From the monthly archives: "October 2015"

Subject: Archduke Caterpillar from West Sumatra… Lexias pardalis ? Lexias dirtea ?
Location: West Sumatra – Indonesia
October 6, 2015 11:24 am
Dear Bugman,
I’m leaving in the forest in West Sumatra and i took this picture the last year. I suppose that it’s a Lexias pardalis or dirtea…. But the blue color is much more pronounced than in other pictures I found and that are usually taken in Thailand or Borneo. Is there somebody to confirm the identification of this Archduke Caterpillar ?
Thanks a lot for your help.
Kind regards
Signature: Nad Rimba

Archduke Caterpillar

Archduke Caterpillar

Dear Nad,
Your images are gorgeous and so is this Archduke Caterpillar, but alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to distinguish which member of the genus you encountered.  Perhaps one of our more qualified readers like Keith Wolfe can supply some information.

Archduke Caterpillar

Archduke Caterpillar

Keith Wolfe Responds
Greetings Nad and Daniel,
With four species of Lexias reported for the island of Sumatra, three of whose caterpillars are known, this is most likely L. dirtea or L. pardalis (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390324371076210/permalink/706691412772836/).  The blue color can be attributable to several reasons — camera settings, ambient lighting, larval maturity, or it actually being the fourth taxon, L. cyanipardus; however, here is a very similar bluish dirtea/pardalis cat from Thailand . . .
https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.0-8/11741288_10200736858859676_5842113558664988979_o.jpg
Best wishes,
Keith

Subject: Looks like an Alien!
Location: Near Toledo Ohio
October 6, 2015 7:44 am
I saw two of these on the door to my gym. Very cool looking, and bright colored. Can you tell me what this is?
Signature: Mikala24

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Mikala24,
This is either a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, or a closely related species in the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”

Subject: Cool bug
Location: Sedona Az
October 6, 2015 1:26 pm
Very cool hairy bug. What is it?
Signature: Craig

Asp

Asp

Dear Craig,
At first we thought this was an Asp, the stinging caterpillar of a Southern Flannel Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis, however that species is found in the south from Texas eastward, according to BugGuide.  We also learned on BugGuide that there are two related and similar looking species found in Arizona, and we are confident your caterpillar belongs to either Megalopyge bissesa or Megalopyge lapena, and though neither has a common name, and since we suspect that their respective caterpillars are also capable of stinging, we believe Asp is also an appropriate common name for their caterpillars.  Of Megalopyge bissesa, BugGuide notes:  “The known larval hosts include Quercus oblongifolia (Mexican blue oak) and Arctostaphylos sp. (manzanita).” 

Asp

Asp

Subject: other mystery insects that are bugging me (no pun intened)
Location: All in the letter
October 5, 2015 4:11 pm
Hello again, this is Cicada lover. I am wondering if you could identify these other insects and arachnids I have failed to ID. Number one is a spider I found which appears to have a red Christmas tree with a star on top. (I could be wrong) but I didn’t think this was a black widow because their legs are longer, and I have found no black widow spiders with a “star” on top of the red blotching. The spider was found in Waterset (a neighborhood in Apollo Beach FL). The next bug is a caterpillar which was found in a nature preserve called Circle B Bar Reserve in Fl. Picture number 3 is of a…… is of a thing that’s like a beetle with no hard exoskeleton. it was also found in Circle B Bar Reserve.
P.S., Thank you for ID-ing that Cuckoo wasp!
Also, the quality is not that great because I had to crop the photos in order for me to send this.
Signature: Cicada lover

Ground Spider

Ground Spider

Dear Cicada Lover,
We are more than happy to continue to identify your mystery insects, however, please confine your submissions to a single species unless there is a very good reason to include different families or classes of creatures in the same inquiry.  We try to keep our archives correctly classified and it is very confusing and additional work to split one submission into multiple postings.  Your spider is a Ground Spider in the family Corinnidae, most likely
Castianeira crocata, and it has no common name.  Its markings are quite distinctive and this image posted to BugGuide matches nicely.  If you resubmit your other images each on its own form, we will attempt additional identifications.

Subject: Turquoise Bug
Location: Deep Creek, MD
October 5, 2015 9:02 am
No idea what kind of bug this is, but he sure is cool looking! Any ideas?
Signature: Drew N

Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

Dear Drew,
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus Meloe, a group commonly called Oil Beetles.  According to BugGuide:  “the common name refers to the habit of exuding yellowish oily liquid from the joints when molested” and Blister Beetles are known for secreting a compound known as cantharidin that is known to cause blistering in human skin, but we are going to propose another origin for the name Oil Beetle.  Your own subject line calls this a turquoise bug, and these black beetles have a sheen that often reflects light back in different colors the same way that oil on the surface of water reflects light, and we believe that may the the origin of the common name Oil Beetle.

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Sparta Tennessee
October 5, 2015 5:40 pm
Can you identify this bug for us. It is about 3/4 inch long and it”s tail lights up a neon green. We have hundreds of them in the yard and this is the first year that we have seen them. Our location is in middle Tennessee.
Thanks for any help.
Signature: Dick

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Dear Dick,
How marvelous that you were able to observe the bioluminescence of this Firefly Larva.