From the daily archives: "Thursday, April 7, 2016"

Subject: Pesky bugs everywhere!!!
Location: Southern California U.S.A
April 7, 2016 6:18 am
I live in Southern California and recently since I had new roommates there’s been a LOT of these bugs each time I go into my room. They don’t do much they’re just always placed on the walls. I believe they may be moths but could be something much worse. They’re quite small about half an inch but I would really appreciate some identification as I’m concerned of any health issues or what may have brought them.
Signature: Annoyed Adrian

Pantry Moth

Pantry Moth

Dear Annoyed Adrian,
This is an Indian Meal Moth, a type of Pantry Moth.  The larvae of Pantry Moths feed on stored grain products, including flour and corn meal.  You might have all your room mates check for a forgotten bag of chocolate chip cookies under the bed, or perhaps a slice of pizza fell under the couch cushion.  You can also investigate the pantry for that three year old carton of oat meal, and don’t forget the spice drawer.

Thank you so much! I’ve been embarrassed recently to have any friends over and see the moths on the walls in my room. I’ll look around to remove any food that may be attracting them and tell my roommates as well. Thank you so much again for identifying and providing info about them.

Subject: Beatle?
Location: Bartolo, Lares PR
April 7, 2016 12:59 pm
Hi, just found this little guy in my garden, specifically on my Aji Dulce plant. What is it?
Signature: Anjuli

Weevil

Diaprepes Root Weevil

Dear Anjuli,
This is a Diaprepes Root Weevil,
Diaprepes abbreviatus , a species found in the Caribbean as well as parts of the U.S.  Here is an image from Insects of Puerto Rico.  According to Featured Creatures, it “is a root weevil native to the Caribbean where at least 19 additional species within the genus are known. In the Caribbean, Diaprepes abbreviatus is one of the most economically important pests.”

Weevil

Diaprepes Root Weevil

Subject: Wasp or hornet
Location: Costa Rica near Arenal Volcano
April 7, 2016 9:31 am
Could you tell me what type of bug this is? Wasp or hornet? What kind? Does it sting?
Thanks!
Signature: Paige

Carton Wasp Nest

Carton Wasp Nest

Dear Paige,
Upon researching your request, we first encountered out own posting of Warrior Wasps,
Synoeca septentrionalis, and we believe your images depict the same species.  Alas, not all websites have the longevity that we enjoy, and several of the links from our 2014 posting are no longer active.  We did locate new images on American Insects that identify two members of the genus, Synoeca septentrionalis or S. surinama, as Carton Wasps, and this information is provided:  “Synoeca species are distributed from Mexico to Argentina.  The genus is a small one, with five described species (Andena et al., 2009).  Wasps in this genus are swarm founders, with a queen and a number of workers moving together to a site for a new nest. Swarm founders (which also include other genera such as Agelaia and Polybia) make large and elaborate nests, usually inside an envelope.  In certain other paper wasp genera, nests are founded by a queen without the help of workers, and typically the nests are smaller and exposed (Nadkarni and Wheelright, editors, 2000).  Two species of Synoeca are yellowish overall:  S. chalibea and S. virginea.  The other 3 species are bluish to blackish. Wings are dark. Nests house about 200 individuals and are often attached to a leaning tree; if disturbed, the wasps inside making a drumming noise.  As the nest grows, its external surface has transverse corrugations looking like an armadillo’s back, hence these wasps are locally referred to as ‘armadillos’ or ‘cachicamas.'”  According to the National Science Foundation:  “In some areas of South America, the local name for this species is ‘armadillo wasp,’ in reference to the form of the nest. When mildly disturbed, the workers will produce an ominous rhythmic sound by rubbing against the nest paper. In Costa Rica, they are euphemistically called ‘guitar players.’ Upon further disturbance, they are capable of mounting a ferocious attack, and the stings are reputed to be exquisitely painful. The sting apparatus is barbed, and will often embed in the skin of the unlucky nest predator. This wasp is mimicked by many less-dangerous insects, presumably to gain protection from the resemblance.”  We really enjoyed researching your request.

Carton Wasp

Carton Wasp

Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: South Mississippi
April 6, 2016 7:55 pm
Hi bugman! There seems to be a lot of debate online about what kind of spider this is. Can you help?
Signature: Very scared of spiders!

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Dear Very scared of spiders!,
This is a harmless Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira, and it appears to have met an unnatural end, prompting us to tag this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison, and we believe most people would agree that the living spider is much more attractive than the dead individual.

Subject: What is it?
Location: SE Uganda, E Africa
April 7, 2016 1:21 am
Good morning.
I live in SE Uganda, and a tree in my garden is getting eaten by these bugs. They bore big holes in the branches. Each beetle is about 2-3 inches long.
Nobody can tell me what they are.
Please note, I am not concerned about the tree, just curious about the beetles!
Can you help?
Signature: Mark Vine

Longicorn: Petrognathus gigas

Longicorn: Petrognathus gigas

Dear Mark,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, and the larvae from this family do bore in the stems, trunks and roots of trees and shrubs.  They are usually quite host specific, confining their feeding to a single species or family.  We quickly discovered the identity of your Longicorn as
Petrognathus gigas on Insect Designs, and we found additional documentation on Meinbezirk, but alas, we did not discover the host tree.

Longicorn: Petrognathus gigas

Longicorn: Petrognathus gigas

Hi Daniel,
Wow, that was quick!
Thank you very much, mystery solved.
We can’t identify the host tree either.
It’s just a useless, non-native, soft-wood, so our Petrognathus gigas’ are more than welcome to it!
Kind regards
Mark

Subject: What is this funky thing?!
Location: Eatonton, GA
April 7, 2016 7:15 am
Hey there! We are on our 5th grade camping trip at the Rock Eagle 4H Center in Eatonton, GA. While tilling soil, one of our leaders stumbled upon this little guy. It was found in a garden and was excreting a yellow liquid as she was holding it. Can you help out my 5th graders and our staffers??
Signature: Bugged Student Teacher

Manduca Pupa

Manduca Pupa

Dear Bugged Student Teacher,
This is a pupa of a Sphinx Moth from the genus
Manduca, and two species, the Carolina Sphinx and the Five Spotted Hawkmoth, both have caterpillars, known as Hornworms, that feed on the leaves of cultivated tomatoes and related plants.  We suspect it was excreting a yellow liquid because it was damaged when it was discovered.  It does appear to have a mortal wound in the image.