From the monthly archives: "December 2018"

Subject:  Bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Iraq
Date: 12/12/2018
Time: 11:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Mr. Bugman I found this kind of bee or bug on the street and it couldn’t fly for some reason… Its length about 3cm, width about 1cm
How you want your letter signed:  Raf

Carpenter Bee

Dear Raf,
This is a Carpenter Bee and we suspect it is a male because of the golden color.  Carpenter Bees in many parts of the world exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning the males and females look very different from one another with females having black coloration and males having gold coloration.  See this image from our archives.

Subject:  Frozen Like Han Solo
Geographic location of the bug:  a pond in northern IL
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 11:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi.  We were hiking in the woods and saw a few of these trapped in the ice of two different shallow ponds near our home.  Each specimen was about 2 to 2.5 inches long.  I thought it must be a larvae of a pond insect, but I haven’t been able to find any that are supposed to be that big.  Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Mary

Horse Fly Larva

Dear Mary,
This looks to us like the larva of a Horse Fly.  There is a matching image on Quora where it states:  “Most horse flies are associated with water, and the carnivorous larvae can be found therein.”

Thank you! and Yuck!
I appreciate your help.  I always attempt to do my own identifying, but whenever I am stuck, you always come through.
My curiosity thanks you.

Subject:  mystery Dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 08:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Trying to get ID for this dragonfly
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Alison

Mosaic Darner

Dear Alison,
How unusual to see this magnificent Dragonfly and blossoms so late in the season in Ontario.  We can’t provide you with an exact species, but we believe this is one of the Mosaic Darners in the genus
Aeshna which is pictured on BugGuide.  Many species in the genus are quite similar looking.

Thank you!  I’m sorry that maybe I didn’t say that the photo was taken on Sept 12 ’18 .

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Rock, Melbourne
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 04:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think these are Endoxyla cinereus, and I assume they are mating? Some students of mine found these in the school playground – absolutely fascinated. The CSIRO page still doesn’t show it as present in Victoria, so perhaps it is something else?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew P

Mating Wood Moths

Dear Andrew,
We agree that these are mating Wood Moths in the family Cossidae, but we cannot confirm the exact species with any certainty.  We often have trouble differentiating members of this family, and we also confuse members of this family with the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths in the family Hepialidae, which are pictured on Butterfly House.  While we would not rule out that this might be
Endoxyla cinereus, which is pictured on Butterfly House, we can state that it really resembles the individual we posted earlier today that we believe is a Wattle Goat Moth, Endoxyla encalypti.

Mating Wood Moths

Subject:  Unidentified large Australian Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Recliffe Peninsua, Queensland, Australia
Date: 12/09/2018
Time: 07:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I snapped this beauty outside a fish and chip shop on the weekend, taking a rest on a kerb, which would make it about 15cm from front legs to wing tips. I have no idea what sort it is, though, and haven’t seen one before. Can you help? It would be good to put a name to the face, as it were.
How you want your letter signed:  Joshua

Wattle Goat Moth, we believe

Dear Joshua,
This appears to be one of the Wood Moths or Goat Moths in the family Cossidae, possibly the Wattle Goat Moth,
Endoxyla encalypti, which is pictured on Butterfly House where it states:  “The adult moths have forewings that are speckled grey and brown with indistinct light and dark streaks. The hindwings are reddish-brown at the base, fading to grey-brown at the margins. The wingspan is around 10 cms.  The thorax of the adult moth has an uncanny likeness to the head of a mouse! The ‘eyes’ of the mouse are the thicker parts of the bluish lines running on either side of the thorax, located just behind the real eyes.”

Thanks Daniel. The wingspan of this individual was definitely greater than 10cm, but that does look a very close match. Appreciate the help!

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cypress, CA
Date: 12/09/2018
Time: 04:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is currently on my lime tree and not moving.  I thought it was a butterfly but the head looks like a lizard or snake.
How you want your letter signed:  Rita

Orange Dog

That’s ok!  I found it!  It’s a skull caterpillar! A Very cool bug indeed.
I love that you get so many photos of weird bugs that you cannot answer them all.

Dear Rita,
We are not certain where you found the name “Skull Caterpillar” but we do know that Orange Dog is a commonly used name for the caterpillar of the Giant Swallowtail.  The markings on the Orange Dog, which feeds on the leaves of orange trees and other members of the citrus family, are thought to mimic bird dropping for protection.

Very interesting, thank you:)
I got the term skull caterpillar from a google search.