From the monthly archives: "October 2015"

Subject: what’s this??
Location: Grand island Ny
October 21, 2015 8:31 pm
Hiya . What kind of critter is this….hitched a ride home on the Hood of my truck. When I tried to get another angle pic it flew away.
Signature: Tracey

Backswimmer

Backswimmer

Dear Tracey,
This is a Backswimmer in the family Notonectidae, an aquatic True Bug that “often swim upside-down. When resting at the surface, body is typically tilted with the head downward” according to BugGuide which notes they are also called Water Bees or Water Wasps because they can and do bite human that encounter them in the water, sometimes in swimming pools.  As you observed, Backswimmers can fly as well, which enables them to fly from pond to pond in the event they cannot find food or the water dries up.  Backswimmers are aquatic predators.

Subject: Ak Grasshopper
Location: Chennai , India
October 19, 2015 9:07 pm
I have found this Ak Grasshopper in Chennai (India) coast. Very beautiful and coloured. I was wondering whether these colours are for camouflage or natural?.
Also I heard that we cannot spot them after September. This photo was taken on 17th Oct 2015.
Can I have more details
Signature: AK Grasshopper

Ak Grasshopper

Ak Grasshopper

The Ak Grasshopper is a Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper in the family Pyrgomorphidae, and we suspect the coloration is aposomatic or warning coloration to inform predators that it is a toxic species.

Subject: Is it poisonous?!
Location: Ayr, Ontario (outside Cambridge)
October 20, 2015 7:26 pm
Hi there,
Thank you for existing! I’m terrified of this bug I just found 3 of in my home- when I killed it, a green liquid seeped into the paper towel that smelled like evergreen trees and was so strong. Can you tell me what it is and what I should do about it thank you so much.
Signature: Megan

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Megan,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug, a species that greatly expanded its range in the 1960s, probably by hitching rides with humans because of its hibernating habits.  Native to the Pacific Northwest, they are now found on the eastern portion of North America as well, and they have been introduced to Northern Europe very recently.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs frequently enter homes during the winter to hibernate.  Because they feed on the sap of pine cones, they retain the smell of the resins when mercilessly squashed.  They are not poisonous.

Subject: Large green caterpillar
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
October 20, 2015 10:18 pm
Hello. For about a week I was keeping track of the ravenous diet of a relatively large caterpillar on one of the neighborhood’s trees. Over a month ago it cocooned (Sept 10) and I was keeping track of that too when I saw someone trimming the tree. Luckily the cacoon seemed undamaged, but it is now in my home and I’d like a ballpark figure of what it could be, or more specifically, how long it will remain in the cacoon (seems from the type of cacoon it will become some kind of moth). Any information will be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Adriana

Rothschildia species Caterpillar

Rothschildia species Caterpillar

Dear Adriana,
Just last week, we posted another example of a caterpillar in the genus
Rothschildia, and Bill Oehlke tentatively identified it as Rothschilida orizaba orizaba or Rothschildia peggyae.  We suspect, since you do not have a harsh winter, that the emergence should take four to six weeks, so you might be expecting an adult moth in the very near future.  The image you submitted that is a close-up of the prolegs of the caterpillar is especially interesting.  Because you rescued the cocoon after the tree trimming, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Prolegs of a Rothschildia caterpillar

Prolegs of a Rothschildia caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the response.  It seems like Alfredo and I had extremely similar experiences.  I looked at hundreds of caterpillars and none had that particular division between the bottom and top body, I too was looking at the prolegs and none were quite right.  It is definitely a Rothschildia.  Beautiful.  Can’t wait for its emergence!  Thank you!
Adriana Urbina

Hi Adriana,
Please send us an image or two (dorsal and ventral view perhaps) when it emerges.

Cocoon of a Rothschildia caterpillar

Cocoon of a Rothschildia caterpillar

Update:  November 2, 2015
We are 3 days away from week 8.  Is this normal or could there be something wrong?

Rothschildia Cocoon

Rothschildia Cocoon

Dear Adriana,
Since you do not have a freezing climate, we suspect emergences of Giant Silkmoths in your area are more connected to humidity than temperature.  Be patient.  The cocoon looks fine.

Subject: Monarch Migration
Location: Coryell County, TX
October 20, 2015 1:53 pm
Hello again, the Monarch migration has begun here in central Texas. Just like last year, the butterflies stop to drink water droplets after our sprinkler has watered the lawn.
We need rain badly, although we are not under drought restrictions due to record-setting rains last spring. The weather is otherwise wonderful, 80 degrees and clear, with a light breeze. Here is a link to the current sightings:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/fall2015/monarch-butterfly-migration100815.html
The monarchs remind me of fall leaves floating through the air and settling on the grass.
Signature: Ellen

Female Monarch

Female Monarch

He Ellen,
Your female Monarch is lovely.  We hope she visited the milkweed and laid some eggs for you to watch.  Monarchs do have such a lazy way of flying that we often marvel they are able to fly so many miles when they migrate.

Female Monarch

Female Monarch

Subject: butterfly
Location: El Naranjal, Colima, Mexico
October 19, 2015 6:53 pm
Hi Bug Man. Can you help me identify this beauty? Have I discovered a rare and endangered creature? It has a sliver underside.
Signature: Diane

Mexican Silverspot

Mexican Silverspot

Dear Diane,
While you haven’t discovered a rare and endangered creature, you did discover your almost namesake as the Mexican Silverspot has the scientific name Dione moneta poeyii.  We first found a matching image by scrolling to the very bottom of The Dauphins site, and we verified that identification on the Butterflies of America site.  The Butterflies and Moths of North America states:  ” Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery” and the range is indicated as “Brazil north through Central America and Mexico. Strays to southern New Mexico and Texas.”