From the monthly archives: "September 2018"

Subject:  Looks like a preying mantis but it’s colorful?
Geographic location of the bug:  Bucks county, PA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 11:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bug on my wood door frame. It was highly camouflaged. When I looked back it had all these colors. I couldn’t find one similar to it online and I’m so curious!
How you want your letter signed:  Shannon G

Female Carolina Mantis

Dear Shannon,
Based on the markings on the wings, we strongly suspect that this is a female Carolina Mantis,
Stagmomantis carolina, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Your image with her wings displayed are a wonderful addition, and we verified with this BugGuide image that the colorful flight wings she has are consistent with the color and markings for the species.  According to BugGuide:  “Mantids are most commonly seen in late summer and early fall. August-frost (eastern North Carolina).”

Female California Mantis

Subject:  Mating California Mantids at our porch light
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 11:30 PM PDT
Daniel was up late sitting in the kitchen when a large Walnut Underwing caused him to go outside with the camera.  There has been a female California Mantid at the porch light for a few weeks now, and she has been getting fat eating moths and other insects that are attracted to the light.  Well, seems she attracted a mate, and true to her expected behavior, she bit off his head to ensure their coupling would be successful.  The next morning, the corpse was gone.  Did she finish her meal as a post-coital snack?  The female California Mantid living at the porch light last season was not so lucky.  Daniel is thinking of moving her to the plum trees where she will have numerous choices where to lay her oothecae.

Mating California Mantids

Update:  September 29, 2018
Daniel did move the Mantis to the plum trees with the hope she will lay her oothecae there.


Subject:  Clavate Tortoise Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 09/26/2018
Time: 06:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
Just wanted to share a photo from today of a beetle I almost never see – a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  I found this one trapped in the web of a cross orb-weaver, so quickly extricated it and pulled off the web strands.  (Usually, I don’t interfere, but I couldn’t bear to let this one become dinner).  This is only the third time I’ve seen one of these elusive little beetles.  A short while later, he took off.
How you want your letter signed :  Deborah Bifulco

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear Deborah,
Thanks so much for sending in your image of a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  As always, your detailed images are a wonderful resource for our readers who are trying to identify insects they find.

Subject:  I believe  it’s a moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Uganda,Kampala.
Date: 09/25/2018
Time: 07:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What  is the  name of this moth.
How you want your letter signed:  None

Giant Silkmoth: Ludia species

This is a Giant Silkmoth in the genus Ludia, but we located four different, similar looking species ( Ludia dentata, Ludia hansali eximia, Ludia orinoptena, Ludia pupillata)  on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site, so we cannot say for certain to which species your individual belongs.  FlickR has an image of Ludia dentata for comparison and Silkmoths and More has an image of Ludia orinoptena.

Giant Silkmoth: Ludia species

Subject:  What type of moth is this
Geographic location of the bug:  33063, Margate FL
Date: 09/25/2018
Time: 02:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was hanging around hiding from the sun for a bit just wondering what it is
How you want your letter signed:  AJ Hait

Banded Sphinx

Dear AJ Hait,
This striking moth is a Banded Sphinx.

Subject:  It looks like a dinosaur
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington, IL
Date: 09/25/2018
Time: 03:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this on a plant on my porch. It seemed like a praying mantis from far, with lanky legs. But on closer look, it had this strange hump on it’s back, like armor plated look. It’s body was very wide though, with interesting markings on the wings.
How you want your letter signed:  J

Wheel Bug

Dear J,
Congratulations on your first Wheel Bug sighting.  You are not the first person to describe it as looking like a dinosaur.