From the monthly archives: "August 2016"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Larvae identification
Location: Southwest MI
August 31, 2016 12:18 pm
I have several tent nests on the Prairie Dogbane (I believe this is the plant, though my MIL says it’s milkweed) growing in my front yard. These are silky nests on the leaf ends of the plants, and they aren’t found on any other plant species in my flowerbeds. The eggs are tiny and dark, almost black, and the larvae are less than an inch in length, orangish in color, with black spots and no hairs. The larvae may still be immature, though there were several sizes in the nests, and these were the largest I found. Can you identify these insects? Are they beneficial or pests? Thanks for your help!
Signature: Val

Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars

Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars

Dear Val,
Thanks for providing the name of the food plant, because we didn’t have a clue about the identity of these caterpillars, but we quickly identified them as Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars,
Saucrobotys futilalis, thanks to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar feeds on dogbane, Apocynum species, including Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp), and on milkweeds, Asclepias species, including butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa (Maryland Moths). Larvae make conspicuous silk nests on their host plant.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful spider buddy
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
August 31, 2016 12:53 pm
This spider has taken up residence outside of my back door. It is bigger than the picture gives credit. My sons are fascinated by watching it and I would love to be able to give them some scientific information about our new friend! I just wanted to know what species it is and whether male or female? Thanks!
Signature: Jamie

Cross Orbweaver

Cross Orbweaver

Dear Jamie,
This is one of the harmless Orbweavers in the family Araneidae, and we are pretty confident this is a Cross Orbweaver or European Garden Spider,
Araneus diadematus, and according to BugGuide, it was:  “Introduced to North America from Western and Northern Europe.”  We are also relatively confident this is a female.  With the Orbweavers, females are larger than males.  We believe your children will love learning about Anita and Arabella, the first spiders in space, and you can read about them on About.Com.

Cross Orbweaver

Cross Orbweaver

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornet / Wasp
Location: Grapevine Texas
August 30, 2016 4:13 pm
Found these 3 on my back patio and haven’t luck figuring out what they are. I have found similar looking ones but the sizes are always listed quite a bit smaller than these bad boys.
Signature: – Tegan

Cicada Killer Carnage

Cicada Killers found Dead

Dear Tegan,
Looking at your image of three dead Cicada Killers saddens us.  Cicada Killers are large and scary looking, but they are solitary wasps that are not aggressive towards people.  Cicada Killers prey upon Cicadas.  The female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes her prey, which she then drags back to her subterranean nest to provide food for her brood.  We hope you will learn to tolerate Cicada Killers in the future.

Thank you for the info Daniel!  If it makes you feel better I did not kill them.  I came home from a trip and they had gotten through a hole in my screened in patio and were unable to escape.  Thanks again for taking the time to look at this!!!
– Tegan

Thanks for letting us know that this was NOT Unnecessary Carnage.

I won’t lie, they freaked me out a bit when I found them as I have never encountered wasps that big.  Glad to know I am not their prey 🙂  Hole in the screen is patched so hopefully it won’t happen again!  Thanks again for taking the time!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect ID, please.
Location: Cleveland, TN
August 31, 2016 5:34 am
Found this little fuzzy “thing” on the backside of a leaf on my River Birch tree. Never have seen anything like this before so would like to know exactly what it is. Can you help?
Signature: Rick McCormick

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Rick,
You can see by comparing your caterpillar to the one in this BugGuide image that this is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma.  According to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Identification, Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA, (Aspen & 23rd Sts)
August 31, 2016 8:13 am
Hi Bugman,
These bugs are all over the ground under trees and shrubs in our Philadelphia neighborhood. None of us have ever noticed them before but now they’re profuse under the shrubbery and trees surrounding a block-size parking lot. They look like they’re mating (picture 1) but I’ve also seen signles. And there are tiny versions (picutre 2).
Thanks for solving our mystery. We’re all stumped!
Merrill Mason
Fairmount neighborhood, Philadelphia
Photos taken at 6pm, August 30, 2016
Signature: Merrill Mason

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear Merrill,
Your images are an excellent documentation of both adult mating Red Shouldered Bugs,
Jadera haematoloma, and an immature, wingless nymph.  This is a species known for gathering in large aggregations.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae tend to feed in groups, and favor developing seeds and fruits of their favored hosts, but will also suck sap from foliage, flowers, buds, or oozing stems. They feed on a variety of plants primarily in and related to the family Sapindaceae. Favorites include Balloonvine (Cardiospermum species) and Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria sp.), both in Sapindaceae, and they regularly use Soapberry (Sapindus sp.; Sapindaceae) and Maple/Boxelder (Acer sp.; Aceraceae). Additionally, reported on a variety of other plants, especially feeding on fruit, including Chinaberry (Melia azedarach; Meliaceae), Fig (Ficus spp.; Moraceae), Althaea (Malvaceae), Plum, Cherry, & Peach (Prunus sp.; Rosaceae), Apple (Malus sp.; Rosaceae), Grape (Vitis sp.; Vitaceae), Ash (Fraxinus sp.; Oleaceae), etc. Adults sometimes gather around human food leftovers and other smashed insects to feed as well.”  Because of the preferred host tree, they are sometimes called Goldenrain Tree Bugs.

Red Shouldered Bug Nymph

Red Shouldered Bug Nymph

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this guy?
Location: central NJ
August 31, 2016 11:17 am
I saw this spider in the gym today and nearly left (I’m not a big fan of spiders). we tried to shoo him out the door but he kept running the wrong way. Finally we convinced him to go outside. He was probably the size of a half dollar and he was quite fast.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Andy

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Dear Andy,
The spinnerets on the tips of the abdomen help to identify your spider as a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis which you can verify by comparing your spider to the one in this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “These spiders are very common throughout the United States and Canada. Their webs will ‘litter’ the low-hanging shrubs and grass in summer to early fall, and are really noticable after a nice early morning dew. They are fairly easily identified: a “small” brown spider with longitudinal striping, the arrangement of their eight eyes into two rows. (The top curved row has four eyes and the bottom curved row has four eyes).   They also have two prominent hind spinnerets. A spinneret is a spider’s silk spinning organ. They are usually on the underside of a spider’s abdomen, to the rear. On many spiders, the spinnerets cannot be seen easily without flipping the spider over; however, with Agelenopsis, the spinnerets are readily seen without having to flip the spider over. “

Thank you. I thought it might be a wolf spider. Good to know it’s not.

They do look quite similar to Wolf Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination