From the monthly archives: "May 2015"

Subject: Is this Callosamia angulifera
Location: El Granada, California
May 29, 2015 4:59 pm
This big beauty was hanging on the wall outside my apartment, in El Granada (Half Moon Bay) California. Is this species native to the coastal SF Bay Area?
Signature: Spencer

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Dear Spencer,
Your beautiful moth is a Ceanothus Silkmoth,
Hyalophora euryalus, and judging by the antennae, he is a male.  It is native to your area.  You can find additional information on BugGuide.

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Subject: Weird Bug
Location: Norfolk, United Kingdom
May 30, 2015 3:33 am
I found this weird bug in my tent at about 9:00 AM in the morning.
It looks like a soldier beetle, but doesn’t match all it’s features.
Any ideas?
Is it possible to breed/raise them?
I run a bug zoo, and I raise woodlice, caterpillars, house spiders, maggots, snails, crickets, etc, so this will be a good addition to it.
Sorry about the blurry pix – I was trying to use a USB Microscope on it!
Thanks,
Alex

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Hi Alex,
We agree this looks like a Soldier Beetle.  A recent posting was identified as
Cantharis rusticaWe have no information on raising them in captivity.

 

Subject: Promethea moth mating
Location: St Paul MN
May 28, 2015 4:37 pm
Hi, here’s a pic of a pair of Promethea moths mating in a silver maple tree. The sexual dimorphism is easy to see. This is in St Paul MN. The female is one I raised from caterpillar last year; the male is wild, as far as I know.
Also here’s a neat shot of a cecropia and a luna on our porch. Not great quality but neat to see them together.
Cheers!
Signature: mike

Mating Promethea Moths

Mating Promethea Moths

Dear Mike,
You have provided us with such a marvelous posting.  It must have been thrilling to witness the mating of the Promethea Moth you raised.  Your location seems to be ground zero for Giant Silkmoths.

Luna Moth and Cecropia Moth

Luna Moth and Cecropia Moth

Subject: Pacific Northwest Ichneumon
Location: Renton, WA
May 28, 2015 4:28 pm
I’ve been seeing about 50 of these guys parade my front and back yard over the grass areas. They do not seem to be harmful, and only hover over the grass areas. I did research and came across your website to find out it’s an “ichneumon wasp” according to Eric Eaton on another post. Would you happen to know where they nest or why they’re parading my lawn areas for? At first they looked like yellow jackets, but their bodies are much too skinny and orange to be. The pics I’ll include are from a few days ago. Any info would be great. Thanks.
Signature: Stephanie

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

Hi Stephanie,
We noticed your comment on the other Ichneumon posting, and we still are not able to provide a species identification for this Ichneumon.  Ichneumon Wasps do not build a nest.  They are parasitoids of a variety of insects and arthropods, and they are generally very host specific.  The female lays an egg on a host, or sometimes she uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs within the host.  The larvae then feed on the still living host.  Again, Ichneumons are not social wasps, but they are very important natural, biological controls for other insect populations, hence they are beneficial.  Most Ichneumons are perfectly harmless to humans, though members of the genus
Ophion are known to sting, but they are still not considered harmful to humans.

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

Subject: Loving Bee Flies
Location: Andover, NJ
May 27, 2015 12:36 pm
Hoping you can narrow down an id on these bee mimics. I’m in northwestern NJ and have been seeing these around my garden for the last few weeks. This pair was making a very loud buzzing sound and stayed joined for at least 5 minutes before separating and buzzing off. At one point I eased them off the steps and onto a leaf, then transferred them to some flowers, hoping to get a better camera angle. I am thinking they are some sort of hoverfly?
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Mating Narcissus Bulb Flies

Mating Narcissus Bulb Flies

Dear Deborah,
We believe these are mating Narcissus Bulb Flies,
Merodon equestris, which are in the Hover Fly family Syrphidae, not the Bee Fly family Bombyliidae, though we may be wrong.  You can verify our identification by comparing your images to those posted to BugGuide.

Thanks, Daniel!  As always, you’ve been a great help.
Debbi