From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  Interesting moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Springfield, Virginia
Date: 08/30/2018
Time: 11:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this moth on my front porch today,  August 30. I think it look like its camouflage is to appear as fungus on a tree trunk. Can you help me with the name of the species? I looked in my North American Wildlife guide, but couldn’t find a match.
How you want your letter signed:  Elena-age 11

Geometer Moth, possibly Euchlaena muzaria

Dear Elena,
While we don’t have time this morning to research the species of your interesting moth, we can tell you it is a member of the Geometer Moth family Geometridae.  We will attempt a species identification later in the day.

Update:  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this moth is Euchlaena muzaria.  It is also pictured on Discover Life and Moth Photographers Group.

Subject:  What is this moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Colorado Mountains
Date: 08/30/2018
Time: 12:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have these in my house and need to know what they are. They are pretty small.
How you want your letter signed:  Toni

Many Plumed Moth

Dear Toni,
This is a Many Plumed Moth in the family Alucitidae and according to BugGuide:  “wings consist of unusual and diagnostic feather-like plumes (rigid spines from which radiate flexible bristles), normally spread apart like a fan when the moth is at rest; there are six plumes per wing, for a total of twenty-four.”  You have no cause for concern because moths that are considered Household Pests do damage during the larval stages and according to BugGuide:  “larvae are borers in fruits, flowers, buds, or stems of host plant larvae feed on honeysuckle (
Lonicera spp.) and snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.), both of which are in the family Caprifoliaceae.” 

Subject:  Insect ID
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Massachusetts
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 05:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please ID this bug I found on my cannabis plant?
How you want your letter signed:  thanks, Hammer

Spined Soldier Bug Eggs

Dear Hammer,
These are Stink Bug eggs, and generally, if a gardener finds a cluster of Stink Bug eggs on a cherished plant, it would be a problem, but thank to this BugGuide image, we have identified the eggs you found as those of a predatory Spined Soldier Bug in the genus
Podisus.  If you have not destroyed the eggs, we would urge you to return them or allow them to hatch and return the nymphs back to the plant because according to BugGuide:  “preys on a wide variety of other arthropods, especially larval forms of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. Examples: known to eat Mexican bean beetles, European corn borers, diamondback moths, corn earworms, beet armyworms, fall armyworms, cabbage loopers, imported cabbageworms, Colorado potato beetles, and velvetbean caterpillars.”  We have learned that the Tobacco Budworm, Heliothis virescens, a species of Cutworm, can decimate a budding Cannabis plant that is close to harvest by burrowing into the center of the bud and feeding from the inside out without being detected until the entire bud turns brown. Here is a BugGuide image of the hatchling Spined Soldier Bugs so you can recognize them, and recognizing the adult Spined Soldier Bug will allow you to maintain the species in your garden so your crop will be more organic. 

Subject:  Flourescent green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Central California
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 12:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little gem about 1 ft deep. Looks like some kind of crustacean.
How you want your letter signed:  Jwh

Cicada Nymph

Dear Jwh,
This is a Cicada nymph, and we have identified similar looking Cicada nymphs from the west coast in the past as being members of the genus 

Subject:  Looks like a bee but with strange antennas?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Michigan,   U.S.
Date: 08/28/2018
Time: 05:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bee on 8-26-2018 in my backyard and have never seen another like it?  Has the stripes like a bee but unique antennas??
How you want your letter signed:  Nancy G.

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Dear Nancy,
What you have mistaken for antennae are actually the elytra or wing covers of a Goldenrod Soldier Beetle, a common species that feeds on the pollen and nectar of autumn flowers.  Larvae are beneficial predators.

Subject:  Goldenrod Soldier Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Omaha, Nebraska
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was told this is a Goldenrod Soldier Beetle. I’m not sure what they are, and if they are destructive. I used to get a ton of bees on this sedum. Now I get these Beetles doing the wild thing.
How you want your letter signed:  Alissa Apel

Mating Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

Hi again Alissa,
We don’t believe there is any connection between the disappearance of the Bees and the appearance of Goldenrod Soldier Beetles, a species that will not harm your garden.  According to BugGuide, there diet is:  “Adult: pollen and nectar of fall flowers, esp. goldenrod (
Solidago); larvae feed on locust eggs, insect larvae, cucumber beetles, and other Diabrotica spp.”  Given the predatory nature of the larvae, we consider Goldenrod Soldier Beetles to be a beneficial species.