From the monthly archives: "January 2016"

Subject: Not sure what this is
Location: Rockford il
January 29, 2016 9:23 pm
This is the second day night I’ve went outside and walked in my yard with my dog. Each night once I come I side I see this leaf like flat bug on my pants. First night it was only like 4 tonight was about 70 of them all up and down my sweat pants. This scares me a lot can’t find anything g online. Like I said both time I did not brush up against anything g or lean on anything. Please help me.
Signature: Kelsey Stephen s

Beggar's Ticks

Beggar’s Ticks

Dear Kelsey,
Though they are commonly called Beggar’s Ticks, these are actually seeds not bugs.  The seeds of plants in the genus Bidens have adapted to stick to animals’ fur or peoples’ clothing to help in dispersion.  See Illinois Wildflowers for more information on the plant.

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
January 29, 2016 3:06 pm
I was wondering if you could identify this little critter for me.
Photographed at the site of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an China in September. Approximately 3cm long, although it appears to have wings, it did not seem inclined to fly despite a prod.
Signature: Graham Williams

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Dear Graham,
We have always used the common name White Cicada for this Fulgorid Planthopper,
Lycorma delicatula, but in researching this posting, we have learned on BugGuide that it was first reported as an invasive species in Pennsylvania in 2014 and that it is commonly called a Spotted Lanternfly.

Subject: Wasp type
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
January 29, 2016 8:40 pm
Hi. Found a new wasp sp. in my backyard. Looks somewhat like a Popper Wasp, back lacks yellow legs etc. Any thoughts?
Signature: Tim D

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Dear Tim,
This is a Bottlebrush Sawfly,
Pterygophorus cinctus, and we previously misidentified as possibly a Potter Wasp ourselves once.  Your image is quite beautiful.

Thanks Daniel!
I’ve been having a bit of a influx of fly/wasp type sp. into my inner suburban Melbourne (Aust) backyard this summer, including Banded Beefly, Wasp-mimic Hoverfly, as well as other more common hoverfly and butterflies such as Common Darts. Very unusual but very fascinating!

Subject: Hornet? Wasp? Mimic? Central FL, mid-Jan.
Location: Palm Bay, FL (Brevard County)
January 29, 2016 3:42 pm
We live in east central Florida, and this beautiful insect was in our hibiscus plant recently (January, temps in upper 60’s). I have looked for hours and can’t identify it… the reddish colors and pattern don’t quite match any of the hornets, yellowjackets, wasps, or moths I’ve been able to find online. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is actually a wasp mimicking moth. It certainly wasn’t aggressive at all. Any thoughts on what this is?
Signature: Mike W.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Mike,
We believe this is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and it is most likely a light colored Polistes major like this individual from Georgia that is pictured on BugGuide.  We will check with Eric Eaton and get his opinion.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Eric Eaton Confirms ID.
Hi, Daniel:
Wow, great images!  Yes, this is a male Polistes major.  Male specimens of many Polistes appear paler in some cases than the female.  I also think these images were taken in very harsh light, which washes out the color on most insects.

Thank you! I have to agree that this seems to match my photos almost perfectly. The fact it’s an invasive species would certainly help explain why I had such a hard time figuring it out. But as long as it’s here, at least it’s attractive to look at! 🙂
Thanks again,

Subject: Large 3inch caterpillar
Location: Madeira
January 30, 2016 9:38 am
Dear Sir or Madam, I live on the Portuguese island of Madeira in Ponto do Sol – a sheltered spot at about 450 meters. I came across the caterpillar in the attached photograph this morning munching happily on a leaf. I would love to know what it is and more importantly what it will become. Can you help please?
Thank you
Signature: Mike M

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Mike,
This Hornworm is the caterpillar of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, in its brown variation.  More typically the species has bright yellow and green caterpillars.  The adult Death’s Head Hawkmoth gets its name from the pattern on the thorax which is likened to a human skull.  This moth gained worldwide recognition when it was used to illustrate the movie poster for The Silence of the Lambs, though we just learned on Verbicide that the poster designers accentuated the typical pattern on moth by replacing the detail with an photo of a sculpture created of living nude female models entitled “In Voluptas Mors” conceived by Salvador Dali and photographed by Philippe Halsman.

Thank you very much Daniel.  I have just watched a number of youtube videos – what a fascinating process from caterpillar to moth.  What an impressive moth!!
Thanks for the information it is nice to know a little about what is happening around us.
Mike Muir