From the monthly archives: "September 2016"

Subject: Identify my bug please; terrifying my children and guests
Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts
September 3, 2016 8:57 pm
Dear Bugman,
I first encountered this bug when I was 6 years old happily coloring on my floor and this monstrous thing ran across my coloring book and I never touched it again. Now I live in an apartment and they’ve shown up frequently these past couple days. One gave me a heart attack in my bedroom, another ran across the kitchen counter sending my child running and screaming, and a recent one I was able to get a picture of was about 30 minutes ago in my bathroom. It is September; almost fall here in Massachusetts and about 70 degrees outside. The weather has been cooling down with a lot of rain and humidity this weekend. These bugs run super fast. They usually hang out in the dark; I’m assuming as whenever a light flickers in they run for cover elsewhere never to be seen again. They have a Buber of legs and vary from very tiny to about 4 inches long. Some are a light brown while others have a striped pattern. I’m getting shivers describing this; these are my worst bug fear. Please please PLEASE help me identify these guys; I would really appreciate. Thank you,
Signature: Terrified Mother and Cade

House Centipede

House Centipede

Dear Terrified Mother and Cade,
This is a House Centipede, and we generally refer to them as harmless, though we concede that a large individual might bite a human, but those incidents seem to be very rare.  House Centipedes are nocturnal predators that will feast upon Cockroaches and other undesirable insects and arthropods.  They are quite startling when they run quickly across the room.  We hope you realize that they will run and hide from you, and they are not interested in attacking you, and the chances of getting bitten are greatly reduced if you don’t try to catch and hold them, which we doubt you will ever attempt.

Subject: Moth or bee?
Location: Brandon , Mississippi
September 3, 2016 4:34 pm
I tried identifying this insect and can’t find a pic of anything that looks like this. I thought it was a moth but then then it sort of looks like a bee too. Any ideas? Thank you.
Signature: Deb Pittman

Bumblebee Moth

Bumblebee Moth

Dear Deb,
Because it is a moth that mimics a bee, the Snowberry Clearwing,
Macroglossa diffinis, is commonly called a Bumblebee Moth.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Hemaris diffinis is a very variable species, but almost always the abdomen sports contrasting black and yellow hairs, the ventral surface being quite black. The legs also tend to be quite dark and there is a black mask running across the eye and along the sides of the thorax.  Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable, both geographically and seasonally. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown. The abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2 yellow segments just before the terminal end. These yellow segments are in much sharper contrast to the rest of the abdomen than in somewhat similar species. Also note the relatively narrow dark outer margin of the hindwing. Most fresh specimens also have some blue ‘fur’ tufts highlighting the first black band on the abdomen.”

Subject: Underground bug
Location: Long island bahamas
September 3, 2016 12:28 pm
This bug was crawling under not on top of soil. What is this?
Signature: Doesn’t matter

Doodlebug

Doodlebug

This is an immature Antlion, commonly called a Doodlebug.  The Doodlebug waits buried at the bottom of a pit with only its mandibles visible for insects to fall into its hungry mouth.

Subject: Spider
Location: Tennessee
September 1, 2016 4:01 pm
Hello, I have found this pretty big spider outside of my window. Still got yellowish greenish dots on its bottom and long legs. I’m wondering if it’s poisonous or harmful at all. Thanks.
Signature: L.T

Golden Orbweaver

Golden Orbweaver

Dear L.T.,
This is a Golden Orbweaver,
Argiope aurantia, a common North American species.  Most spiders have venom that they use to subdue prey, but few spiders have venom that poses a threat to humans.  Large spiders might bite if carelessly handled, but the bite of most spiders is not considered dangerous to humans, producing nothing more than local swelling and tenderness.  Golden Orbweavers as well as all other Orbweavers in the family Araneidae are considered harmless to humans, but again, we would caution that a large individual might bite.

Subject: Butterfly, Southern California ID?
Location: Santa Cruz Island, CA
September 1, 2016 1:44 pm
Hello
Found this butterfly in a collection with no ID.
Sorry for the one and only picture.
Any chance of an ID?
Signature: Geoff

Lichen Moth

Lichen Moth

Dear Geoff,
What is the origin of this collection?  Are you certain the specimen was from Santa Cruz Island?  We are curious as there is no label on the specimen.  This is a Lichen Moth in the tribe Lithosiini.  It resembles
Lycomorpha regulus which is reported from California on BugGuide but Lycomorpha fulgens is also reported from California according to BugGuide.

Hello Daniel
Yes, this was collected on Santa Cruz Island, I was working organizing the Herbarium Collection for the UCSB SCI reserve, the same room has the Bug collection also. This was in one of the Lepidoptera cases I was cleaning.
I can get a better picture next time. Is there any diagnostic characters I should focus on to tell the two apart?
I will look for any other unknowns next time Im out there.
Let me know if any of you bug guys are out this way and I can see about getting out to Island?
Thanks for your help.
Geoffrey

Hi again Geoffrey,
We don’t know that we are going to be able to provide you with exact diagnostic information.  According to BugGuide, of
Lycomorpha regulus:  “Closely related to L. fulgens, and L. grotei.”  Your island offer is highly tempting, but alas, we have just begun a new semester teaching and our free time has evaporated.

Hello Daniel

Not a problem, I understand about volunteer time constraints and the details of parsing out moth spp.
I work at UCSB in IT at the Bren School, so I understand what happens when the students come back.
I volunteer at the Islands during the quite times. Please see the links below for the future and keep us in mind when out west.
For what school do you work for?
http://nrs.ucsb.edu/
http://nrs.ucsb.edu/our-reserves/santa-cruz-island
Thank you again Geoffrey

 

Subject: Unknown spider
Location: South central idaho
September 1, 2016 10:44 am
I found this spider and several people have been wondering what species it is. The size reference is the large canning lid underneath.
Signature: Electronic

Banded Orbweaver

Banded Orbweaver

Dear Electronic,
We just finished posting another image of a Banded Orbweaver, a harmless spider species from an entire family that is considered harmless.  Your image is much more detailed than the one we just posted.