From the monthly archives: "January 2020"

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 01/29/2020
Time: 12:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These tiny bugs have bit me and my dog, I find them mainly by my grass and flying.
How you want your letter signed:  Chad


Dear Chad,
This is a Thrips, and the same name is used in both the singular and plural.  According to BugGuide:  “Thrips can often be found on flowers, they are especially visible on light colored flowers like daisies. Be aware that though they are very tiny, they can give a slightly painful bite.”

Subject:  Hairy Momma?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oroville, CA (Butte County)
Date: 01/28/2020
Time: 06:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this hairy lurker on the inside of the doorjamb of an old truck in mid January 2020.  Weather’s been in the 40-60*F range, with rain.  Grabbed a quick photo, but can’t find a plausible ID anywhere….can you help?
Thinking this may be a female in the process of establishing an egg sac, perhaps?  Gorgeous, but too hairy for most IDs to match.
How you want your letter signed:  Cole

Golden Huntsman Spider

Dear Cole,
This is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the genus
Olios, probably Olios giganteus, a Golden Huntsman Spider.  According to Spider ID:  “Egg sac is spun inside a large, spherical retreat (about 25mm in diameter) in which the female spider also resides, guarding the sac and the spiderlings that emerge from it.”  According to Backyard Nature:  “This Southwestern US and Mexican, arid-land, nocturnal species is known to spin silken “retreats” in which it may spend the day, or to complete molting. Also, the female may spin such a retreat to stay in as she guards her egg sac and the spiderlings who emerge from the sac.”  This species is also represented on BugGuide.

Ah HA!  Thank you so much!!  I love love love you folks, and am so grateful for what you do.   Your site is a phenomenal resource!!

Subject:  Whats this insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Date: 01/25/2020
Time: 05:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell us what this is? It looks like a fighter jet!
How you want your letter signed:  Shree

Oleander Hawkmoth

Dear Shree,
This beautiful, aerodynamic creature is an Oleander Hawkmoth.

Subject:  Is this a Cottonwood Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  AZ  Tucson
Date: 01/24/2020
Time: 07:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on my bar which I had the top replaced with a large Mesquite slab.  This the second one I’ve found.  There was a lot of small wood chips and sawdust falling out of holes.  I was worried it was termites.
How you want your letter signed:  Mason

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Mason,
Based on this BugGuide image, this is a Bark Gnawing Beetle in the genus
TemnoscheilaBugGuide does not describe the food preferences in its genus page, but of the family Trogossitidae, BugGuide notes:  “Many are predatory on other beetles and their larvae.”   Myrmecos states:  “Previously I’d encountered Temnoscheila only under the bark of dead trees, where they apparently prey on the larvae of other beetles.”  We have not located any information on the larvae, and we can speculate that if the larvae are also predatory on wood boring beetles, the two individuals you found may have emerged after spending their larval stages feeding in the mesquite slab, and they emerged after metamorphosis.

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  South East Queensland
Date: 01/19/2020
Time: 03:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a giant wood month? I measured my finger spread when I got home and it’s about 150mm! What’s the record length for a moth?
How you want your letter signed:  Mal

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Mal,
You are correct that this is a Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, and if you examine your image, you will see the exuvia of the pupa in a hole in the tree trunk at the bottom edge of your image.  According to Butterfly House:  “The caterpillars pupate in their borehole. When the adult moth emerges, the empty pupal skin is left sticking out of the hole.”

Subject:  what’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  bali, indonesia
Date: 01/21/2020
Time: 02:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi, I found these bugs just chilling on my doorstep. it keeps coming even though we sprayed just a week ago with bug sprays. it’s like a colony of ants, brown and red colors, has black claws on the head. but I’m not sure its ants because of the size and proportions are not like ants I ever know, they are too fat for ants and has short legs to be a sun spider. I can’t get a detailed image with my phone though, because I’m too scared to get too close and seeing those big head with those claws (i have severe allergic reactions to insect bites) and I really want to know what are those things living on my doorstep, is it dangerous?
my door made out of wood – we living in Bali close to the beach (if that’d help)
How you want your letter signed:  Defina


Dear Defina,
This is a colony of Termites, and they are likely feeding on the wooden frame of your house.  The large heads makes us suspect they are members of the soldier caste.  You can locate additional information on Asian Scientist and on Rentokil where it states:  “Soldiers defend the colony against attack by predatory enemies such as ants, and are equipped with large jaws, sticky fluids or chemical spray to do so.”