From the monthly archives: "February 2019"

Subject:  What are these
Geographic location of the bug:  My shirt
Date: 02/12/2019
Time: 04:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There are over a 100 all over my shirt but I can not see them well up close because they are so tiny. They look red but leave a yellow looking stain
How you want your letter signed:  Sue


Dear Sue,
We cannot determine with any accuracy what has caused the stains on your shirt.  Have you eaten spaghetti lately?

Subject:  Unknown bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  North California/Salinas
Date: 02/11/2019
Time: 02:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. I’ve been plagued with this unknown bug almost a year. In all textiles in home & feels fine a “sting” to me. They hide in rug or cracks or under things & have what appears to be hair/horn they stick out above opening. Not sure but I assume pics are of different life-cycle stages. Can you identify?
How you want your letter signed:  Lelia

Unknown Plague

Dear Lelia,
We are unable to identify what is plaguing you.

Unknown Thing

Unknown Thing

Comment from Facebook follower Ayla Claire:
The third “unknown thing” appears to be a sunflower seed! Seek psychiatric help.

We agree with Ayla that the third unknown thing does appear to be a sunflower seed.  We thought that when we posted the image, but refrained from stating such an obvious observation.

Subject:  Large moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Irene, Pretoria, South Africa
Date: 02/08/2019
Time: 12:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this unusually large moth in the house late in summer and managed to get a good photo.
How you want your letter signed:  Megan

Giant Silkmoth is Speckled Emperor: Gynanisa maja

Dear Megan,
This gorgeous Moth is a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae and thanks to African Moths, we have identified it as
Gynanisa maja, the Speckled Emperor.  The species is also pictured on iNaturalist.

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mbeya, Tanzania
Date: 02/07/2019
Time: 03:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugma:  We found this caterpillar in our yard today! We’re wondering what it will turn into? It sure is beautiful!
How you want your letter signed:  The Ornelas family

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Ornelas family,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar from the family Saturniidae.  This Caterpillar does not look well and we fear it will not survive to adulthood.  Perhaps it is the victim of internal parasites.  We will attempt to identify the species.

Subject:  what moth is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  nea makri, attiki, greece
Date: 02/10/2019
Time: 08:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hello i found this moth outside my house it looks like tersa sphinx but not quite do you happen to know what is it? also  (though i have no photos amd i understand if you cant answer that) around 2010 some black spiders had appeared(havent seen any ever since), they were hairy(a little bit, nothing like tarantulas), about 10 cm, with fat legs(but still not as fat as tarantulas) do you happen to understand what kind they were?  thank you very much 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Maria

Levant Hawkmoth

Dear Maria,
Though it resembles the North American Tersa Sphinx, we believe your individual is a Levant Hawkmoth,
Theretra alecto, based on images posted to Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa.  According to Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic:  “Occurs in areas where grapes are grown. Little is known about the behaviour of this species except that it is attracted to flowers and light.”  Your black hairy spiders might have been endangered Ladybird Spiders.

Levant Hawkmoth

thank you very very much for your answer. yes i saw about levant and i think its the one. im sorry i dont have photos of the spider. back in 2010 we didnt have such good phones to take accurate photos in the dark :/ unfortunately the one i saw was much bigger like a palm of a hand. maybe some spiders someone left loose? maybe thats the reason noone have seen one again ever since.. but no matter what thank you so much for your response have a good day 🙂

Subject:  Horn worm
Geographic location of the bug:  Waiotahe Valley, Bay of Plenty
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 05:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there.
What do they eat? Are they harmful? Found on ex forestry block!
How you want your letter signed:  Gertie

Hornworm of a Convolvulus Hawkmoth

Dear Gertie,
This is a Hornworm, the larva of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.   Its color, markings and the look of its horn lead us to believe this is the larva of a Convolvulus Hawkmoth,
Agrius convolvuli, which is pictured on New Zealand Invertebrates where it states:  “Favoured host plants in NZ are the bindweed and kumara.”  Butterfly House also provides a list of food plants.