Currently viewing the category: "_Featured"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Despite the signature, this is NOT an inside job

Subject: Angry moth in northern Nevada
Location: Northern Nevada
January 10, 2017 3:56 pm
Hey asshole, if you spent as much time crafting mocking replies to your so-called “””nasty readers””” as you do researching what species the bugs are, you wouldn’t HAVE any angry clients. Take my email adress OFF my submission, I dont need more spam. I dont care what your “terms and conditions” are.
Signature: Daniel Marlos

Lettered Sphinx Moth: Deidamia inscriptum

Dear Trashface, AKA Daniel Marlos impersonator,
We were so stunned by your virulent letter with its inflammatory image that there is no question in our mind that you deserve the Nasty Reader tag, and we strongly suspect that you are deliberately vying for that coveted award.  Your efforts have paid off.  Your assessment that we spend much more time researching submissions to our site than we do “crafting mocking replies” to our “so-called “”nasty readers””” is absolutely correct.  Since your letter is only the 12th Nasty Reader we have tagged in our 15 years of running What’s That Bug?, a site currently with  23,437 unique postings, only .051% of our responses were to readers deemed by us to be nasty.  We don’t believe we have that many angry readers, and we can deal with those odds as we learned long ago that “you can’t please all the people all the time.”
That stated, we are ready to get down to identifying your Sphinx Moth from the family Sphingidae, and trust us when we say we spent a great deal more time with that task than we did crafting our first paragraph in response to you.  We could not locate your moth in the Sphingidae of Nevada, the Sphingidae of California, nor the Sphingidae of Idaho pages of Bill Oehlke’s awesome Sphingidae of the Americas site.  At that point we contacted Lepidopterist Julian Donahue who confirmed the family Sphingidae, but neither he nor Eric Eaton were able to provide a species name.  We wrote to Bill Oehlke and he provided us with the correct identification.

Bill Oehlke identifies Deidamia inscriptum
Daniel,
It is Deidamia inscriptum. I have not seen any previous reports from Nevada, but it is known for sure from eastern Texas all the way to the east coast so it may well be in Nevada and just hasn’t been documented there before. It is also possible that it was inadvertently imported into Nevada as a pupa in soil at base of some potted plant that was transported across state lines. Maybe a storm with high winds brought it to Nevada. Maybe it is a hoax. You could just indicate it is Deidamia inscriptum which is not native to Nevada. Do you have a more precise location in Nevada?
The Sphingidae are strong fliers and can get energy from flower nectar or fermenting fruit, so it might even have flown there, but it appears to be a fresh specimen, so my guess is it is a wrong location or an accidental import. Maybe it came in the soil as pupa in a potted Christmas plant.
Hope you had a great holiday season and have a great new year. Time flies.
Bill

Thanks to Bill Oehlke’s identification, we were able to locate the Lettered Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas site, and we learned that it “flies from New Hampshire south to northern Florida and southern Alabama (Houston County (JS)); west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The specimen type locality is Indiana. It also flies in southern Ontario and is occasionally seen in southern Quebec” and “In Greek literature, Deidamia was one of Lycomedes’ daughters, and she bore a son, Neoptolemus, for Achilles.  The species name ‘inscriptum’ MAY ? have been chosen for the parallel ‘lines’ on the forewings, suggesting lines of script.”   Now that we have determined that you are in fact among the minute percentage of our readership that might be considered “angry clients” that we refer to as Nasty Readers, and that the identity of your moth is Deidamia inscriptum, the mystery remaining for us is how did it stray so far from its typical range?  Bill Oehlke has offered some plausible reasons, and we don’t want to discount that you may have been trying to stump us as well as to taunt us, and that perhaps this image was taken someplace other than Nevada.  We will most likely never know.  Congratulations again on being awarded with our 12th Nasty Reader designation.
P.S.  We will not be posting your “email adress” as we do NOT post email addresses, so we are not responsible for your spam.

