From the monthly archives: "June 2021"

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Jensen Beach, FL 34957
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 09:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These suddenly appeared on my ornamental trees. Are they harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Kathraine

Oleander Caterpillars

Dear Kathraine,
We verified the identity of your Caterpillar as
Empyreuma pugione on BugGuide, and the adult is the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, and since we do not want to call this the caterpillar of the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, we are going to call it the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar.  We will let you decide if they are harmful.

Oleander Caterpillar

Thank you so much! I am just hoping that the birds have a good lunch and leave it at that.
I just did some more reading. They’re poisonous to birds due to eating the oleander. I might try to pick some of them off, but my trees should live alright in spite of the caterpillars’ appetite.

Hi again Kathraine,
The caterpillars feed on the leaves and if the oleander is otherwise healthy, it will regrow leaves.  Caterpillars do not generally kill the plants upon which they feed.

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Gulfport ms
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 06:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was in my mother’s house and stung her.  She said it felt like a bee sting.
How you want your letter signed:  S. Rea

Crowned Slug

Dear S. Rea,
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, more specifically the Crowned Slug,
Isa textula, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution! This is a stinging caterpillar. “

Subject:  Strange insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbus Ohio
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 12:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this insect on the wall of my front porch. I’ve done a Google image search but can’t find anything like it. Can you help me identify it?
How you want your letter signed:  Linda

Small Eyed Sphinx

Dear Linda,
This aerodynamic moth is a Small Eyed Sphinx,
Paonias myops.  Here is a posting from BugGuide.  According to Sphingidae of the United States of America:  ” Males and females of this species look identical, but differ in size slightly. Females tend to be a bit larger and heavier.”

Small Eyed Sphinx

Subject:  Solitary Bee and Gray Hairstreak
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 11:01 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
There are numerous native Bees visiting blossoms in Daniel’s garden right now, and he does have difficulty with some species identifications.  This pollen-laden Solitary Bee was being very elusive, flying away when Daniel aimed his magicphone and attempted to move in for a closeup.  Most of the images are blurry.  When a Gray Hairstreak appeared and Daniel turned his attention to the Gossamer Wing, the Solitary Bee decided to ZOOM bomb the photo.  The Bee may be
Anthophorula albicans which is pictured on BugGuide and the Natural History of Orange County.

Solitary Bee and Gray Hairstreak


Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 03:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Noticed on my golf bag on the golf course. June 25,2021
How you want your letter signed:  Dave S.

Purpuricenus humeralis

Dear Dave,
Though this Longicorn superficially resembles both the Red Shouldered Pine Borer and the Elderberry Longhorn
Desmocerus aureipennis, it is a species of Purplescent Longhorn, Purpuricenus humeralis, with no common name that we found on BugGuide.  Interestingly, in doing the research for your posting, we found Purpuricenus humeralis incorrectly identified as a Red Shouldered Pine Borer twice on our site, here and here, and we have made the necessary  corrections.

Subject:  Big beautiful dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Kent, WA
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This beauty landed on our volleyball net. Never saw one like it!
How you want your letter signed:  AaronF

Eight Spotted Skimmer

Dear AaronF,
Thank you so much for submitting your image of an Eight Spotted Skimmer,
Libellula forensis, which is pictured on BugGuideBugGuide also provides this interesting history of the evolution of its common name:  “Years ago many children refered to this as the ‘Six-spot’, and counted the basal spots as two crossing the thorax, instead of four separate spots. The same went for the then ‘Ten-spot’, which most recent books have switched to calling the ‘Twelve-spotted Skimmer’. The ‘Six-spot’ name doesn’t seem to appear in any books, but was likely rationalized from comparison with the ‘Ten-spot’ that was to be found in many books. Back then, Libellula forensis didn’t seem to have an established published common name yet.”