From the monthly archives: "February 2019"

Subject:  Fritillary ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Oregon, Fall River (near Bend)
Date: 02/27/2019
Time: 12:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you help identify this fritillary butterfly.  I had no idea how difficult they are to identify.  I can’t determine if this is hydaspe or maybe zerene or perhaps a different species.  Thank
How you want your letter signed:  Bruce Carlson

Fritillary, but what species???

Dear Bruce,
Thank you for including both a dorsal and ventral view.  Fritillary identification can indeed be quite challenging, but we believe it might be the Zerene Fritillary,
Speyeria zerene.  According to Butterflies Through Binoculars, The West, the Zerene Fritillary is “mid-sized fritillary that is extremely variable.”  The difficulty in distinguishing different species of Fritillaries from one another is further exacerbated by the extreme variability many species exhibit.  Here is a BugGuide image of a dorsal view for comparison and also a ventral view from BugGuide.  We would defer to any Fritillary experts on this matter.

Possibly Zerene Fritillary

Update:  January 24, 2020
Subject:  Update on fritillary ID
Your letter to the bugman:  Last year I submitted a photo that you tentatively identified as Speyeria zerene.  I now have positive ID that it is Speyeria zerene zerene:  “Hey Bruce – We have a positive ID from the experts… you did observe S.z.zerene.  See exchange below with USFWS.
Well, I consulted THE expert, Paul Hammond, and he said it was in fact S. z. zerene.  He did indicate the following:   “Speyeria z. zerene is distinguished from sympatric S. hydaspe by subtle differences in the wing color pattern, but they are often difficult to distinguish. ”  You can pass this along as a  positive id.  Rich
Richard Szlemp”
Bruce Carlson

Subject:  ID of a red bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Pt Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co., California
Date: 02/23/2019
Time: 03:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found 3 of these hanging out on Douglas Fir limbs on a very chilly day recently (02/19/2019).  They reminded us a little of fireflies in the manner in which they opened their wings, but we thought that they couldn’t be. They have such strange shaped heads with what seems like very ornamental head gear.
How you want your letter signed:  Eliezer Margolis and Sunny Balsam

Net-Winged Beetle

Dear Eliezer and Sunny,
This is a Net-Winged Beetle, Dictyopterus simplicipes, which we identified on BugGuide, and you were astute to recognize the similarity to Fireflies as the two families are closely related.

Net-Winged Beetle

Thank you again for all your results it defiantly looks like the same as my photo. If the picture I sent you is any good to you feel free to use it how you want. Thanks again for your help.

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Thailand
Date: 02/23/2019
Time: 10:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman
I took this picture in Thailand I asked local people but they did not know what this is. It flew by me and landed on a banana tree it made a loud humming sound. I only managed to take one picture before it flew was about 1to2 inches long I have tried to identify this bug but with no success.
How you want your letter signed:  Malcolm Bennett

Longicorn:  Zonopterus flavitarsis

Dear Malcolm,
This magnificent beetle is a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae.  Our initial search turned up several black and yellow striped individuals, but none with the distinctive yellow antennae.  We expect to have a species identity for you before long.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with this ID.

Thank you so much for identifying my picture it was so frustrating that I could not identify this beetle no one has ever seen one I think I was lucky to get this picture thanks again for information

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, we were directed to a link of an image of Zonopterus flavitarsis that looks correct to us.  Images on BioLib and interestingly, on Odonata of Thailand where there is an image of a living individual, support that ID.

Subject:  Chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug:  South Florida (Punta Gorda)
Date: 02/19/2019
Time: 03:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There is a group of about 15 of what appear to be butterfly chrysalides, but I have no idea what they are. They are about 3/4 inch long and found on the south side of the house attached to the gutter. The house borders on a canal. I found them on 2/19/19.
How you want your letter signed:  Sharon 1015


Dear Sharon 1015,
This is not a butterfly chrysalis.  It is the cocoon of a Bagworm, a moth in the family Psychidae.  The larvae are known as Bagworms because they construct a shelter, the bag, and they enlarge it as they grow, eventually pupating inside the bag.

Subject:  Carpenter bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Bluff Durban South Africa
Date: 02/20/2019
Time: 06:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a carpenter bug? 2nd time submitting first  gave me an error just incase you get twice
How you want your letter signed:  Charlene Boock

Carpenter Bee Robber Fly eats Wasp

Dear Charlene,
Your Food Chain image is magnificent.  Thanks for taking the time to ensure it was properly submitted.  It does appear to be a Carpenter Bee Robber Fly and the prey appears to be a Paper Wasp.

Subject:  Grasshopper?
Geographic location of the bug:  Napier Western Cape SA
Date: 02/20/2019
Time: 03:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please can you ID this fella, have tried various other sites and nobody is sure….thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Don’t mind.

Grasshopper Nymph

This is definitely a Grasshopper in the family Acrididae, and it is an immature nymph.  We will attempt to provide you with a species identification.

Grasshopper Nymph