From the monthly archives: "September 2016"

Subject: Orange bug in Texas
Location: Austin, TX
September 28, 2016 6:48 am
Hello. I found a bug which looks like an ant with big abdomen and large antennae. Soft bodied. Not sure what this is? (See image). Can you identify?
Signature: Kevin Urban

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Kevin,
This is a Solifugid, a predatory Arachnid that is sometimes called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is not closely related to either.  Solifugids differ from both Spiders and Scorpions in that they have no poison or venom, hence they are considered harmless to people, though it is possible that a bite might occur after an encounter with a large individual.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps, a pair of appendages defined on BugGuide as being:  ” the second set of mouthpart-like appendages in arachnids (spiders and allies). Male spiders have the last segments modified into organs for the transfer of sperm.”  BugGuide describes Solifugids as being:  “Eight-legged, somewhat scorpion-like, but lacking the tail. Elongated pedipalps look like an extra set of legs, but are used as sensory organs, similar to antennae.”

Awesome.  Thanks for the ID.  I know bugs but this was new to me.
Appreciate your help.
Kevin

Subject: Beautiful visitor
Location: Baton Rouge LA
September 28, 2016 1:17 pm
Hi, This little guy or gal was on the wall outside my door this afternoon. Any ID would be helpful. Far more interesting than the thousands of tropical bagworm moths that have been hanging out of late.
Signature: Mark B

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Dear Mark B,
This little beauty is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, a native species that has adapted so that the caterpillars will feed on the leaves of the invasive, exotic Tree of Heaven.

Subject: Lg flying bug orange iridescent wings San Diego
Location: San Diego County
September 28, 2016 7:43 pm
Today I was atop a huge 20ft Boulder at the summit of 3600ft in San Diego County.
This flying insect (seemed like a small humming bird) launched several assaults from hundreds of feet away at me, never really close. Displayed quite the acrobatic maneuvers. What is it?
Signature: Buzzed by big ufo

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Buzzed by big ufo,
Though your image lacks clarity, this Tarantula Hawk in unmistakable.  Tarantula Hawks are large Spider Wasps that generally have black bodies with bright orange wings.  Though they are not aggressive toward humans, they are reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt Tarantulas, stinging them to paralyze, but not kill them.  The paralyzed Tarantula is then dragged back to an underground burrow where it is buried after the Tarantula Hawk lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larval wasp feeds on the still living, but paralyzed Tarantula that acts as a source of fresh (not dried out) food.

Daniel,
I’ve attached additional photos.
Also, this was aggressive to show its displeasure,  although I was 50-100ft from its origin, but it may be due to my wearing a bright orange shirt…
Thanks,
Thanks so much.
This one does have a much larger body than most.
—Jim

Subject: A walking cocklebur only uglier
Location: Pinellas County, Florida
September 27, 2016 9:13 am
Hello,
Several days ago I released some ladybugs on my milkweed plants. They have all disappeared, which is befuddling as the plants are in an enclosed pool cage and there is a generous supply of aphids to munch on. Today (September 27, approximate temperature 87° ) I noticed these beauties. I can’t imagine this is any part of the ladybug lifecycle. I was wondering if you might know what they are? They appear to be about the size of a pencil eraser and seem to get around quite well. I can’t tell if they are eating the aphids or not, although that would be great.
Signature: Melanie W.

Lacewing Larva

Lacewing Larva

Dear Melanie,
While you might be distressed at the disappearance of your Ladybugs, you should be aware that Lady Beetles can fly and they can also be adept at squeezing through small openings in your enclosure.  On a positive note, this is a camouflaged Lacewing larva, sometimes called an Aphid Wolf, and many gardeners believe Lacewings, both adults and larvae, are more effective at eating Aphids than Lady Beetles are.

Subject: rhinmotherous?
Location: Ontario, Canada
September 27, 2016 7:24 pm
A friend in Ontario happened across this little guy during a walk. He’s so nifty I just have to know what he is!
Signature: Dee

Treehopper

Treehopper

Dear Dee,
This is a thorn-mimic Treehopper in the family Membracidae.  We were not able to locate an exact visual match on BugGuide, but we will get back to researching this again later in the day.  Meanwhile, perhaps our readership will be able to assist with this identification.

Subject: Hopper insect ID
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
September 26, 2016 7:36 pm
Hi,
I saw this on our wall outside today. I thought it was a grasshopper, but saw a pic online that resembled it…they said it was a katydid, but the web page was from Australia. Can you id this please? Thank you.
Signature: Paul Diamond

Two-Lined Shieldback

Two-Lined Shieldback

Dear Paul,
This is a Katydid known as a Two-Lined Shieldback,
 Eremopedes bilineatus, based on this BugGuide image, but according to BugGuide:  “16 spp. in 2 subgenera, all in our area,” though it is the only one of the five species pictured on BugGuide that looks similar.  We have no idea what the other 11 species in the genus look like.  This might need the input of a Katydid expert, so we will attempt to contact Piotr Naskrecki regarding its identity.