From the monthly archives: "October 2019"

Subject:  Large Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Calca, Sacred Valley Peru
Date: 10/20/2019
Time: 07:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
While at a yoga retreat in the Andes, this morning I was on my way to meditation practice and I saw this beauty  right next to my shoes. Please tell me who it is, and if they may also enjoy morning meditation and asana practice.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Wolf Spider

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
This sure looks like a harmless Wolf Spider to us.  Wolf Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build a web to trap prey, so they are often found wandering at night in search of prey.  A very similar looking Peruvian Wolf Spider can be found on the blog Spiders in Nature, but you need to scroll down to find it.

Subject:  Paramours of the arachnid persuasion
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Date: 10/16/2019
Time: 11:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, Bugman! I wanted to share this photo I took of (what I’m pretty certain are) Golden Silk Orbweavers. This lovely lady and her paramour have made their rather extensive home just outside my bathroom window. Her web is about 4 or 5 feet at its widest, plus the attaching guylines. Her body is about 3″ long and her legs make her even larger. He, on the other hand, barely makes it to 2″ with his legs. Her silk is a gorgeous yellow and looks quite fine in the sun.
How you want your letter signed:  Lissa Sprenne

Pair of Golden Silk Spiders

Dear Lissa,
Thanks so much for submitting your excellent images of a pair of Golden Silk Spiders,
Nephila clavipes.  Your images nicely illustrate the beautiful golden color of the web.  The female Golden Silk Spider is approximately 50 times larger than her diminutive mate.

Pair of Golden Silk Spiders

Subject:  A Different Kind of Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Lexington, Massachusetts USA
Date: 10/14/2019
Time: 03:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I spotted this unique guy while walking my dog this morning.  Could you please identify him for us?
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Tracey Hynes

Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Tracey,
We identified this Hornworm from the family Sphingidae as the Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hyles gallii, thanks to images on Sphingidae of the Americas.

Subject:  Identify moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  DEERFIELD BEACH FLORIDA
Date: 10/14/2019
Time: 01:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this moth? Is hanging from my back porch screen. We live on a canal close to Intercoastal waterway in south Florida
How you want your letter signed:  Vicki

Banded Sphinx

Dear Vicki,
Based on images and information on Sphingidae of the Americas, we are confident this is a Banded Sphinx.

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

Subject:  Black and White hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Guatemala
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 09:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found two of these large caterpillars on different avocado trees in a wet mountain area near San Pedro, Guatemala, do you know what they are called? 3″ soft hairy, don’t bit or sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Caroline

Unidentified Caterpillar

Dear Caroline,
We tried unsuccessfully to identify this distinctive Moth Caterpillar.  Some families we explored were Erebidae, Lasiocampidae and Apatelodidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success with this identification.

Unidentified Caterpillar