From the monthly archives: "July 2015"

Subject: can you identify this insect?
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
July 26, 2015 5:35 pm
Rescued this insect from my pool. Never seen one like it. First thought is it may be some type of hornet/wasp. It is around 1″ long.
Signature: Danno Cracker

Male Pigeon Horntail

Male Pigeon Horntail

Dear Danno,
We are very excited to post your image of a male Pigeon Horntail, because though we have numerous images of female Pigeon Horntails on our site, there is a noticeable dearth of images of male individuals.  Female Pigeon Horntails have a long stingerlike ovipositor that is used to lay eggs in the wood of dead and dying trees, and males lack the ovipositor.  We compared your image to that of a male Pigeon Horntail on BugGuide and they appear to match.  Because of your water rescue, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Subject: What is this catapillar
Location: Vestal center ny
July 27, 2015 8:49 am
My kids saw this yesterday in vestal center, New York, which is near Binghamton n y. It was four inches long, brown in color violet dots like a collar yellow giant eyes with a violet dot in the middle,a forked yellow tongue and funky psychedelic colors down its back
Signature: Abby binder

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar with Osmeterium

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar with Osmeterium

Dear Abby,
This is a Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar and it has extracted its osmeterium, a forked organ that produces a foul odor to deter predators.  What you have mistaken for “yellow giant eyes” are actually spots that resemble eyes, another defense mechanism to protect the docile caterpillar against predators.

Thank you so much….kids thrilled!

Subject: predatory fly
Location: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
July 26, 2015 4:20 pm
Saw this fly in a neighbor’s dead bamboo. I got a look at it through binoculars, and it reminded me of deer flies I’ve seen in NorCal and So. OR, but those don’t live here, nor do they take other flies as prey. The first photo is a nice clear shot from underneath, and you can see the wings of the prey sticking out. In the, second, rather blurry photo (just could *not* get the camera to focus on anything but those intervening twigs), you can kind-of make out the relative position and size of the two. The predator was an inch (or so) long, and I’ve never knowingly seen another one in my 50+ years in this area.
Signature: Eric Simpson

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Dear Eric,
This predator is a Robber Fly, and though the image is not the best for identification purposes, we suspect it is a Bee Killer,
Mallophora fautrix, the only member of the genus found in California.  These large Robber Flies are impressive and very adept hunters.

Subject: imperial moth
Location: chesterton, Indiana
July 26, 2015 6:14 pm
This moth has black spots that remind me of mildew spots..is this a disease? Or something i should be concerned about. I have 3 acres of flower gardens and am afraid if its contageous in may lose all my butterfly and moths
Signature: kimmy t

Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth

Dear Kimmy,
This Imperial Moth looks perfectly normal to us and we do not believe you have to worry about it spreading a horrible plague to all your butterflies and moths.

Subject: Bark colored moth
Location: Fair Harbor, Fire Island, New York
July 27, 2015 5:37 am
I’ve seen a few of these medium sized moths in Fire Island, NY. They stay on our cedar shingled house during the day unless disturbed.
Signature: Alison Sazinger

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear Alison,
This is some species of Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala.  Just last night, we posted a few images taken at our own porch light of a Walnut Underwing that visited our porch light.  We are not certain of your species.  According to BugGuide:  “Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 101 species of the genus Catocala in America north of Mexico.  Powell & Opler (2009) reported 110 species in all of North America, and about 230 worldwide. ”  The common name Underwing refers to the brightly colored underwings which are hidden when the moth is resting.  The upper wings of Underwing moths blend in perfectly with tree bark when the moth is resting, and a burst of color results when the disturbed moth takes flight.  A predator continues to search for the bright colors and easily overlooks the camouflaged moth.

Thank you for responding h so fast. I’ve never noticed them here before and now they seem common. When it flew I only saw dark brown.
Is the bright park on the dorsal side?
I’ll google the genus.
Thanks!
Alison Salzinger

Subject: What is this?
Location: Austin Texas
July 26, 2015 6:49 pm
Saw this on a plant I have growing outdoors in my backyard.
Signature: Mary

Aztec Spur-Throat Grasshopper Nymph

Aztec Spur-Throat Grasshopper Nymph

Hi Mary,
This colorful nymph is an Aztec Spur-Throat Grasshopper,
Aidemona azteca.  BugGuide provides this information:  “I couldn’t associate them with any particular single host plant, but the nymphs do seem to be partial to flowers. The coloring of young nymphs seems intriguing, and implies two possibilities. One is that they don’t taste good (not true ??). The other is that they are mimicking the ‘look’ of things that sting such as wasps and bees (which seems to be a common occurence in arthropods that like flowers – i.e. spiders, beetles, flies, etc.). Off-hand, I can’t think of any other grasshoppers in the US with this sort of coloring in the nymphs, unless they are southern species that I’ve never seen. Generally cryptic coloring is the rule for Grasshoppers (even Dactylotum is rather inconspicuous in habitat, till it jumps – broken pattern camouflage I think for that one – birds certainly do like Dactylotum). — David J Ferguson”