From the monthly archives: "October 2019"

Subject:  Strange Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Bear City, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in house, while moving boxes. Put it in a slick glass to take photos. It looked mostly black with brownish legs and big angled antennae. Small pinchers on face.
Good climber, so I rubbed orange oil around inside top of glass to confine it. Hope there aren’t more.
How you want your letter signed:  Betty Arnold


Dear Betty,
This fascinating creature is a harmless, predatory Solifugid, a type of Arachnid.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps.  Solifugids are considered harmless to humans because unlike other venomous Arachnids like Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids have no venom.  They do have powerful mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Thank you for your quick reply. I was uneasy about thinking that one would crawl over me as I slept last night. Thanks for your quick reply.

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 07:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Exactly one month ago, I sent in images of a Green Lynx Spider that laid an egg sac on one of my medical marijuana plants, and this morning I noticed her eating a Budworm, and her brood has hatched.  I thought they would hatch in the spring.  What gives?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats a Budworm while guarding brood.

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for keeping our readership up to date on the mundane dramas in your garden.  Daniel has always thought that the eggs of Green Lynx Spiders would hatch in the spring.  Lower beasts are much more attuned to their environments than are most humans, and perhaps global warming is affecting the hatching cycle of Green Lynx Spiders.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:  “A green lynx spider’s egg sac is much easier to spot than the spider itself. The sac is a slightly bumpy, sand-colored container housing up to 600 bright orange eggs that will hatch within 11 to 16 days. The sac is about an inch diameter with one flat side and one rounded. After its construction is complete, the female spider surrounds the sac with a sketchy tent of randomly woven silky threads. She then protects it further by clutching it with her legs as she hangs upside down.”

Subject:  This had just appeared in our garden 2 weeks ago
Geographic location of the bug:  Wangaratta, north east Victoria
Date: 10/19/2019
Time: 09:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thank you for your site. This bug appeared about 2 weeks ago and has the number has quickly increased since then.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

Mating Red Banded Seed Eating Bugs

Dear Michael,
We were having trouble identifying your Seed Bugs from the family Lygaeidae, but we did locate a posting in our archives of a Red Banded Seed Eating Bug,
Melanerythrus mactans, from almost ten years ago.  Here is a FlickR image.  According to the Atlas of Living Australia, its range is over most of the continent.

Mating Red Banded Seed Eating Bugs

Subject:  I’ve seen two.
Geographic location of the bug:  Broederstroom South Africa
Date: 10/20/2019
Time: 12:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. Seen two different bugs on our farm over the years. They’re big. 20cm long.

How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Winged Predatory Katydid

Dear Graham,
This is one impressive Katydid.  We quickly located it on Photographs from South Africa where it is identified as a Winged Predatory Katydid,
Clonia wahlbergi.  Like the individual in that posting, your individual is a female as evidenced by her sickle-like ovipositor.  It is also pictured on IUCN Redlist.

Morning Daniel
That is great. It’s been bothering me for over 5 years as to what it was.
When I was playing with it we gave it some fruit and it was eating it.
So then it’s omnivorous?
Thank you

Hi again Graham,
Many predatory Katydids are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat vegetation as well as other creatures.

Subject:  Stumped me!
Geographic location of the bug:  Poconos, PA
Date: 10/21/2019
Time: 07:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m the go-to bug identification nerd for friends and family; if I don’t know them outright, I can almost always track them down on What’s That Bug. This one, though, evades me. Any chance you can help out? this is the only photo  they got. Thanks very much.
How you want your letter signed:  Rob W.

Spotted Lanternfly

Dear Rob,
This is an invasive, exotic Spotted Lanternfly
Lycorma delicatula, and according to BugGuide:  “Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam; invasive in Korea and in our area” and “earliest NA record: PA 2014.”

Subject:  Beautiful giant moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Pretoria, South Africa
Date: 10/20/2019
Time: 01:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I found this beautiful giant moth on my windowsill and was wondering where I can satisfy my curiosity on their lifespan, feeding, etc. Google doesn’t seem to have much? It looked like it was busy dying, which made me kind of sad. I love these creatures, nature really is amazing! How can I get more moths into my garden, and if they feed on the trees (which I don’t mind), does it actually damage the tree?
How you want your letter signed:  Dominique

Cabbage Emperor Moth: Bunaea alcinoe

Dear Dominique,
We believe we have  correctly identified your Giant Silk Moth or Emperor Moth as the Cabbage Emperor Moth
Bunaea alcinoe thanks to images posted to African Moths.  There does appear to be some variability in colors and markings.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your skill and effort. I’ll be looking out for these guys some more in my garden now!
Hi again Dominique,
We get many more Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillar images than we do images of adult moths.  Watch for the Caterpillars on preferred food plants.  According to African Moths:  “LARVAL FOODPLANTS 
Celtis africana, Celtis kraussiana, Bauhinia reticulata, Croton, Cussonia spicata, Ekebergia ruepellii, Ekebergia mayeri, Gymnospora senegalensis, Khaya anthotheca, Khaya grandifolia, Harpephyllum caffrum, Terminalia catappa, Maesa lanceolata, Sapium ellipticum, Persea americana, Anthocleista schweinfurthii, Piper umbellatum, Schinus molle, Crossopteryx febrifuga, Dacryodes edulis, Mangifera indica, Acacia auriculiformis, Sarcocephalus latifolius.”  Numerous food plants probably contribute to extensive range, which is according to African Moths:  “Angola, Benin, Burkina Fasso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DRCongo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.”