From the monthly archives: "February 2018"

Subject:  Orange/yellow Millipede with green legs?
Geographic location of the bug:  Alamo, CA
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 10:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in our neighborhood creek after a rain with my 3 year old. Despite tireless google image searching I cannot find a millipede or centipede anywhere that looks like this!
How you want your letter signed:  Bri “mom” Schrader


Dear Bri “mom” Schrader,
It appears that this individual has two pairs of legs per body segment, which means it is a Millipede.  Centipedes have a single pair of legs per body segment.  If you found it in the creek, if might be drowned and dead, which may have changed its coloration.  We searched the internet for California Millipedes and we found this interesting article on Myrmecos Blog that profiles a glow in the dark Millipede species,
Motyxia sequoiae, and that states:  “One nocturnal genus in this family, Motyxia, known only from California, does not display conspicuous coloration.  These millipedes do something even more remarkable—they produce a green bioluminescent glow at a dominant wavelength of 500 nm by way of a biological source of light in their exoskeleton.  Scientists have speculated that the emitted light could be a sexual signal to attract mates, or an aposematic warning glow to announce the presence of a cyanide-based chemical defense.”  There are also images on Anotheca so we are relatively confident we have identified your species.  We will be featuring your submission as our Bug of the Month for March 2018.

Thank you for your response! My husband sent my picture, but he got the story a little wrong. My daughter found it under a log near the creek in our yard. It was very much alive. Threw me for a loop. Have never seen a millipede that color!
Thanks again! So cool to know what it is!
Brilynn Schrader

Subject:  Bug found burrowing in dirt
Geographic location of the bug:  St Croix USVI
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 01:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We had a landslide into our planters after hurricane Maria. We found these bugs burrowing in the dirt. And we have no idea what they are but look like they could bite.
How you want your letter signed:  Janice DeWald

Scarab Beetle Grub

Dear Janice,
This is the grub of a Scarab Beetle and they are not aggressive.  They are often found near rotting stumps, in compost piles and many species feed on the roots of grasses, so they are also found in lawns and gardens.

Subject:  Hummingbird Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Alachua, Fl.
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 11:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello.  We get many hummingbird moths each Spring as they love to nectar on our orange blossoms.  This is the first I’ve seen with white stripes.  Newly emerged, perhaps?  Impressive insect.  Fast little buggers.  Hard to photograph.
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth C.

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Elizabeth,
According to Sphingidae of the Americas, there are at least 65 species of Sphinx Moths, sometimes called Hummingbird Moths, reported from Flordia.  This is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, and you can read more about the species on Sphingidae of the Americas.

Subject:  Need ID on chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin, Texas 78717
Date: 02/25/2018
Time: 05:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,  I’m in Austin Texas and was cleaning up my butterfly garden today when I found this on the ground… any idea what it may be?
How you want your letter signed:  Lori in Austin

Tersa Sphinx Pupa

Dear Lori in Austin,
Do you grow
Pentas in your butterfly garden?  This looks like the pupa of a Tersa Sphinx and the caterpillars feed on Pentas.

I do (did, before winter) have pentas in my garden! Thank you!!

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Date: 02/26/2018
Time: 09:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There were many of these bugs last summer. I’ve never seen them before. They were near my blazing stars, wild geraniums, clematis and lilies. They are not the same as the bugs that attacked  my lilies the year before.
How you want your letter signed:  Dying to know.


Dear Dying to know,
This sure looks to us like a European Firebug,
Pyrrhocoris apterus, a species that has been introduced to North America, but according to BugGuide, there are only reports from Utah.  If it has also become established in Canada, you should probably notify your local agricultural agency.

Subject:  Unknown
Geographic location of the bug:  Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 07:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I have found two of these cute  wingless bee like fuzzy bugs. It’s beige with lighter whiteish stripes and the end of its body is white. It has rabbit ear “antennas” or kind of… it only has 6 or 8 legs near its head, doesn’t move much when touched and the size is about  1/ 1.5 cm in length. I can’t really distinguish a mouth or anything else, it’s legs are skinny with no fuzziness as the rest of the body.
How you want your letter signed:  Macy

Female Vapourer Moth

Dear Macy,
This looks to us like a flightless female Vapourer Moth in the genus
Orgyia.  Though it is from England, there is a nice image on Wildlife Insight for comparison and here is a BugGuide image as well.  We have a posting of a caterpillar from the genus Orgyia from Argentina in our archives.