From the yearly archives: "2018"

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Tacoma washington
Date: 12/17/2018
Time: 06:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve found this in my kitchen. What is It? It was quite large, with wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Daniele

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Daniele,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug you encountered is native to the Pacific Northwest, but beginning in the 1960s, it began to expand its range eastward, most likely due to increased human travel including airline travel.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often seek shelter indoors to hibernate when weather cools, and this phenomenon is quite marked in its expanded range of eastern Canada and U.S., and because of its hibernation habits, we suspect it was able to stow away in luggage and other items involved in human travel.  Beginning in the third millennium, Western Conifer Seed Bugs were introduced to Europe.  Outside of its Pacific Northwest origin, it is considered an invasive species.

Subject:  Odd bug / spider with long front legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Czech Republic, South Moravia, Brno
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This scary looking thing was crawling in my bathtub, and I have no idea what it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Really bugged about this

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Really bugged about this,
We suspected correctly when we read your subject line that you encountered a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion, a group of Arachnids that are frequently encountered in homes.

Subject:  What’s this bug ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Livingston, Guatemala
Date: 12/21/2018
Time: 03:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Flew around the boat about 50 metres offshore…landed…left.
How you want your letter signed:  By Feather Quill (cause it’s classy)

South American Palm Weevil

Dear Classy Reader who writes with a Quill Pen,
This is a Weevil, a type of Beetle in the family Curculionidae, according to BugGuide:  “Arguably, the largest animal family with more than 50,000 species in ~4600 genera worldwide.”  Your individual is quite large for a Weevil, and we thought it would be easy to identify, however, the best we could do in a short amount of time is to find a matching image of an unidentified individual on the Highlights Along the Way blog.

South American Palm Weevil

We did additional research that included lightening a cropped version of one of your images that now reveals the details on the elytra, and we now believe this is a South American Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus palmarum, a species that is also reported from Central America and is pictured on Insect Designs.  There is a UC Riverside pdf on this species that shows the horrific damage it can cause to palm trees.

Elytra of South American Palm Weevil

Thank you for your reply. In the meantime I found out what species it is. Someone from iNaturalist who is also from Serbia said that there is actually only one species in Serbia which is Pentodon idiota.
Regards,
Mihajlo

Hi again Mihajlo,
Thanks so much for providing this update.

 

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  U.S North Carolina
Date: 12/20/2018
Time: 12:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little grey bug with black spots on some of my old curtains that Ive left by the front door for a while.
How you want your letter signed:  J.G

Springtail

Dear J.G.,
This is a Springtail, a benign, common insect found in many locations, and they are fond of damp locations inside the home.  Though benign, Springtails can be a nuisance if they are plentiful

Subject:  Pentodon species identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Žagubica, Serbia.
Date: 12/20/2018
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thanks to iNaturalist community I found out that the genus of this Coleoptera is Pentodon spp. but I can’t figure out what species it is because all of them look the same to me, and I couldn’t find any keys for this genus online. The specimen was collected in June 2017 (not by me). According this site: http://bioras.petnica.rs/pretraga.php?searchtext=pentodon
there are only 3 species (and one subspecies) in Serbia, so it’s likely one of them, but again they look practically the same to me. The insect is just under 2 cm. I can try to take additional photos if necessary.
How you want your letter signed:  Regards, Mihajlo

Scarab Beetle

Dear Mihajlo,
We are not familiar with this genus of Scarab Beetles, but since it is in the subfamily Dynastinae, the Rhinoceros Beetles, we suspect this is a female since most males in this subfamily have fantastic horns.  Females present an additional identification challenge as they are often quite similar looking.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information.  We get so few submissions from Serbia.

Scarab Beetle

Thank you for your reply. In the meantime I found out what species it is. Someone from iNaturalist who is also from Serbia said that there is actually only one species in Serbia which is Pentodon idiota.
Regards,
Mihajlo

Subject:  unknown caterpillar in Australia
Geographic location of the bug:  Lismore, New South Wales
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 06:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman, Your site came up because my caterpillar looks just like your google images cover photo, but I can’t find him on your site (at least I don’t have time to go through over 200 pages looking. My caterpillar was on a gardenia bush. It is the beginning of summer here in the sub-tropics of northern NSW, Australia. This caterpillar may not be native to our area or to Australia; he could be an American?
How you want your letter signed:  Dianne T, Australia

Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth

Dear Dianne,
Thanks so much for including a detail image of the caudal horn on this Hornworm, the larva of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We quickly identified your caterpillar as a Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar thanks to images posted to Butterfly House where it states:  “The caterpillars later become black, grey, or green, often with black lines across the back. The back of the head and the final claspers are covered in small white warts. The caterpillars have posterior horn shaped like a shallow ‘S’, and have white spiracles along each side outlined in red. The head colour varies from brown to green.”

Horn of a Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth