From the daily archives: "Tuesday, July 12, 2016"

Subject: Wanting bug ID
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
July 12, 2016 10:10 am
I was at my son’s BMX practice when I looked down at my arm and saw this little guy. He didn’t seem to fall into any major category, so I got a couple of shots with him. The pronounced bright green claw-like appendages got my attention. It was a park-like setting with large pines around. He stayed with me for quite a while as he seemed intent to stay where he was. The fabric is a t-shirt; between that an the hairs on my arm, you should be able to get a sense of scale—maybe not much more than a quarter inch long, and almost as wide. Any clues?
Signature: P. J. Orlando

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear P.J.,
This is an Ambush Bug in the subfamily Phymatinae, and it is most likely a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, a group that according to BugGuide:  “Typically wait for prey on vegetation, especially flowers.”  Of the genus Phymata, BugGuide notes:  “Coupling may involve several males riding around on a single female. Sometimes it allows them to take down larger prey, although coupling individuals have been found each with their own prey as well. Mating occurs with the male mounted on the side of the female.”

Subject: Moth
Location: Fernbridge/ Loleta CA
July 12, 2016 9:41 am
I was a t a gas station and it was windy and when I got out of the car a moth was on the ground on its back. It was pretty and as I was going to pick it up, I put my finger down and it grabbed my finger. I put it on a wall but its little wing was out of wack and it couldn’t fly.
I brought it home and took pictures then put it out side in a plant pot to live.
I looked it up but couldn’t find one like it.
Signature: Darlene

Smerinthus ophthalmica

Smerinthus ophthalmica

Dear Darlene,
This is a Sphinx Moth in the genus
Smerinthus and based on the Sphingidae of California, there are three species in the genus, but Smerinthus saliceti is limited to extreme Southern California.  The Sphingidae of California also states:  “Moths previously listed as S. cerisyi, west of the Continental Divide, are more likely S. ophthalmica” which implies that your species is Smerinthus ophthalmica.  Sadly, your lovely moth has no common name.  According to Sphingidae of America:  “S. ophthalmica flies across southern British Columbia and southern Alberta into southwestern Saskatchewan. In the United States it can be found in Washington, Oregon and northern and central California eastward into Idaho, western Montana, western Wyoming and northern Nevada and northern Utah.”  Unfortunately, this moth will not be able to fly in its current condition, and its dislocated wing needs to be adjusted so the underwing is oriented correctly.  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award because of the care you gave this injured moth.

Smerinthus ophthalmica

Smerinthus ophthalmica

Thank you so much for letting me know about my moth. Unfortunately it has passed away but is still in beautiful condition. I wasn’t able to fix it’s wing until after it had died.
It is sad that it couldn’t continue on.
Thanks again for being out there to identify bugs.
Darlene

Subject: Black and red bug in Virginia
Location: Lynchburg, VA
July 11, 2016 8:09 pm
Saw this outside my apartment building this past weekend. What’s that bug?
Signature: Maureen

Red Shouldered Pine Borer

Purplescent Longhorn

Dear Maureen,
This stunning beetle is a Red Shouldered Pine Borer,
Stictoleptura canadensis, and it is also a highly variable species, meaning many of the images on our site of the Red Shouldered Pine Borer are more red than the namesake color variation you submitted.  The Red Shouldered Pine Borer is classified as a Flower Longhorn in the subfamily Lepturinae, meaning adults are frequently found on blossoms where they feed on nectar and pollen.  Larvae bore in dead or dying pine.

Correction:  07/26/2021
While researching a new submission today of a Purplescent Longhorn, we realized we had misidentified this individual several years ago.  This is Purpuricenus humeralis which is pictured on BugGuide.

Brown California Mantis nymph on Palo Verde
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 11, 2016 6:30 PM
We have been monitoring the California Mantid hatchlings in our yard after finding five oothecae on the same butterfly bush occupied by a California Mantid late last summer.  There is a forest of primrose with many 7 foot tall plants in a small patch of our yard, and we have observed at least six green California Mantid nymphs there over the past few weeks.  The California Mantid can be either green or brown, and there is some evidence that the coloration is tied to the surroundings, though one might counter that both green and brown Mantids might exist in the same location, and those that are better camouflaged avoid predators and consequently survive to pass on their genes as opposed to the notion that the Mantid will change color depending upon the surroundings.  The Palo Verde is currently blooming and its blossoms are bright yellow.  We just spotted our first brown California Mantid on the Palo Verde.  Though we acknowledge that cannibalism is most likely occurring with the larger mantids devouring the smaller ones, nonetheless, there are far more this year than we have ever seen in the past.  Thankfully we spotted those five oothecae last season while trimming dead branches.

California Mantid nymph on Palo Verde

California Mantid nymph on Palo Verde

Subject: Pretty spider with metallic blue butt
Location: North New Jersey, USA (woodsy and mountainous region)
July 11, 2016 5:15 pm
Hello,
This seemingly friendly spider/ or insect was crawling on me and despit my attepts to put it back on the grass, it kept finding its was back on to me over a period of hours.
Its truly gorgeous. It moved slowly, seemed alert to sounds around it and may have hopped a little.
i’ve looked everywhere on line but could not identify it.
Signature: Cassi

Leaf Footed Bug Nymph

Leaf Footed Bug Nymph

Dear Cassi,
Our previous posting was of a Leaf Footed Bug nymph in the same genus,
Acanthocephala, and most likely of the same species, Acanthocephala terminalis.  Your northern location has only one member of that genus reported, and it is A. terminalis.  Your difficulty in finding an identification is due in large part to the fact that immature insects can look very different than adults from the same species, and most identification guides only depict adults of the species.  We can’t help but to notice that there appears to be paint on your skin.  Perhaps something in the paint created an odor that attracted this Leaf Footed Bug nymph.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “shrubs in woodlands/wood edges; fields and meadows” which agrees with your description of your location. 

Immature Leaf Footed Bug

Immature Leaf Footed Bug

Thank you so much for clearing that up!
I greatly appreciate your time and consideration!
Cassi