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

Subject: Butterfly and goldenroad
Location: Troy, VA
October 24, 2016 4:16 pm
I saw this very late visitor to the few goldenrod flowers still blooming. I’m not sure what it is, but thought you might like it for your goldenrod meadow.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Crescent Butterfly

Crescent Butterfly

Dear Grace,
Your Crescent Butterfly in the genus
Phyciodes nectaring on Goldenrod is an excellent addition to our Goldenrod Meadow tag.  According to BugGuide:  “Nearctica lists 18 species” in the genus, and though we are inclined to believe this is a Pearl Crescent, we really are unable at this time to verify that species identification with any assurance.

Crescent Butterfly

Crescent Butterfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Water Bug
Location: Western New York
October 21, 2016 3:20 pm
One of our class room got tadpoles from Africa. The water they put into the tanks was from a pond in one of the teachers backyard. This bug popped up in it yesterday it has a grass straw that it looks like it breathes out of not sure though, and it’s body is protected by this grass looking shell (I guess to camouflage it?) I’ve Googled it and can’t find it anywhere! Thank you in advanced
Signature: -school custodia

Caseworm

Caseworm

Dear school custodia,
Were we betting on the origin of this Caseworm, the aquatic larva of a Caddisfly, we would put our money on the pond in the teacher’s backyard and not that they came in with the tadpoles, but we can’t help but to wonder if one of your classrooms wanted to observe the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs, why didn’t they choose to observe a local species of frog rather than to import tadpoles from Africa?  This classroom experiment is going to result in frogs and we hope someone doesn’t decide to release the African frogs into the local pond at the end of the experiment.  Introduction of non-native species into the environment is one of the biggest threats to the survival of native, endemic species in our current climate of globalization.  Alas, we digress.  It was not our intention to lecture your school on the ethics of globalization when you asked about the identity of the Caseworm.  Every species of Caddisfly has a distinctly different Caseworm.  Some make their cases from sticks, some from shells of molluscs, some from pebbles and some from sand.  In our mind, a much more interesting experiment would be to observe the lives of creatures in your local ponds.  Oops, we started lecturing again.

The frogs will be sent back once project is done. They chose this species because of its fast life cycle from tadpole to frog.
And thank you it is a very interesting water bug! The class will be watching it’s life cycle as well 🙂

Thanks for the reassurance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Honey Bee Mimic
Location: 30 miles West of Topeka, Kansas
October 21, 2016 10:24 pm
Hello,
I don’t need an I.D. For this Drone Fly. I just wanted to share a couple photos of this excellent faker.
It found me in N.E. Kansas, U.S.A., about the last week of September, 2016. Everybody I showed it to thought it was a honey bee.
Signature: Jeff from Kansas

Drone Fly

Drone Fly

Dear Jeff from Kansas,
This excellent Honey Bee mimic is a Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced in North America prior to 1874.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Very large spider
Location: south Mississippi
October 22, 2016 3:32 pm
I’m wondering what this spider is. Living in Mississippi, I have seen 3 of them so far and always around fall. This one is very large! The leg span could easily spread across my palm (about 3in across, 4in length), possibly grab around it a little. It’s abdomen is approx. 2-2 1/2 inches long, not including the head part. As you can see it seems to be a tan-ish color with yellow spots and yellow and black legs. Not sure if you’ve ever played Zelda, but the head part looks like the “skull spiders” on the game. We’ve just been referring to it like that Lol The web it’s made is huge, at least 3ft for just the circle. Happy to say it’s not running around or bugging anyone, yet. It’s web has been down a couple times (not by us, sticks and weather), it keeps rebuilding it right where it’s been, guess it’s eating well there. Is it poisonous? Should I be worried? I have 3 kids that love watching it but just want to be sure it’s safe.
Signature: Kate

Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Dear Kate,
Autumn is the time that Orbweavers, that only live for a year, reach maturity and as they reach full size, become much more visible.  Your individual is a female Golden Silk Spider,
Nephila clavipes, and though large individuals might bite if provoked and though they have venom, they are not considered dangerous.  Orbweavers are not aggressive, and they are relatively helpless outside of their webs, so they rarely leave the web.  Teach your children to respect this stunning spider, and we don’t believe you will have any need to worry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  From our personal email account.

Subject:  Tarantula in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 23, 2016
Daniel,
Can you ID this spider from this photo? S/he was not seeming well when Mark saw her – in a glass bowl on the porch, where she must have fallen 🙁
S/he’s much livlier since we gave her water and tiny crickets…Poor thing, I have no idea how long s/he was there.
Julian and I both think s/he looks more like a tarantula than a trapdoor spider.
c.

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Clare,
We agree with you and Julian that this is a Tarantula, and we are happy to hear it is recovering considering it looks dead in your image.  Female Tarantulas are reluctant to leave their burrows, and the males, which do not live as long, seek mates when the first rains of the season occur, much like related Trapdoor Spiders.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “Local hill residents are sometimes shocked to find a giant hairy spider crawling about their pations on a late summer’s eve.  Few Angelenos realize that tarantulas are permanent inhabitants of the dry grass and brush-covered hillsides of the basin.”  We also realize that habitat loss within the city is a contributing factor in reduced populations of Tarantulas, but your proximity to Rainbow Canyon Park and other preserved open space parks in the neighborhood is a good indication that local activism is having a positive impact on native species.  Hogue recognizes two species in Los Angeles,
 Aphonopelma eutylenum and Aphonopelma reversum.  We suspect your individual is most likely Aphonopelma eutylenum which is pictured on BugGuide, and which according to Hogue has males maturing in the fall.  Please keep us posted on this poor Tarantula’s recovery.

Thank you for the information. The tarantula is making a good recovery! We gave him (I decided he’s a male) water, which he  drank; then, three little crickets – of which he has eaten one. I just checked on him and he has buried himself under a combination of small wood chip/mulch and gossamer! So, I think he is recuperating well.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Thirsty Butterfly, maybe an Emperor?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 16, 2016 3:07 pm
You identified some Emperors for me several years ago, thank you.
This butterfly landed right at my feet as I watered a hanging basket. It may be another Tawny Emperor. This one has a dark mark, though, perhaps a scent spot?
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Emperor Butterfly

Emperor Butterfly

Emperor Butterfly

Emperor Butterfly

Subject: Emperor Butterfly? Part II
Location: Coryell County, TX
October 16, 2016 3:25 pm
Hi, these photos are from Oct. 11, and show what I think is another Emperor.
Signature: Ellen

Emperor Butterfly

Emperor Butterfly

Dear Ellen,
Both the Tawny Emperor and the Hackberry Emperor have numerous subspecies, but we believe all your individuals are Tawny Emperors,
Asterocampa clyton, which are pictured on BugGuide.  Three subspecies are found in Texas, according to BugGuide, but there is no indication on how to distinguish them from one another.  Because our duties as an educator are taking us away from the office, we will be post-dating this submission to go live during our absence.

Thank you so much, and best wishes to you both. Just discovered a tarantula strolling across the yard… ? Will submit some photos quickly. Take care, and thank you again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination