From the monthly archives: "April 2016"

Subject: WTB?
Location: Hollywood, FL
April 5, 2016 4:19 am
Just saw this very odd bug on the front of my house. It looked like a fly with a stick on it at first. I’m 54 years old and have never seen anything like this one. Do you know what it is? My neighbor’s 6 year old grandson wants to know as well! Many thanks!
Signature: Bambi Davidson

Mantisfly

Mantisfly

Dear Bambi,
Though it is commonly called a Mantisfly, this unusual insect is neither a Mantis nor a Fly.  Though they are not related, the Mantis Fly and the Preying Mantis have both evolved raptorial front legs for capturing prey, and grasping the prey while feeding.  Mantisflies or Mantidflies are classified in the family Mantispidae, and they are most closely related to Lacewings and Antlions which are all in the order Neuroptera.

Dear Mr. Marlos-
Thank you so much for identifying that insect. I told the 6 year old that it looked like a cross between a fly and a preying mantis.
You’re the best!!!

Subject: Insect i.d
Location: Ontario
April 5, 2016 5:09 am
Hello!
This is the third bug of this kind I’ve seen in our house in a few weeks. They’re about the size of a cricket, do not move much or quickly when disturbed. They seem to appear in the spring.
Any insight would be appreciated!
Thanks.
Signature: Anne

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Anne,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a common household intruder that seeks shelter indoors when the weather cools and then becomes active and attracts attention when the weather warms and it seeks egress.

It certainly looks like that species, and did emit a loud buzz. We also have two large pine trees directly outside the house (touching the house), which would correlate. A pest control company here in Toronto identified it as a “Stink Bug”, is that the same insect under a different name?

Stink Bugs are in the family Pentatomidae and Western Conifer Seed Bugs are Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae.  Both are in the suborder Heteroptera, meaning they share physical traits.

Subject: So pretty!! But whta is he?
Location: Tennessee
April 4, 2016 4:12 pm
I have a beetle that is rainbow Black underside, and is wet. I couldn’t find what he is is is color that he is a beetle and he is very very very very pretty. So could you help me bug man, be a lot of help.:-)
Thanks!
Signature: Bellaboo

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Dear Bellaboo,
There appears to be some very poorly executed digital retouching in the background of your image which may cause people to speculate on the possibility of color enhancement as well.  This is a Dogbane Leaf Beetle,
Chrysochus auratus, and there is an excellent image on FlickR.

Subject: Dobsonfly laying eggs
Location: Southwestern Maine
April 5, 2016 4:46 am
Dear Bugman,
This photo was taken last year at a river in Maine. Our family is fascinated by all creatures, great and small. So I was thrilled to be lucky enough to come across this Mama laying her eggs.
Signature: The Cartwrights, NH

Dark Fishfly Ovipositing

Dark Fishfly Ovipositing

Dear Cartwrights,
Your images are awesome, however we need to make a slight correction.  This is not a Dobsonfly.  This is a closely related Dark Fishfly in the genus
Nigronia.  According to BugGuide:  “Emergence of adults may be synchronized. Adults are diurnal (seen flying near streams) and also nocturnal, so come to lights. Eggs are laid on the underside of vegetation overhanging a stream. Larvae are aquatic, predatory. Perhaps take three years to mature in more temperate areas, such as West Virginia. Pupation occurs in earthen cells on the edge of streams.”  Your images illustrate an option to laying eggs on vegetation.

Dark Fishfly Ovipositing

Dark Fishfly Ovipositing

And we learned something new!  Thank you so much 🙂

Subject: Cocoon
Location: Westminster Maryland
April 3, 2016 10:43 am
In pine tree
Signature: Barry

Cedar Apple Rust Gall

Cedar Apple Rust Gall

Hi Barry,
This is not a cocoon.  It is a Gall.  According to Wayne’s Word:  “Galls are caused by many organisms living on plants, including insects, mites, mistletoe, fungi and bacteria.”  This marvelous website continues with “The mysterious origin of strange growths on the stems, leaves, flowers and roots of plants have intrigued naturalists for centuries. Called galls or hypertrophies, these tumorous (neoplasmic) outgrowths develop from rapid mitosis and morphogenesis of plant tissues and come in an astounding array of colors, shapes and sizes. Galls may be smooth, spiny or fuzzy, and resemble everything from marbles and ping-pong balls to dunce caps, saucers and sea urchins. Many galls provide the food and brooding structure for various species of harmless insects.”  The Propaedeuticist makes up in images what it lacks in information regarding your particular Gall, the Cedar Apple Rust Gall,
Gymnosporangium juniperivirginianae.  The Missouri Botanical Garden also refers to two additional, closely related species of fungus in stating:  “All three rusts can infect most varieties of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) as well as many other junipers and an alternate host. Of these alternate hosts, cedar-apple rust is primarily a disease of apples and crabapples. Cedar-hawthorn rust, in addition to affecting apples and crabapples, sometimes infects pears, quince, and serviceberry. Cedar-quince rust has the broadest host range and can infect many genera in the rose family. In addition to those plants already mentioned, mountain-ash, flowering quince, cotoneaster, chokecherry, and photinia are also hosts for this disease.”  Your tree is a cedar, not a pine.  The Missouri Botanical Garden site also states:  “Symptoms on juniper: Brown, perennial galls form on twigs. When mature (usually in two years), the galls swell and repeatedly produce orange, gelatinous telial horns during rainy spring weather. The galls of cedar-apple rust are often over 2 inches in diameter, while cedar-hawthorn rust galls are rarely over 2 inches in diameter. Occasionally the twig beyond the gall dies, but usually no significant damage occurs on the juniper host.”  If you or a neighbor has an apple orchard, there may be additional cause for alarm as the site states as the leaves of apple trees are affected, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, when:  “Circular, yellow spots (lesions) appear on the upper surfaces of the leaves shortly after bloom. In late summer, brownish clusters of threads or cylindrical tubes (aecia) appear beneath the yellow leaf spots or on fruits and twigs. The spores associated with the threads or tubes infect the leaves (needles) and twigs of junipers during wet, warm weather.”

Fanmail June 22, 2017
Hey thanks!
The other day I came across your page here, where you linked to the Missouri Botanical Garden: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/category/attack-of-the-fungus/
So, couple things…
Thing #1: Thanks for the suggestion! I LOVE this garden but have never been. It inspired me to go learn a bit more about it. Which is why…
Thing #2: I also added that garden to a huge guide I wrote called “55 Stunning Botanical Gardens to See Before You Die.” Since you already mention the Missouri Botanical Garden on your page, I thought my guide would make a really good complement to your article if you wanted to add the link.
Here it is: https://www.sproutabl.com/gardening/botanical-gardens/
It would knock my socks off if you added it, but let me know what you think of the post in any case!
What do you think?
🙂  Winston

Hi Winston,
You may or may not want to put your socks back on.

Subject: Moth
Location: Johannesburg, south africa
April 3, 2016 12:38 pm
Hi
Found this moth this morning 9am in Johannesburg south Africa. It’s Autumn here at the moment and the weather is moderately warm with temps in degrees Celsius of about 27. We live in a housing complex with a small garden and pets. The moth was on my net curtain and when I moved the curtain he headed outside into the garden.
Signature: Brigitte

Speckled Footman

Speckled Footman

Dear Brigitte,
Just last week we posted an image of a dead individual of this species of Tiger Moth in the genus
 Utetheisa from South Africa, and today we realized that the common name on iSpot is the very appropriate Speckled Footman, Utetheisa pulchella.