From the monthly archives: "September 2017"

Subject:  spider webbed over succulents
Geographic location of the bug:  Camarillo, Ca
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 12:48 AM EDT
Hello Bugman,
I saw this beauty posing on a web over a succulent garden in my mother’s backyard. It seemed quite large in person and I’m just curious what type of spider you think it may be. I was too nervous about disturbing the web to snap a pic from the other side, I hope you can see enough to determine what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the English Chain


Dear Melanie on the English Chain,
This is a harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but we are not that proficient at identifying species with only a ventral view.  A dorsal view makes identifications much easier for us, though many species do look quite similar.  This might be a Western Spotted Orbweaver,
Neoscona oaxacensis, based on this BugGuide image.  Often spinning very large webs, Orbweavers are sedentary predators that wait for prey rather than to aggressively hunt.  Irish Chain is a quilt pattern, but we are not familiar with English Chain.

Subject:  What IS this???
Geographic location of the bug:  Kennewick, WA, USA
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 02:14 AM EDT
This thing was making the creepiest tapping sound outside my door and is pretty large. (May need to zoom in on the picture). Never seen one before. Help! Should I worry???
How you want your letter signed:  Curious and a little creeped out

Potato Bug

Dear Curious and a little creeped out,
Commonly called a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, this fascinating creature is quite common in Southern California and other parts of the American southwest, but BugGuide data indicates a far greater range including Washington.  Potato Bugs are not considered harmful toward humans, however, they do have powerful mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Elounda, Crete, Greece
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 05:02 AM EDT
Staying in Elounda and this jumped in front of us on to a wall at night, it seemed attracted to the light on the wall.  Saw this and thought at first it might be a grasshopper but unsure?  Then saw this lovely green insect… Any clues please?
How you want your letter signed:  Sue S


Dear Sue,
This is a Mantis and we believe it is likely a male Mediterranean Mantis,
Iris oratoria, a species that has been introduced to other parts of the world including North America as this BugGuide image demonstrates.  Your other insect is a Stink Bug.

Dear Daniel
Thank you so very much for your fabulous, speedy response.
Really appreciate your suggestions.
Thanks a lot
Sue 🙂

Subject:  Spider & Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  SE MN
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 10:17 PM EDT
I find th spider on my front door last week, summer like temps, 75° F @ 7:45 am. It was about the size of a Kennedy Half Dollar, I got my neighbor to relocate it off my door.
The caterpillar I  found  outside at work about 2  years ago,  late August  early September,  moderate  summer temps.  It was too neat and pretty to not take a  picture of.
I don’t have any idea what kind either of them are.
How you want your letter signed:  Jane

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dear Jane,
Your caterpillar is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alder, ash, birch, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, walnut, willow and other deciduous trees” and “The caterpillar’s hairs can cause skin irritation.”  Your spider is a harmless Banded Orbweaver.

Subject:  Looks like a bug with an amber encrusted frog on top
Geographic location of the bug:  Toronto, Canada
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 02:43 PM EDT
Found this bug on my sliding door today. At first I thought a tiny frog was eating a bug, but it looked like it was encrusted in amber. It’s about 1cm in size, maybe smaller. Looking closer at my photos, the shape of the “amber” crust looks too perfect, so maybe it’s just the bug’s shell.
Any idea what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Steven

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear Steven,
We like your amber-encrusted frog observation as a description of the elytra of this Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  All three provided views are gorgeous and illustrative.

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Subject:  Red Bodied Winged Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Clearwater Florida
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 11:32 AM EDT
Hi Bugman Saw this bug in Clearwater Florida. It’s a really Cool! looking bug. If you have the time – Would you Please identify for me. Thank You Very Much! Brent
How you want your letter signed:  Brent Hansen

Braconid: Bracon species

Dear Brent,
Your images are both gorgeous and perfect for attempting an identification:  dorsal and ventral views.  We must also confess that we identified your Braconid Wasp early this morning, but the time clock began ringing.  Your pretty female, as evidenced by her lengthy ovipositor, looks to us like this member of the genus
Bracon that is pictured on BugGuide.

Braconid: Bracon species

Hi Daniel Thank You Very Much!!! for the compliment and for your quick response and identification. Have a Great Day! Brent