From the daily archives: "Friday, April 1, 2016"

Subject: Please identify this caterpillar 🙂
Location: Missouri, U.S.A.
April 1, 2016 5:35 pm
I was searching in my yard for any type of bug I could possibly find, so I picked up and old pipe, tipped it over and out rolled a black and orange fuzz ball! I was very exited by this, because I love caterpillars, which I am pretty sure this is. I think it is a pretty common type. Pretty please with cherry’s on top help me identify it!
Signature: Gracie S.

Woolly Bear

Woolly Bear

Dear Gracie,
This Woolly Bear is the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth.  According to BugGuide:  “The second brood overwinters as a caterpillar and pupates in Spring.”
  That means your caterpillar should make a cocoon very soon.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for writing me back! I am looking very forward to seeing the cocoon. At first when I found the caterpillar I was very worried it was dead, because it wasn’t moving. It took a little while for it to do anything, but when it did I was very exited! Thanks again!

Subject: What kind of caterpillar is it?
Location: Asuncion, Paraguay
April 1, 2016 9:59 am
Hi! I found this caterpillar in my backyard, is almost 5 inches long, the horn on the tail is grey-ish, it has small little hairs all over but very little in cuantity too, small brown/yellow spots, and a white line on the back that connects both sides of it with the horn…
I’ve tried to find on the Internet one that looks exactly like that one, there are a few ones that look a bit alike but there is not an exact match, and I know every detail counts.
Signature: Thank you guys so much!

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

We believe this Hornworm in the family Sphingidae is Cocytius antaeus based on images posted to Bizland.  We will contact Bill Oehlke for verification.  We suspect he may request the use of your images for his site if you will allow.  Do you know the type of tree the Hornworm was feeding upon?

No problem, use the images how ever you guys want! And the tree is a custard apple tree… and again thank you guys!

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

Bill Oehlke Concurs
Daniel,
Yes, It is Cocytius antaeus. It is also nice to know specific location at least one level below national level, the more specific the better.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

Hornworm: Cocytius antaeus

Subject: Some bug love
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
April 1, 2016 7:51 pm
Thought you might get a kick out of a very odd pairing discovered where I work. A male common Morpho (Morpho peleides) mating with a female atlas moth (Attacus atlas). Photographed at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, Arizona. I know it’s April Fools day but the pictures are not “photo shopped”. (For some reason the Commodors song “She’s a Brick House” keeps running through my head). Of course they are not genetically compatible but it’s fun to imagine what offspring would look like……
Signature: Butterfly wrangler

Morpho mating with Atlas Moth!!!

Morpho mating with Atlas Moth!!!

Dear Butterfly Wrangler,
We cannot imagine what would have spawned this Unnatural Selection.  Though it is not photoshopped, can you also state there was no human intervention involved?  Forgive us for being suspicious, but we are frequently targeted with pranks and hoaxes.

Unnatural Selection

Unnatural Selection

Lepidopterist Julian Donahue comments
Spring is in the air!

Interoffice Communication
Hey Max, I sent a couple of photos of the moth/Morpho pairing to “what’s that bug?” Web site . Their response is below.
If this wasn’t an elaborate April Fools joke would you like to respond to the email below to assure them the pairing was not manipulated?  (If this was a joke it was a good one!) If you would rather be anonymous and not email them I’ll understand. If you don’t mind answering them, I think you mentioned seeing a different pair of inter-species breeding on the same Palm. They may be interested in what those species were as well.
Let me know. ?
Paula Swanson
Assistant Curator
Butterfly Wonderland

A second substantiation
Dear Daniel,
There was no manipulation in the Atlas-Morpho mating. It is actually the second time I have seen this. See attached photo from May 2015( which also has a second morpho trying to squeeze in). The only thing I did, was after the photos were taken I used my tweezers to gently move the wings to see if the genitals were actually in union, which they were. I have another photo of an Atlas mating with a Mormon, but I can’t find it. I will look for it when I get to work later.
Sincerely,
Max B. Shure
Butterfly Curator
Butterfly Wonderland

Documentation of another Morpho Butterfly and Atlas Moth pairing

Documentation of another Morpho Butterfly and Atlas Moth pairing

Thanks so much for the follow-up Max.  This is so fascinating.  We wonder if perhaps there is some similarity in the pheromones released by the two species.  Since they occur naturally on different continents, they would not normally interact with one another, but captivity in the Butterfly Wonderland has brought together two species that would never naturally interact with one another.

Subject: what kind of bug is this
Location: philippines
March 31, 2016 3:58 pm
Hi,
Good day, I want to know what kind of insects or bug is this. I was 6 months pregnant and I lost my baby because I had a preterm labor and I gave birth too early , Im thinking one of the reason is the night after I gave birth. I had bitten by insect or bug then after an hour I had rashes and then I experience difficulty of breathing until I fall asleep. When I woke up I already had my contraction for several hours and gave birth too early and sadly my baby died because the doctor said his lungs are not yet fully developed. I really wanted to know what kind of bug is this and what are the effects when you get bit by this bug.
I will truely appreciate your response.
Thank you,
Signature: What kind of bug

Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug

We are sorry to learn about your tragedy, and we cannot say for certain that an insect bite was the cause.  This Assassin Bug may be a member of the blood-sucking subfamily Triatominae.  You can find out more information on the subfamily by referring to the online article The Kissing Bug in Quezon City, Philippines.

Subject: White liquid being excreted
Location: Florida panhandle
March 31, 2016 7:31 am
I think this is a leaf footed bug, but I’m not sure. It was pushing out this white stuff on both sides just past his hind legs. Do you know what bug it is and what it’s excreting? We live in the Florida panhandle and he is on a maple tree just starting to bloom.
Signature: Amy Brown

Helmeted Squash Bug

Helmeted Squash Bug

Dear Amy,
We have correctly identified your Leaf Footed Bug as a Helmeted Squash Bug,
Euthochtha galeator, thanks to images on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Males have a white- or cream-colored spur or flap on the posterodorsal corner of the side of the thorax (metepimeron) next to the abdomen. No other insect in e. US has such a projection.”   There is no explanation regarding the use of that projection which you mistook for an excretion.  According to Featured Creatures:  “Males have a white- or cream-colored spur or flap on the posterodorsal corner of the side of the thorax (metepimeron) next to the abdomen. This easily is spotted in the field. No other known insect in eastern U.S. has such a projection. The females lack this flap but do have a whitish callus in the metapleural area.”

Helmeted Squash Bug

Helmeted Squash Bug

Subject: Katydid Identfication
Location: Batam, Indonesia
March 31, 2016 3:16 am
We found this female katydid last night and are trying to identify her…the underside of her legs are a pretty aqua blue and the ends of her wings are blunt instead of pointed like so many of the pictures we have been looking at.
Signature: Laura

Katydid

Katydid

Dear Laura,
We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide an identification for your Katydid.

Katydid

Katydid