From the monthly archives: "August 2019"

Subject:  Id
Geographic location of the bug:  MO
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 11:28 AM EDT:  Your letter to the bugman —
This “thing” was on one of my out door potted plants. Is it going to due damage to my plant?
How you want your letter signed:  SG


Dear SG,
You submitted images of two different “things” but we are only posting one image.  The Walkingstick or Phasmid is a leaf eater, but we suspect it would much rather be in the trees than in your potted plants, so we would urge you to relocate it.  The winged Mayfly will not damage your plants.

Thank you very much.  As of last night the stick was still in my plant.  If still present i will move to tree.  [ Hope they don’t bite].
Thanks again.

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Botswana
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 07:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello
I found this spider in Botswana 2018. I searched in the Internet and it looks like it must be a Green Lynx Spider. But that one only exsist in America. What is your opinion?
How you want your letter signed:  Greetings, Niklas.

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Niklas,
You are correct that the North American Green Lynx Spider,
Peucetia viridans, is not native to Botswana, but the genus is represented in Africa as evidenced by this FlickR image from Madagascar and this FlickR image from Mozambique.  The large pedipalps indicate that your individual is a male. 

Update:  September 1, 2019
Thanks a lot for your reply,
So here’s some evidence that it also exists in Botswana. We found it at our previous home in Dekar close to Ghanzi, Botswana.


Subject:  Cicada ?
Geographic location of the bug:  North west Tn. Just North of Jackson Tn
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 11:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in my dogs mouth last night, August 18th 2019.  Is it a freshly hatched cicada? They are singing and flying all over but have never seen one at this stage before.  Magnificent color and size.  Then again it could be an alien species for all I know.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Frankie Brown

Newly Emerged Annual Cicada

Dear Frankie,
You are correct.  This is a newly emerged Cicada.  Did its wings ever expand, allowing it to fly away?  Insects are most vulnerable during and immediately after metamorphosis as their exoskeleton has not yet hardened.  We are going to tag this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award, though we have mixed feelings about the rescue.  If your dog injured the Cicada, it might not have been able to fly once its exoskeleton hardened, and since Cicadas are quite nutritious, you did deprive your dog of a healthy treat.  Living in Southern California now, our editorial staff misses the sound of Cicadas during the dog days of summer.

No it’s wings had not formed.  My dog had just picked it up and don’t believe it to be hurt.  You can see on the sides where the wings would form in time.  The strangest thing was feeling it throbbing like a pulse in my hand.  It was very freaky feeling.  I dropped it over the fence and told it to fly, be free.  It is a heavily feed on item by all animals when they are emerging right now.  I saw two crows drop in my yard and know they gota few lol.  Thanks for the verification.  Been in the south all my life and have never seen one like this.  Beautiful color also.  Thanks again,
Frankie Brown

The cicada was not hurt by my dog.  She was right beside me and I noticed she picked something up out of the grass.  I gently pried her mouth open because she was quite proud of what she had found.  Took it in the house to show my wife, made a few pictures for my gardening group, knew they would be interested.  I am a Master Gardener here in Jackson.  We are about bugs, bees, plants, anything in your yard that you can enjoy.  I also have a leafcutter bee tube on my fence.  I have 5 full reeds of cocoons and hope to winter them over for the next season.  They have done a great job pollinating my garden, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries not to mention various flowers.  Their specialty is garden veggies so I am told by the folks at Crown Bees.  Yes, after a few photos I walked to the fence and dropped it over where it would be safe and told it to fly, be free until we meet again.  I promise it was not hurt.  You can tell by the photo that it had no wings.  You can see jutting out from it’s sides where they will develop.  This thing was fresh!  Wasn’t sure it was not some alien creature but with all the cicada out here I would have bet the farm.  Had never seen one at that stage and my master gardener website is blowing up about it.  People are as excited as I was, and had never seen one either.  They enjoy my posts about the things I do and find in my back yard.  Thanks for the reassurance and I promise he was not hurt.  She picked it up gingerly and luckily I was watching in fascination as well.  Girl, what kind of green monster have you found?
Thanks again,
Frankie Brown

Subject:  Small box-like fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Pennsylvania
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 12:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! Just yesterday, this odd tiny, clear/brown fly landed on my hand. The bottom half of the wings are totally square. The pattern sort of makes it look like a lobster? I’ve never seen one of these before in any season, not just summer, so I’d love to know what it is! I know it’s a little hard to see, I didn’t want to get too close without scaring it away.
How you want your letter signed:  Bugfriend

Walnut Lace Bug

Dear Bugfriend,
Perhaps this Lace Bug in the family Tingidae was attracted to your festive nail finish.  We believe, based on this BugGuide image, that it is a Walnut Lace Bug,
Corythucha juglandis.  According to BugGuide:  “Both adults and nymphs are found together on the lower surfaces of walnut leaflets where they suck the sap from the leaves. More than 100 nymphs and adults may be present at one time on one leaflet. Areas where they have fed are easily recognized because of cast skins, excrement, and dark, discolored patches of leaf. The upper leaf surface is stippled with tiny white spots that give the upper leaf surface a whitish appearance. Leaves of heavily infested trees may turn brown and fall off.”

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  NB, Canada
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
I came across this cluster of bugs today, all clumped together on a leaf. I’ve never seen this type before. It is mid-August, and a nice warm 27 degrees outside. Hoping you can help!
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you! Val

Immature Scentless Plant Bugs

Dear Val,
These are 
Niesthrea louisianica, immature Scentless Plant Bugs from the family Rhopalidae with no common name.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include Hibiscus and other Malvaceae; feeds on flower buds and seeds; an important biocontrol agent of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti).”

That’s wonderful! Thank you for the swift reply. Is it common to have them in New Brunswick, Canada?

BugGuide only reports the genus as far north as Maryland, so this range expansion might be a result of global warming.

Subject:  Caterpillar Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Pennsylvani
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 05:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just want identification of these caterpillars.
How you want your letter signed:  Angelo V

Dogwood Sawfly Larvae

Dear Angelo,
This was a quick identification for us because we encountered an image of Dogwood Sawfly larvae while trying to identify this Introduced Pine Sawfly larva, an identification that took us considerable time. Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Wasps and Bees that have larvae that are frequently mistaken for caterpillars.  According to BugGuide:  “Young larvae are covered with a powdery white waxy coating. Mature larvae are yellow beneath with black spots or cross-stripes above.”  It is great that your image depicts both waxy coated individuals and those without the coating.