From the monthly archives: "December 2017"

Subject:  Mystery Grub
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange County, CA
Date: 12/02/2017
Time: 12:49 AM EDT
Hello.  I moved a tent in my backyard and found many of these grubs.  One of the ones was much bigger than the others.  You can see it in the photo compared to my thumb.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

Scarab Beetle Grubs

Dear Michael,
These are Scarab Beetle Grubs.  Many species feed on the roots of grasses.  Others are found in or near decaying vegetation, including in compost piles and rotted logs.  We are postdating your submission to go live near the end of the month when our editorial staff is on holiday.

Subject:  What bug is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Texas
Date: 12/03/2017
Time: 04:55 PM EDT
What is this bug? I found it in an old glasses case.
How you want your letter signed:  Help


This is a Silverfish, a common household pest that will eat just about anything organic it finds in the home, including the wallpaper glue and the glue in book bindings.  We will postdate your submission to go live at the end of the month while our staff is out of the office for the holidays.

Update December 30, 2017:  Thanks to a comment, we now realize this is a Firebrat.

Subject:  This critter
Geographic location of the bug:  Peru (tambopata)
Date: 12/18/2017
Time: 10:59 AM EDT
Hello, a few nights ago I hid under my mosquito net (and took the photo of it from there) from this, and forgot to ask our guide what it was. Google isn’t providing answers! It was about 5cm long.
How you want your letter signed:  Any help appreciated, thanks, Lucy


Dear Lucy,
This is some species of Cockroach.

Subject:  Interesting Tenebrionid that needs an ID…
Geographic location of the bug:  Belize, Central America
Date: 12/16/2017
Time: 11:36 PM EDT
Hi bugman! In August 2017, we collected this beautiful Tenebrionid in Central Belize in the Northern Maya Mountains. Elevation at this site is about 700-ft and it is primarily Tropical Broadleaf Forest. I thought I would put it up on your site to see if anyone may have an ID for it or at least some direction we could go for an ID. And yes, we did have a collecting permit from Belize plus a 3-177 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the collections. Thank you very much.
How you want your letter signed:  David Wyatt

Unknown Darkling Beetle

Dear David,
We are posting your Darkling Beetle image as requested.  This is sure a brightly colored Darkling Beetle.  We hope you are able to eventually get a correct identification.

Thank you very much Daniel.
I too hope that someone might have an idea…not too many Tenebrionids have this kind of coloring.  It’s rapidly turned into one of my favorite beetles that we’ve captured in Belize.  We are working on a project to develop a virtual collection of insects of Belize and have so far had four bioblitzes (entomology) down there and brought back to the University of California Davis over 200,000 specimens.  An exciting project.
Thanks again.
Dave Wyatt

Subject:  Probably Opsiphanes invirae
Geographic location of the bug:  Amazon rainforest in Peru
Date: 11/27/2017
Time: 02:01 PM EDT
Hi again,
This time I come with a probably identified species and just need to confirm it. Or not. 😉
I think it’s Opsiphanes invirae, and you?
It was in august 2009.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Ferran Lizana

Brush-Footed Butterfly

Hi Ferran,
Most images of
Opsiphanes invirae that are posted online of living specimens show the ventral wing surfaces, like the images on Learn About Butterflies, and the markings on the ventral surface of your individual are barely visible, but they also appear much less ornate.  You may be correct, but we cannot state that for certain.  This image from FlickR appears very close.

Subject:  Golden Ladybug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Falcón, Venezuela
Date: 12/14/2017
Time: 11:01 AM EDT
Hi, I found this beetle in my car this morning. It looked exactly like a Ladybug but spotless and with an iridescent golden color. For what I’ve seen it’s not a Tortoise Beetle, so what could it be?
How you want your letter signed:  Gabriela G

Tortoise Beetle

Dear Gabriela,
This is not a Lady Beetle.  It is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, probably one of the Tortoise Beetles.  Alas, we did not have any luck locating matching images on the internet.