Trashface writes back and fesses up to internet plagiarism as well as being angry and a poor writer
First of all, you need to grow a thicker skin if you get offended by mean emails.
And secondly, don’t be a smart-ass. You know very well that I meant to say “if you spent as much time identifying bugs as you do crafting mocking replies…etc.”
But clearly wits aren’t your forte. A cleverer person than you would’ve realized that I just Google image searched “bug on middle finger” to find an offensive yet hilariously topical picture to send to you. I stole the pic from Flickr, which you probably think is deplorable too. Congrats on wasting time identifying a bug that I didn’t even take a photo of.
Bugger off, bug man

Ed. Note:  Far be it from us to assume what our readers mean to write when they send in inquiries.  We take their writing for face value and we do not correct their errors.  We had no luck locating the FlickR posting where this image was allegedly pilfered as we want to request permission from the actual photographer to keep it on our site.

From Our Facebook Fans:

Jeff Lanterman
January 12 at 10:56am
Did he think that was funny? Sometimes I don’t understand people.

Sean Gaukroger
January 12 at 12:59pm
Huh? Today’s Sphinx moth brought to you by the letter “F”?

Lisa Phillips
January 12 at 2:54pm
Thank you for the identification & sorry this person is rude. I myself look forward to your posts. Keep up your fascinating work 🐛

Heather Christensen
January 12 at 3:49pm
We love your posts! I have not yet submitted any critters needing identification, but my son and I always keep our eye out. This guy is a clown, and definitely deserves the coveted “Nasty Reader” title. Keep up the great work, we love you guys. 🐌🐛🐜🐝🐞🕷🦂

Nasty Reader Award #12: Lettered Sphinx … in Nevada!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  We have never heard of a situation where Spiderlings remain together after leaving the female’s protection, and we suspect the “conga line” you witnessed was of creatures other than Spiders.  The behavior you describe is more typical of social insects like ants or immature Hemipterans.  Are you able to provide an image?

Subject: spiderlings traveling in a “conga line”
Location: Chemuyíl Pueblo, México Yucatán
January 8, 2017 10:58 am
There are many unusual bugs in the jungle here, such as spiders and scorpions that carry their babies on their backs.
I was delighted to find your site – thanks!
Can you tell me about spiderlings traveling in a “conga line”, hundreds of them? Why?
Signature: Malcolm

Tarantula Spiderling “Conga Line”

Hi again Malcolm,
Thanks for sending an image.  Our initial response to you expressed our doubt that Spiderlings would travel the way you described.  We retract our supposition.  These do indeed look like Spiders.  We will attempt to find additional internet documentation that can explain it.

Tarantula Spiderling “Conga Line”

Tina Shaddock comments on Facebook
I believe these are plausibly Brachypelma vagans spiderlings and this article holds a bit of info about what is occurring in this photo.
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/262617778_fig1_Figure-1-A-column-of-about-200-B-vagans-spiderlings-observed-on-the-road-by-the

Ed. Note:  Here is a quote from the linked article:  “The spiderlings, which have a body length of about 2-3 mm, stay in the maternal burrow for several weeks. Little is known of this gregarious stage in this species, although spiderlings have been observed moving around the entrance of the maternal burrow, in where their mother is hunting in a sit-and-wait position. They often climb over each other but avoid contact with the mother. During daytime, the spiderlings were known to remain active and visible at the entrance of the burrow for up to one hour after the female had retreated. They were able to move easily through the web covering laid by the female over the burrow entrance (Shillington & McEwen 2006). Authors hypothesized that the silk network around the burrow provides an important chemotactic cue for orientation (Minch 1978) and juveniles probably remain in contact with this network at all times. After this gregarious period, the spiderlings disperse in the form of columns of about 100 siblings walking away from the mother’s burrow (Reichling 2000, 2003; Shillington & McEwen 2006). Shi- llington & McEwen (2006) observed that during the night of May 24 th 2003, spider- lings left the maternal burrow in three lines. Then at random intervals, one individual left the column and headed in a different direction, causing successive forks in the column. The maximum observed distance of dispersal was 9 m from the maternal burrow. Dispersal is observed in several spider species, including several species of mygalomorphae, all using silk for ballooning (Coyle 1983) or orientation (Jean- son et al. 2004). Previous reports on B. vagans mention that the spiderlings walk in line like ants (Reichling 2000), but no work has recorded the use of silk during dispersal. During their gregarious and dispersal phases the spiderlings do not show any aggressive behavior toward each other, as many spiders do (Gundermann et al. 1986; Jeanson et al. 2004).”

