From the monthly archives: "April 2018"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big Ants
Geographic location of the bug:  New Mexico
Date: 04/10/2018
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I discovered these large ants under a  paver where they had their nursery in the front yard. I haven’t seen them anywhere else. I was wondering if they were some sort of harvester ant?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Karen

Carpenter Ants

Dear Karen,
These are Carpenter Ants in the genus
Camponotus, and the individuals with the big heads are the major workers, but we are not certain of the species.  Here is a BugGuide image of a major worker of Camponotus sansabeanus and here is a BugGuide image of another major worker from a different species.  Here is another BugGuide image of a group of Carpenter Ants from New Mexico that are not identified to the species level.  Ant colonies often have numerous castes and here is an explanation from AntArk:  “Soldier ants are also known as major workers or big heads. They are only present among certain ant species that are ‘polymorphic’.  These sterile female ants are larger and stronger than typical workers. They protect their colony from large predators and use their strength and large jaws or mandibles  to cut and carry … larger objects.  In harvester ant species, the soldiers use their strength to crack open hard seeds.  In leaf cutter ant species, the soldiers cut through the thicker plants so that the minor workers can carry the clippings back to their nest.  Some species have median workers that are sized between minor and major workers.”  Carpenter Ants do not eat wood, and according to BugGuide:  “Camponotus species are often called ‘carpenter ants’ because many species nest in dry or moist rotten wood, and some may nest in wooden houses, sheds, etc. However, in the East, C. americanus and C. castaneus nest in soil, and in the West, numerous species (except most in the subgenera Camponotus and Myrmentoma) nest in soil.”  In our opinion, the colony you uncovered does not pose a threat to you or your home.  Though we do not endorse extermination, the Orkin site has some good information as well, including “A typical parent colony contains a queen, the queen’s brood and workers, both minor and major. The size of worker ants determines their responsibilities. Minor workers are the smallest members of the colony, and their tasks are to take care of the young and forage for food. Major workers are larger and serve as soldiers to defend against predators.”  Your image illustrates two different castes of workers.

A Reader Comments:   “I’m sure you’ve heard about this by now. In this posting, “Carpenter Ants, On April 12, 2018 · Category: Ants · Add Comment”, this phrase appeared. “They protect their colony from large predators and use their strength and large jaws or mandibles  to cut and carry buy generic tramadol online larger objects.” I had to read the line 3 or 4 times before it sunk in. I just kept thinking, “What does that say? What’s wrong with this?”! Hard to believe this can happen to a website!!! Take care, have a good one! Cathy”

Ed. Note:  Thanks to Cathy for bringing that to our attention.

I discovered more things about the “Tramadol” line, and now I’m more confused than ever. I went and copied the article and pasted it to Word Pad. The phrase showed up. Then I got the ant website e-mail and was going to tell them about it. When I copied and pasted the article to send to them on my g-mail, nothing showed! I scrapped the e-mail and started to worry what my computer may have caught. I ran Avast and Malwarebytes, and neither found anything! I saw you were able to delete the phrase. Probably always going to be a mystery, and apparently, no harm, no foul. Hope all is well on your end. Thanks, Cathy

We are very happy you contacted us Cathy.  When the AntArk quote was originally read on their site, the ghost link did not appear and Daniel did not review the pasted text, though he did delete all links, so he suspects though the active link was deleted, the url information somehow remained and showed as the strange Tramadol citation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Bangladesh
Date: 04/09/2018
Time: 03:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What can it do
How you want your letter signed:  Bugger

Katydid

Dear Bugger,
Though it appears to be missing its hind legs that are used for jumping, we believe this is a Katydid.  We have images of somewhat similar looking species from Costa Rica on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach, CA
Date: 04/10/2018
Time: 10:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello –
This moth has been visiting my front porch for the last 12 hours or so.  I haven’t been able to get a photo with wings open yet, but from what i can see the markings looks like a whitelined sphinx to me.  What do you think?
Thanks a lot for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Laurie

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Laurie,
This Whitelined Sphinx Moth or Striped Morning Sphinx is one of the most common, large, Southern California Moths and indications are that they are flying in Southern California now.  Just last evening Daniel watched a female ovipositing on the leaves of the sprouting primroses in the garden, and this morning there is one resting on the screen door.  This species tends to fly at dawn and dusk, and it is not unusual for an individual to rest for a day or more before taking flight again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unidentified eggs
Geographic location of the bug:  West Kirby uk on crabapple tree leaf
Date: 04/09/2018
Time: 02:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi do you know what these are?
How you want your letter signed:  N medley

Vapourer Moth Eggs

Dear N medley,
These are Vapourer Moth Eggs, and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to the images on Alamy and Alex Hyde Photography.  According to UK Moths:  “An unusual species in many ways, the males fly during the day but are often also attracted to light at night.  The females are virtually wingless, an attribute normally associated with winter-emerging species, but the adults are out from July to September, sometimes October in the south.  The female lays her eggs on what remains of the pupal cocoon, which then overwinter. When hatched, the very hairy caterpillars feed on a range of deciduous trees and shrubs.  The species is fairly common, especially in suburban habitats, over much of Britain, but more so in the south.”

Thank you so much! We’ll leave it alone then, but I suppose we may want to move some of the caterpillars off of our little tree!
best, Nancy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Howick kzn
Date: 04/10/2018
Time: 08:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Attached are two pics.  The one of a little creature which seems to be invading the garden at the moment …. looks like a kind of shongulolo (spell) because it curls ina little ball and poos on your hand …. we are not killing them but just interested where they might be coming from and what they are?   Second pic of a caterpillar we found walking the dogs… was under a plane tree and unfortunately many of them had been squashed in the road… quite sad … such lovely colors but wandering which butterfly\moth they might be… thanks very much xxxx
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth

Emperor Moth Caterpillar: Nudaurelia wahlbergi

Dear Elizabeth,
This is an Emperor Moth Caterpillar,
Nudaurelia wahlbergi.  The adult moth is pictured on African Moths, and information on the caterpillar can be found on Silkmoths and More.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large florida beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 04/09/2018
Time: 02:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I found this considerable large shell of a dung(?) beetle outside my home in St. Petersburg, Florida. I kept the dried-up thing for a while and i came across your site and i wanted to find out what kind of beetle this is at last. It has very small horn right above it’s head, and that makes me think it is a female dung beetle. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Chance Arceneaux

Female Ox Beetle

Dear Chance,
This is a female Ox Beetle in the genus
Strategus, most likely Strategus antaeus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is:  “Typically sandy areas, e.g. coastal plains” and “Adults said to be chafers, feeding on grasses, leaves, fruits.”

Female Ox Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination