From the monthly archives: "October 2017"

Subject:  Common Buckeye, maybe
Geographic location of the bug:  Southeastern New Mexico
Date: 10/28/2017
Time: 05:54 PM EDT
I found this guy flitting around in my yard.  He landed in the grass and posed for several pictures.  I thought he was perfect for fall – brown, orange, cream, along with great eyespots.  Looking on your site, I found the Common Buckeye, they looked like a match.  For all that it is a “common” butterfly, I don’t recall seeing one before.  It looked like your last Common Buckeye submission was from a few years ago, so I thought I’d send it in.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Common Buckeye

Dear Curious,
We believe this is a Common Buckeye, but according to BugGuide, the similar looking Tropical Buckeye is also found New Mexico.

Subject:  biggest insect I’ve ever seen…
Geographic location of the bug:  Sun Kosi river, SE Nepal
Date: 10/27/2017
Time: 12:31 PM EDT
We found this huge insect on a beach on the Sun Kosi river, 7th October. It was about the size of  a child’s hand, with very long antennae. After running around our feet for a while it buried itself in the sand.
Any idea what it is? Sorry the pictures aren’t great but it was dark and raining!
How you want your letter signed:  Gareth

Dune Cricket

Dear Gareth,
This is some species of Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, but we are not certain of its classification beyond that generality.  We suspect this is some species of ground Katydid, possibly a Shieldbacked Katydid.  We know we have something similar looking in our archives, but we are unable to locate it.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide a more specific identification.

Piotr Naskrecki Responds
What a beautiful creature. This is Schizodactylus, a member of the ancient family Schizodactylidae, with members in NE Asia and Southern Africa. Its hind wings are always curled like this, which probably helps them move backwards in their underground burrows.

With that information, we were able to find this image of Schizodactylus monstrosu on Orthoptera Species File that looks very similar.  iNaturalist refers to family members as Dune Crickets.

Hi Daniel
That must be it – the face, the feet, and the curled-up shape at its back all look the same.
Thanks for your help tracking it down!

Subject:  Update on our 25,000th Posting
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  10/28/2017
Time:  10:00 PM
Three weeks ago we went live with our 25,000th posting, and the female California Mantis that has been living on our porch light is still there.  We don’t know if she mated with the male from that posting, or ate him, or if he just flew off, but she is swelling.  We know she is eating well.  We have seen her eating a Painted Tiger Moth and we watched her catch another moth, but yesterday evening, we arrived home to find her feasting on a female Scudder’s Bush Katydid that was attracted to the light.  It seems she is ready to begin producing oothecae, and we can’t decide if we should relocate her to a shrub, or leave her and let nature take its course, but as the weather begins to cool, we fear she is nearing the end of her life and we hope she produces progeny.

Mantis Eats Katydid (image courtesy of Susan Lutz)


Subject:  Unidentified bug on sheet hanging on clothesline
Geographic location of the bug:  Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Date: 10/26/2017
Time: 02:55 AM EDT
Please can anyone id this bug? Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Kathy Shivel

Albizia Longhorned Beetle

Dear Kathy,
This is a Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and our money is on it being an introduced species.  We quickly located this image of the
Coptops aedificator on the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery where its range is listed as:  “Arabia, Africa, S. Helena, S. Thomé, Cabo Verde, Madagascar, Comores, Seychelles, Mauritius, Ceylon, India, Andaman. Introduced in China (Taiwan) and Hawaii.”  Previously we have  identified the Albizia Longhorned Beetle in Hawaii.

Subject —
What’s that??
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern California
Date: 10/25/2017
Time: 11:31 PM EDT
Hello bug Man!  Can you help me identify what this is?  Very thin about an inch to an inch and a half at most. Was in my room…
I hope you can shed some light.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Harsha

Snakefly larva

Dear Harsha,
This is a harmless Snakefly larva.  According to BugGuide:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans).”

Subject:  Found on a lotus flower
Geographic location of the bug:  Ratnapura, sri lanka
Date: 10/25/2017
Time: 06:04 AM EDT
Can you plz tell me what this is ?
How you want your letter signed:  Normal

Jumping Spider

Dear Normal,
This is a gorgeous Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.  Based on images posted to Peckhamia, it appears to be
Chrysilla volupe.  The site states:  “With only four recognizable species, having in addition similar palps and epigyne, Chrysilla may be best recognized by bright, shinning coloration. In difference, forms with white spots on darker background are classified in the genus Phintella, independently from similarities in palps palps and epigyne. Often photographed by macrophotographers, the correlation of coloration with genital characters is not certain, hence identification of living specimens without revision of type specimens is tentative. Diagnostic drawings below are integral part of definitions.

Jumping Spider