From the daily archives: "Sunday, July 17, 2016"

Subject: Bug from Costa Rica
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
July 17, 2016 6:36 pm
Hi Bugman,
I’m a biologist and photographer currently on vacation in Costa Rica, where I’m doing an ecologically-minded tour through the country to see wildlife. I have been having an absolutely amazing time and there are so many beautiful insects to be seen and identified. As a long time follower and fan of What’s That Bug, I thought I would submit one and see if you had any idea what it is (perhaps family/order/genus if not species). I have a lot of photos of bugs that have yet to be ID’d but I don’t know where to start with this one in particular. The bug was sighted in the Monteverde region and the photo was taken with a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Thank you so much for your time and please keep up the excellent work!
PS: If you have any interest in seeing the other bug photos I have taken so far, I would be happy to share! I got a great shot of a bullet ant, among others.
Signature: Casey

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Dear Casey,
Thanks for the compliment.  By all means submit more images, but please continue to use our standard form and please confine your submissions to one species per form unless there is a good reason to submit multiple species together.  This Fly in the order Diptera is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, but when we did a search for Asilidae Costa Rica, we did not find any matching images.  The closest we could find is this similar looking female Robber Fly from the UK.  Your individual appears to be a male judging by the claspers as the tip of his abdomen.  We suspect that there is much Robber Fly diversity in Costa Rica and we also suspect they are not as well documented as larger, flashier insects like butterflies, moths, beetles and katydids.  Here is a Costa Rican Robber Fly on Quaoar Power Zoo that is definitely NOT your species.  Robber Flies are adept predators that often take prey on the wing.

Subject: What bug is this?
Location: CT
July 17, 2016 5:05 pm
Hey! I live in Stamford, CT and found this bug crawling around. Do you know what kind it is?
Signature: AJ

Mantidfly Pupa

Mantidfly Pupa

Dear AJ,
This is the ambulatory pupa of a Mantidfly.  Here is a matching image and additional metamorphosis images from BugGuide of the pupa of the Mantidfly
Dicromantispa sayi.  According to BugGuide, the larva:  “spins a cocoon, and changes to a pupa within the skin of the larva. Later the larval skin is cast; and, finally, after being in the cocoon about a month, the pupa becomes active, pierces the cocoon and the egg-sac, and crawls about for a time; later it changes to the adult form.”

Mantidfly Pupa

Mantidfly Pupa

Subject: Wasp like moth
Location: Plano Tx, north of Dallas
July 17, 2016 12:40 pm
I’m sure this is a moth, but wondering what kind. I found it motionless in some ivy treebine.
Signature: Steve

Clearwing Moth: Vitacea admiranda

Clearwing Moth: Vitacea admiranda

Dear Steve,
Your suspicions that this is a moth are correct.  It is one of the wasp-mimic Clearwing Moths in the family Sesiidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as
Vitacea admiranda thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states:  “Adult – resembles Polistes paper wasps” and “Larval hosts are likely grapes (Vitaceae). Knudson & Bordelon observed the adults in association with mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis).”  BugGuide also indicates:  “This species was practically unknown before synthetic pheromones, only three specimens in major collections for the first 100 years. It is now known throughout Texas, and is exquisitely sensitive to pheromone residues on skin or clothing.”  We verified that identification on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Fauna Project.

Thank you Daniel, this is great information, I really do appreciate it.

Subject: Ten-Lined June Beetle
Location: Glendale, California
July 15, 2016 6:41 am
My sister sent me this image while at a railroad museum in Glendale. She said a little boy was harassing it when she came across it, which is why its wings are like that, I assume. Your site helped me identify it as a male. I think its beautiful.
Signature: JB from Vegas

Ten Lined June Beetle from Glendale

Ten Lined June Beetle from Glendale

Dear JB,
You are correct that this is a male Ten Lined June Beetle, but we wonder if the railroad museum you mentioned is Traveltown in Griffith Park which is in Los Angeles near the Glendale Border.  We are also including an image of a Ten Lined June Beetle we shot last night on our screen door with this posting.  Last year was the first time we have found a Ten Lined June Beetle in Mount Washington in the 21 years we have lived here, and it is now our third sighting of this year with the other two being females.  These sightings at our office represent either a range expansion, or a reintroduction of a previously extirpated species.

Ten Lined June Beetle from Mount Washington

Ten Lined June Beetle from Mount Washington

Subject: insect collecting for the squeamish
July 14, 2016 5:46 pm
Hi,
I’ve always been facinated by insects and recently I’ve noticed my son taking an interest too I want to encourage/develop it by starting an insect collection.
However, I’m not keen on the idea of killing them.
I come across many different insects already dead & was wondering if there’s any reason I couldn’t use these specimins instead, and if you knew of or was aware of any information based on collecting already dead insects.
Bit of an odd quetion, I realise, but hopefully you can help me.
Kind regards,
Jess
Signature: Jessica Hanlon

Car Grill Road Kill

Car Grill Road Kill

Dear Jess,
Your letter has been in the back of our mind for a few days now.  Though we do support insect collections as an educational experience, the sad state is that many school project insect collections are not maintained and they are quickly forgotten after the grade has been allocated.  We have a wonderful letter in our archives from Nancy that recounts her school collection that was assembled strictly from insects on a car grill, and we are illustrating your query with an awesome Car Grill Road Kill image we received many years back.  We think creating a collection from already dead insects is a marvelous way to reconcile your reservations.  We also believe that a truly interested youngster can develop a real appreciation for the natural world by beginning a true “capture” collection.  You might enjoy this posting as well from Susanne where we support starting a collection and we do not believe an insect collection is Unnecessary Carnage.  Doing a photo collection is another possibility for folks who do not want to kill and pin insects.

Hi,
Thanks for your reply. It definitely encouraged me to just give it a go.
My 10 year old sister my son and myself went on a hunt round the house today for dead bugs, and although some of them were quite elderly corpses by the time they were manhandled by children it has proved to be an activity that kept them both entertained for hours.
Tomorrow we’ll be trying to identify some of them. Here’s a section of our ‘bug collection for the squeamish’.

Insect Collection for the Squeemish

Insect Collection for the Squeamish

Dear Jess,
That is one impressive collection you have assembled in a very short space of time.

Subject: What is this??
Location: Western PA
July 17, 2016 10:50 am
Found this bug on the side of my couch and cannot identify it. It’s reddish brown in color and about 3 inches long. From the western Pennsylvania area. Can you help?
Signature: Nicole

Brown Prionid

Brown Prionid

Dear Nicole,
We suspect this Brown Prionid entered your home after being attracted to lights.