From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Friendsville, TN
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 09:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Was pulling weeds and uncovered this guy under a root ball(mostly crabgrass). The white side wiggled a bit, I turned him over with a stick to get a photo of his belly. He’s about the size of an adult finger, any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  DugABug

Tersa Sphinx Pupa

Dear DugABug,
Do you have a
Pentas vine nearby?  This is the pupa of a Tersa Sphinx moth, Xylophanes tersa, and the Tersa Sphinx caterpillars are frequently found feeding on Pentas.  Though the pupal state is generally thought of as an immobile period of metamorphosis, many pupa are quite active, as you witnessed.

Subject:  Changes around the house
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern New Jersey
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 06:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Recently, we’ve been having a lot of construction done at our house and the house has been completely open to the outside. Over the past couple of days, we’ve seen some of these sharing our home with us. We haven’t seen them before. We live in a forested, semi-rural area.
It would be great to understand what these are so we can understand their habits.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Jim Jacobson

German Cockroach Nymph

Dear Jim,
As you can see from this BugGuide image, you have a German Cockroach nymph,
Blattella germanica.  This is one of the species of Cockroaches that will infest homes and businesses.  It is possible that they were already in your home and the construction has caused them to flee into the open, as they are generally nocturnal feeders that shun light.  It is also possible that they were somehow transported to your home with construction materials or personal belongings of the construction workers, but if you are finding them in large numbers, they are likely reproducing in your home.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for this information. I truly appreciate it. I would guess that somehow they were transported into the house. We’ve lived here 6 years and this is the first time we’ve seen any. We have only seen two.
Thanks again,
Jim Jacobson

Subject:  Type of Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Charlotte NC
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 08:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy was on our bedroom window when I opened the curtain this morning. I’ve tried all the bug guides but don’t see anything similar to even start looking. Is it some kind of fly?
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you!

Red Footed Cannibalfly

This predatory Robber Fly is one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus Promachus, probably a Red Footed Cannibalfly.

Subject:  What kind of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, AZ
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 08:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy crawling from underneath my concrete patio? Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Frank

Tailless Whip Scorpion

Dear Frank,
This is a Tailless Whip Scorpion, and unlike its namesakes, the true Scorpions, it lacks venom, so it is no threat to humans, though a large individual might bite if carelessly handled.  Tailless Whip Scorpions are shy predators that hunt at night and they will help keep your home free from other more problematic creatures, like Cockroaches, Scorpions and Spiders.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your individual is 
Paraphrynus carolynae.  According to BugGuide:  “The very long front legs are referred to as ANTENNIFORM LEGS. The animal uses them to ‘feel’ its way about and to locate its insect prey, which is captured with the spiny pedipalps.” 

Daniel,
Thank you so much for the info! I appreciate it.

Subject:  Giant Sphinx Pupa
Geographic location of the bug:  Bernardo Heights Country Club, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 01:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this caterpillar at our golf course this afternoon, Sunday, August 26, 2018.  I think it is a Giant Sphinx pupa.  Is this correct?
How you want your letter signed:  CADSAN

Pre-Pupal Great Ash Sphinx

Dear CADSAN,
This is a Caterpillar, not a Pupa, but based on the orange color, in our opinion it is a pre-pupal Caterpillar, and though it is not a Giant Sphinx, it is in the Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae.  The blue caudal horn is unusual, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a pre-pupal Great Ash Sphinx Caterpillar,
Sphinx chersis, thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larva – greenish or pinkish with seven long diagonal lines sometimes edged with pink. Spiracles elongate, black ringed with white. Horn blue or pink. ”  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.”

Thank you for you prompt reply.  I had never seen one of those before.  Had a tough time trying to find a picture of him on the internet. He was crawling across a fairway, so I put him in what I am hoping is a safe area so he can  hopefully become a moth someday.  Your website is great!
Appreciate all the info.
Carolyn Dullea

Subject:  Yellow and Black Fuzzy Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Georgia… east of Atlanta
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 07:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Bugman,
Found this guy running through our garage. He caught our attention because he was moving fast! Tried to search Google, but can’t find one that looks exactly right. I know there are a lot of different wooly bears, but none of them look quite like this one. The black bands have longer hairs than the yellow. We took this picture, then gently led him outside to the trees.
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Georgia

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious in Georgia,
You are correct there are a lot of different Woolly Bear caterpillars, because according to BugGuide: “265 species in 88 genera listed at nearctica.com” which means there are 265 different caterpillars in the Tiger Moth subfamily.  As you can see from this BugGuide image, this appears to be a Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar.  According to BugGuide:  “Late instar caterpillar mostly black with tufts of stiff black hairs of equal length radiating around body. Rolls up head to tail when disturbed. When curled, red intersegmental rings visible between the hairs.”