Thank you! That description sounds entirely likely – location, environment, and behavior. And attached is a photo of an adult found outside the house. Who would have guessed? I feel happy to understand the critters here in more depth.
For what it’s worth, I’d wager the spiderlings stay in line visually. From their non-colliding dynamics, and seeing individuals lose their place in line and orient from an inch away to rejoin.
Thanks again.
Malcolm

Tarantula

Hi Malcolm,
Thanks for sending an image of what we believe to be an adult male Tarantula.  We will be featuring your posting for a spell.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Bug of the Month
Since we just returned from our holiday, we need to select a Bug of the Moth.  Rain Beetles in Southern California have been experiencing some nice December rainfalls, so they seem a likely candidate to be featured this month.

Subject: Pleocoma octopagina
Location: Wrightwood , Burn Area Dirt Road Turnouts, San Bernardino County, California, USA
January 1, 2017 9:39 am
This December 22, 23,and 24, 2016 ,I drove down from Lake Tahoe south to the Wrightwood Burn area roads just north of San Bernardino in Southern California and back thru rain and snow storms . Meeting up with Mr.Garin Woo for the first morning , we set out our Home made Black lights and Mercury Vapor lite in high hopes of getting some hard to get Pleocoma octopagina Robertson 1970 male Rain Beetles . They have the most Antennae laminae segments or fans of the Male Pleocoma which is 8 . And we were not disappointed !! The rain flights started at 5 am and were intermittent until 6 am and then became steady until 7am and ended. Some were seen still flying around in the growing morning sun lite. We received a very nice series of Flying Large Newly Hatched Male Pleocoma octopagina . Precise Lengths of males were 22 mm to 36 mm with metal calipers . They come out in limited numbers and were quite Large and robust this year . I stayed out a couple more mornings solo . This was even in a completely and totally Burned out ( this August 2016 ) area …..” Truly Toasted “. There is strong evidence to me that the majority of this area’s Bush’s ( highly resistant somewhat to fire ) are still alive under ground and can provide food for the Pleocoma grubs . I have have photo evidence that in adjacent past fires we have clear regrowth coming out of Completely burned terrain / Bushs . The laminae are extremely Thick and robust with their prominent ” 8 fan segments ” . They are very large and strong flyers for Pleocoma males and they came in to Garin’s Mercury Vapor lite the strongest . I spent some time looking for females to no avail .On the way home in the Snow Storm I had to have it in four wheel drive from Bishop all the way home to Tahoe at 20 to 45 MPH ! Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Dear Gene,
Our editorial staff was away for the recent southern California rains, but we are thrilled that you were able to continue to supply us with Rain Beetle sighting information.

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle Habitat

Rain Beetle Habitat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: Brisbane
November 30, 2016 3:46 am
Huge moth dog was trying to get. Was wondering what it is?
Signature: Shaun

Giant Wood Moth we believe

Giant Wood Moth we believe

Dear Shaun,
We believe this is a Giant Wood Moth in the family Cossidae, possibly Endoxyla macleayi which is pictured on Butterfly House, though there are other similar looking species in the same genus.  We would not rule out that it might be a Ghost Moth in the family Hepialidae, a very similar looking family that is well represented on Butterfly House, and we should also point out that other members of the family Cossidae are represented on Butterfly House.  We have difficulty distinguishing between the two families.  Caterpillars of Wood Moths are known as Witchety Grubs.  Because of your timely submission, we have selected this posting as our Bug of the Month for December 2016.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination