From the monthly archives: "March 2018"

Subject:  Longicorn BVI
Geographic location of the bug:  St. John USVI
Date: 03/29/2018
Time: 12:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I found the letter from the gentleman in BVI about this beetle. I too found one here in the USVI, Just across the channel from the BVI.  Here is a  picture of the one I found. I’m betting it all that it’s the same bug.
How you want your letter signed:  B. Crites

Longicorn: Lagocheirus guadeloupensis

Dear B. Crites,
Thanks to your excellent images, we believe we have identified both your Longicorn and the individual in the previous posting you cited as
Lagocheirus guadeloupensis thanks to Cerambycidae de las Antillas.  A mounted individual is also pictured on Coléopteres des Antilles.  A live individual is pictured on Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel.

Longicorn: Lagocheirus guadeloupensis

My photos are of a very alive one also. Thanks so much for getting back to my. Are these native or invasive. Natural or harmful, do you know? What a great site you have. Similar to mine, but mine is Marine wildlife.
Barb Crites

Hi again Barb,
We will continue to research and hopefully find the host tree or trees.  All indications are that this is a native species for you.  It is possible that fallen trees due to the hurricanes have provided a food source for the larvae, but most Longicorns remain in the larval stage for several years, so these two sightings are probably premature to be connected to the recent hurricanes.

Hi Daniel, I can add that this beetle looks very similar to the mango tree borer, which I would guess got here the same way the wild growing mango trees did.a local resident thinks they are a pest to our turpentine trees. How true that is I don’t know. I have a tendance to agree with you that we are seeing them now because of all the down tree matter from the hurricanes.

Subject:  Unknown Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Olympia, Washington
Date: 03/28/2018
Time: 10:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am normally very knowledgeable when it comes to insect identification. However, my friend sent me this image and it has me stumped. I know for sure that it is some type of moth, but beyond that, I’m at a loss.
How you want your letter signed:  Micah

Small Magpie Moth

Dear Micah,
This sure looks to us like a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but we cannot locate any similar looking moths on the Pacific Northwest Moths site nor on BugGuide’s images of North American Tiger Moths.  It is possible we have the subfamily incorrect, but it is still not pictured on the former site.  We have written to Arctiid expert Julian Donahue and we are still waiting to hear back from him.  Until then, we will tag it as unidentified.

Facebook Comment from Joan Brehm Rickert:
Looks like a Small Magpie Moth. Anania hortulata. They are present in that area.

Thanks to that comment, we have verified the identity is correct on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Eurasia, North American distribution seems patchy and not well known (as of May 2013, BugGuide has photos from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia). Any additional info appreciated.” 

Subject:  Red Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Botswana
Date: 03/28/2018
Time: 05:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I saw this interesting beetle (?) while on safari in the Savute region of Botswana in March, 2018. It is about 2cm long. Is it a variation of an assassin bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Hugh Scarth

African Cotton Stainer

Dear Hugh,
This is not a Beetle.  Taxonomically it is a True Bug in the Red Bug family Pyrrhocoridae, and we believe we properly identified it as an African Cotton Stainer,
Dysdercus fasciatus, on iNaturalist.

Terrific. Thank you for your reply. Hugh

Subject:  Katydid?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ghostmountain Lodge, Mkuze
Date: 03/27/2018
Time: 08:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
The creature I made a photo of “walked” in the garden of the Ghostmountain Lodge in Mkuze, when I was there on December the 24th last year. I would love to know the name of it. Many thanks in advance
Yours sincerely,
How you want your letter signed:  C.P.

3:56 AM
Dear sir/madam,
Since my request at you to determine the name of the cricket I send you, I search the internet myself some more and just now I came across the name of the creature: it’s a Slant-Faced Grasshopper, Acrida exaltata I believe. So you do not have to look any further. Thank you.
Kind regards,


Common Stick Grasshopper

Dear C.P.
We are happy you have identified your Slant Faced Grasshopper.  Based on the image posted to Know Your Insects, we agree with at least the genus.  We will attempt additional research.  BioDiversity India does not list South Africa as part of the global range of the species.  Most observations on iSpot are only identified to the genus level and those that are identified to the species are
Acrida acuminata, called the Common Stick Grasshopper on iSpot.

Subject:  assumed cicada, but possibly something else?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brooks, Alberta, Canada (Dinosaur Provincial Park
Date: 03/27/2018
Time: 08:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  For overlanding camping/adventure site,  and for accuracy’s sake, would like accurate confirmation of insect. Apologies for unclear photo. Best guess will be appreciated.  If it helps, this creature was really loud! This is a “Badlands” site, temps at the time were 39C and higher. Any info will be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Tobi

Crackling Locust

Dear Tobi,
This is a Grasshopper, not a Cicada.  You may visit our Cicada page to see some examples of what a Cicada looks like.  According to Songs of Insects:  “there is one group, the slant-faced grasshoppers, that are known for their soft and muffled songs. Males of this group ‘fiddle their tunes’ by rubbing pegs on the inner surface of their hind femurs against the edges of their forewings. Another group, the band-winged grasshoppers, make an entirely different kind of sound. Males, and sometimes females, make loud snapping or crackling sounds with their wings as they fly, especially during courtship flights. This unique mode of sound production is called ‘crepitation,’ the snapping sounds apparently being produced when the membranes between veins are suddenly popped taut (band-wings also stridulate, but their songs are typically weak and subtle).”  Our best guess is that this is a Band-Winged Grasshopper from the subfamily Oedipodinae and you can view many species on BugGuide where it states:  “Many make crackling, buzzing, or ticking sounds when they fly (crepitate).”  There is not enough detail in your image to make a species identification, but based on your location and its name, we suspect this might be a Crackling Locust,
Trimerotropis verruculata verruculata, which is pictured on BugGuide.


Subject:  Omg what is this and where did it come from
Geographic location of the bug:  Mittagong NSW  Australia
Date: 03/27/2018
Time: 08:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  It’s the beginning of Autumn
Surrounded by privet trees
Several veggie gardens
Southern Highlands region of NSW
Nearly stepped on this thing at 4am in morning on my lounge room rug
Never seen anything like it
Realise it’s a grub of some kind
Put it in container
What should I do with it
Keep or let go
Will it damage my veggies
Does it turn into a butterfly or moth or something
Please help ASAP
Don’t want to leave it in container to die if it needs to finish it’s life cycle but don’t want it damaging my veggie gardens
How did it get here
No one I’ve asked had ever seen one before
My niece thinks it may be a type of horn worm
Please help
How you want your letter signed:  Freaked me out – sarah

Hornworm: Psilogramma casuarinae

Dear Sarah,
Your niece is correct.  This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We identified it on Butterfly House as
Psilogramma casuarinae, a species with no common name, thanks to this additional image.  Butterfly House has a list of food plants including olive, privet and jasmine, and the site also indicates “The caterpillar grows to a length of about 8 cms. When the caterpillar is fully grown, it leaves the food plant and walks up to 20 metres to pupate under the soil.”  Because of the pink coloration, we are surmising that your individual is pre-pupal,  and we suspect it might have already begun to transform.  You can return it outside to an area where it can dig underground.  It will not continue to feed at this time and it will not eat your veggies.

Hornworm: Psilogramma casuarinae