From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  Newly Emerged Male Monarch
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 11:30 AM EDT
Daniel was relaxing in the front yard when this Monarch flew past, seemingly struggling with flying, and it landed on the ground where Jennifer began to take some photos and video with her cellular telephone.  Daniel got the camera and by that time, Jennifer also noticed that something was not right, and the Monarch had flown to a laurel sumac.  Daniel had already suspected that perhaps what was wrong was that this was a newly eclosed Monarch that had not yet gotten used to flying.  The pristine quality of the wings and the fact that it rested on the sumac for about a half an hour, opening and closing its wings before flying off, both support that suspicion.  According to BugGuide:  “Males have scent-scale patches on hindwings, prominent when wings are open, and just possible to see when wings are folded” and this individual flashed his scent-scale patches for the camera.

Male Monarch


Subject:  What insect is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 06:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this on a Joe Pye weed plant on August 25, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.
How you want your letter signed:  Maggie

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Dear Maggie,
This very pretty and ornately patterned moth is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth,
Atteva aurea.

Thank you for the prompt response.
I am having the picture enlarged to hang in my office. Such a pretty moth!

Subject:  Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to identify this bug
How you want your letter signed:  Kenneth ueland

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dear Kenneth,
This is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar,
Acronicta americana, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alder, ash, birch, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, walnut, willow and other deciduous trees.”


Subject:  Black and yellow spiny caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Clinton, IL
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 01:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My son and I found this hiking in a heavy wooded area. We have no idea what species it is. We did find Colobura dirce but that’s inky found in Central America. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Ray and RJ Alvarado

Eastern Comma Caterpillar

Dear Ray and RJ,
We believe this is a Moth Caterpillar in the subfamily Hemileucinae, possibly a Buck Moth Caterpillar,
Hemileuca maia, which is pictured on BugGuide.  The coloration on your individual is different from any other images we have located.  We have requested assistance from Bill Oehlke on this identification.

Eastern Comma Caterpillar

Bill Oehlke makes correction:
Hi Daniel,
I think it is more likely a butterfly larva from Nymphalidae family.

Thanks so much Daniel. My son is super excited about finding a color that’s not normal.

Hold tight Ray.  We are going to have a correction for you.

Correction:  Eastern Comma Caterpillar
Hi again Ray,
After hearing from Bill Oehlke that this was more likely a Nymphalidae butterfly caterpillar, we located an image on BugGuide of an Eastern Comma Caterpillar,
Polygonia comma, and then located a second BugGuide image as substantiation.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed primarily on Hops (Humulus) and Nettles (Urtica, but also False Nettle (Boehmeria), Wood Nettle (Laportea), Elm (Ulmus), and probably other members of families Urticaceae and Ulmaceae.”  Despite having over 26,000 unique posting, this is the first image we have of an Eastern Comma Caterpillar on our site, though we have several images of adult Eastern Commas.

Perfect. Thanks for the follow up and you guys are welcome to use our pics if you’d like.
Ray Alvarado

Subject:  Caterpillar eating blueberry bush
Geographic location of the bug:  Wales, Maine
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 10:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, Can you tell me what this caterpillar is?  I do not want it to eat the blueberry bushes but I don’t want to kill them either.
How you want your letter signed:  Amy

Red Humped Caterpillars

Dear Amy,
These are Red Humped Caterpillars,
Schizura concinna, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a wide range of woody plants, from many different families” so it should be an easy matter to relocate the caterpillars, but alas, BugGuide did not provide a list of any particular preferred food plants.  According to the University of California Pest Management System:  “This pest most commonly chews leaves of liquidambar (sweet gum), plum, and walnut. It also feeds on almond, apple, apricot, birch, cherry, cottonwood, pear, prune, redbud, willow, and other deciduous trees and shrubs.”  The site also states:  “Young caterpillars commonly feed side-by-side in groups, chewing on the lower leaf surface. As the larvae grow, they tend to disperse and feed in smaller groups or individually. Skeletonized leaves are a common result, as the older caterpillars chew all the way through and consume leaves, leaving only the larger, tough veins. Unlike certain other caterpillars that may feed on the same hosts, redhumped caterpillars do not tie leaves with webbing or leave silk strands on foliage; the exception is when silk-covered pupae occur on leaves.  When their abundance is low, larvae eat leaves on only a few branch terminals. Occasionally, heavy infestations develop and defoliate entire trees during the summer. Usually only scattered individual and young trees are severely defoliated. If severely defoliated, trees that are otherwise healthy usually recover.”

Subject:  Large gross bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Hilton Head, SC
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 11:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on my porch… it is about 4-5 inches long, its legs look like a grasshopper, face/antennae  looks like a shrimp. It is expelling a thin brown liquid.
How you want your letter signed:  C. Gates

Round Headed Katydid, we believe

Dear C. Gates,
This is a Katydid, and the ovipositor protruding from the tips of her wings identifies her as female.  We believe this is a Round Headed Katydid in the genus
Amblycorypha based on BugGuide where it states:  “have long legs (hind femora extent almost to tips of tegmina) like Scudderia, but more rounded wings, and overall shape of Microcentrum, though rather more rounded (esp. tegmina), esp. in ♀♀. Top of the head rounded, strongly deflexed. Green, but some species, esp. A. floridana, have a pink phase (some have a yellow phase as well).”  The brown color of your individual is not especially common.