From the monthly archives: "May 2015"

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Western Washington state
May 24, 2015 8:03 pm
I found this bug on the side of my house in western Washington state. It’s been relatively cool and it’s near the end of May. The red “eyes” are fascinating. Thanks for your time. Kirsten
Signature: However you’d like

Winter Dark Firefly

Winter Firefly

Dear Kirsten,
We believe we have correctly identified your beetle as a relative of the Winter Firefly,
Ellychnia corrusca, thanks to a posting on Arthur Evan’s What’s Bugging You? site where it states:  “Winter dark fireflies are mostly dull black, but the sides of their flattened, shield-like midsections are marked with yellow, orange, or reddish arched bands. Their soft, pliable wing covers are clothed in short, fine, golden hairs.  Mature larvae pupate in dead logs, especially pines. Adults emerge in late summer and fall and are sometimes encountered on trees or on the flowers of goldenrod and other asters. As temperatures begin to drop, they seek protected places under bark for the winter. The beetles reappear on late winter and early spring days, either resting on bark or circled around sap flows on maples like cattle around a trough.  Like their more familiar cousins of summer, winter black fireflies are bioluminescent, at least for a while. Both the larval and pupal stages produce their own light. Even freshly emerge adults maintain this youthful glow, but as the beetles grow older they lose their light-producing organs.”  Since that is a mostly eastern species, we believe your individual is a member of the same genus.  A related species in the genus is Ellychnia facula, which according to BugGuide is found in the:  “Rocky Mountains from southeast British Columbia to Idaho.”  Your individual might also be Ellychnia greeni, which according to BugGuide is:  “Found along the west coast from southern British Columbia to northern California.”

Subject: some kind of big egg sac or coccoon
Location: Perrysburg, Ohio
May 24, 2015 10:07 pm
Do you know what this is? It is about 5 inches in length. I found it under a railing on my deck. Should I be scared of it? It is right where my family sits and relaxes. I do not like to kill anything but I am very scared of spiders. I doubt it is a spider sac because of the texture of it.
Signature: FreddieAnitaBell

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Dear FreddieAnitaBell,
This is the cocoon of a Cecropia Moth, and it passed the entire winter unnoticed on your deck railing.  Now that warm weather has arrived, the adult moth should emerge soon, and if you are vigilant and lucky, you may get to witness the Cecropia Moth that emerges.

Subject: Black beetle
Location: SW France, (Gers County)
May 25, 2015 7:04 am
I’m hoping that you may have seen this beetle in the USA as I’m living in SW France at the moment (not far from the Pyrénées). I’m a great bug fan and usually try to get pictures when they stay put long enough. This one did let me go and get my camera before taking off in the long grass.
Really a splendid specimen, in my opinion – but what is it?
Thank you for your help.
Signature: Suzy Stewart Dubot

Weaver Beetle

Weaver Beetle

Dear Suzy,
The first matching image we located of your Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae was on FlickR where it is identified as
Lamia textor.  We learned on the site http://www.cerambyx.uochb.cz/lamia.htm that it “prefers willows (Salix) (rarely in Populus, Betula, Alnus)” as host plants and that it is distributed in “Europe, Russia.”  Though we prefer not to cite from Wikipedia, it is the only place we could find a common name:  Weaver Beetle.

Weaver Beetle

Weaver Beetle

Subject: Hard Shell Mystery
Location: Silver Lake (Los Angeles)
May 24, 2015 4:39 pm
Hi Daniel
A neighbor noticed this disturbingly large hard shelled , something on my fence this afternoon. About 2 1/2″ long, 3/4″ wide , 1/3″ deep. A pupae perhaps? The neighbor poked w/ a stick & it fell off (although it was stuck to the fence quite well), and we lost it in the leaf matter. There’s something very prehistoric about it. Never seen anything like it before.
Signature: Diane E

Mantis Ootheca

Mantis Ootheca

Hi Diane,
This is the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Mantis, and we believe it might be that of a native California Mantis based on these images on BugGuide.  It looks to us like the Ootheca has hatched, likely releasing several hundred tiny Mantids.

Subject: Not sure what this is…
Location: Rowan County, NC USA
May 24, 2015 4:23 pm
I found this chrysalis buried under my leaves today and I’m not sure exactly what it is…could be a regal moth, imperial moth, black witch moth or dozens of other types of moths. I’m sure its a moth though. Is there any insight you could give me on what this actually could be?
Signature: A. Boger

Imperial Moth Pupa

Imperial Moth Pupa

Dear A. Boger,
Because of the spiny tip on the abdomen, we believe this is an Imperial Moth Pupa, and you can verify our suspicion on BugGuide.

Subject: Beautiful chrysalis
Location: Belleville, MI
May 24, 2015 4:17 pm
Dear Bugman: Wanted to share my son’s photo of a beautiful chrysalis he found. It was on a sign in an area park. Never seen one so beautifully patterned. We looked it up and found similar pictures and believe this will become a Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly.
Signature: MI Bugmama

Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

Dear MI Bugmama,
We are in total agreement with you that this is the chrysalis of the Baltimore Checkerspot,
Euphydryas phaeton, and you can see that it is a perfect match for this BugGuide image.