!
Signature: Tabitha

Unknown Blue Caterpillar

Unknown Blue Caterpillar

Dear Tabitha,
Like you, we were unable to locate any images of blue caterpillars from Mexico.  We believe this is a moth caterpillar.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had regarding an identity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Milkweed bug?
Location: Altadena, CA
April 27, 2015 7:15 am
Hi there, I found these guys on a myrtle stem was wondering if they are milkweed assassin youngsters or something else? Thanks so much!
Signature: Morganza

Coreid Bug Nymphs

Coreid Bug Nymphs

Dear Morganza,
These are definitely not Assassin Bugs, which are predators.  Assassin Bug nymphs soon disperse from one another shortly after hatching.  Plant feeding species like Coreid Bugs, commonly called Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs, tend to stay near one another, feeding in groups.  We will attempt a species identification, though we are guessing them to be in the genus
Leptoglossus.

Update:  There is an image of an immature Western Leaf Footed Bug, Leptoglossus zonatus, pictured on the Featured Creatures site that looks identical to your individuals.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination