From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  Tomato eating insects
Geographic location of the bug:  Alvord. Texas
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 10:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This morning i found hindreds of these bugs. When i watered the tomatoes they fled like cockroaches in the light. What are these tomato eating beasts?
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Striped Blister Beetles

This is most likely a Striped Blister Beetle, Epicauta vittata, which is pictured on BugGuide, but there are also several very similar looking members of the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Feeds on variety of plants, especially Solanaceae (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes), also soybeans, other crops. Pigweed, Amaranthus species, not a crop plant, is also fed upon extensively.”

Subject:  Green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Finland
Date: 08/02/2018
Time: 02:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am interested in name of this bug. ?
I was making some photos outside and see this bug. It was on flowers and stay there for a while.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Photographer

Plant Bug

Dear Photographer,
We believe this is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae.  Here is a similar looking individual from the North American insect site BugGuide and BugGuide states that identifying features of Mirid Plant Bugs include:  “
antennae mostly long and thin …legs slender, delicate.”  It closely resembles Trigonotylus ruficornis pictured on British Bugs.

Subject:  Green Crawling insect
Geographic location of the bug:  India- Goa
Date: 08/02/2018
Time: 12:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please find this bug details.
How you want your letter signed:  Ta

Hornworm: Theretra lycetus

Dear Ta,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We are not entirely sure we have correctly identified your individual, but the caterpillar of the Levant Hawkmoth,
Theretra alecto, pictured on Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic looks similar, as does the green variation of the Taro Hornworm, Theretra oldenlandiae, also pictured on Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic.  We hope Hornworm expert Bostjan Dvorak can assist in this identification.

Ed. Note:  We are thrilled that Bostjan wrote back that “This amazing record documents the spectacular caterpillar of Theretra lycetus, in a rather rare, green morph; it is more common in yellow or brown colour.”  The species is not even represented on Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic, which explains why we never even considered it.  We do have an image of the adult Theretra lycetus in our archives.  We did locate an image of a brown caterpillar on Wikimedia Commons

Subject:  Large black bug with huge false eyes
Geographic location of the bug:  North central North Carolina
Date: 08/02/2018
Time: 11:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was on the wall of our home in NC.  Date was August 2,2018.  I would estimate that it was a little over an inch long.  I am pretty sure the “eyes” are not actual eyes but rather adaptive coloring.
How you want your letter signed:  Will Parrish

Eyed Elater

Dear Will,
This impressive Click Beetle is appropriately called an Eyed Elater, and you are correct that those “eyes” are not real and are used as protection against predators.

Subject:  Moth??
Geographic location of the bug:  Saranac Michigan
Date: 08/02/2018
Time: 10:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell me what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Whitney

Small Eyed Sphinx

Dear Whitney,
Your moth is a Small Eyed Sphinx, and according to Sphingidae of the Americas it:  “ranges from south eastern Canada to Florida westward almost to the Pacific Coast.”  The small eyes referred to in the name correspond to eyespots on the underwings that can startle a predator like a bird into thinking it has startled a large predator when the moth reveals the “eyes.”

Subject:  Cool moth
Geographic location of the bug:  West Michigan
Date: 08/02/2018
Time: 11:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is the coolest moth, have no idea why it is in my living room.  Would like to know what it is and the caterpillar that goes with it please.
How you want your letter signed:  Tracie

Clymene Moth

Dear Tracie,
This is a Clymene Moth,
Haploa clymene, and this is an image of its caterpillar from BugGuide.