Currently viewing the category: "Microlepidoptera"
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Subject: Beetles?
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
June 24, 2017 3:01 am
Hello. I think these might be some type of flea or water beetles. They jumped out of our bathtub drain in Phoenix, Arizona. These 2 were the largest. Some were so small they looked like flecks of pepper. They jump & bite hard! They also seem to be able to swim.
Signature: Fed Up in AZ

Moth

Dear Fed Up in AZ,
We are going to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion on this, but we believe these are Thrips in the order Thysanoptera, but we don’t know what they are doing in your bathtub drain.  These are not Beetles.  You can see images of Thrips on BugGuide, including this image and this image.

Moth

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
Ok, two different organisms at play here.  The images are of a small moth, maybe Tineidae for family.  The other creatures she describes are springtails, order Collembola.  They do not bite, though, so maybe yet another insect is to blame, like fleas or something.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Ed. Note:  There are no Springtails visible in this image.  While we thought the jumping and the drain indicated possible Springtails, the pictured Moth is most definitely NOT a Springtail.  Since Springtails do not bite, we were additionally puzzled.

Moth

Interesting!  Thanks. We had mold growing beneath the bathtub and in the walls surrounding the separate shower and in the carpeted areas also. The bugs also came up through cracks in the cement and cracks in the grout of the floor tiles all throughout the house ( likely from a slab leak beneath the home. )
The county extension office identified them as a mix of Beetles and Springtails, yet they didn’t specify any types of beetles or springtails. They did say none of them would be biting people and they were drawn indoors because of the mold.
We were renting and we moved, but whatever they are they must’ve gotten into our belongings because we still live with them. Not as bad,mind you! But they’re still very much present indoors and still biting and making our lives miserable. On the rare occasion we do manage to smash one of the bigger ones mid bite, it’s always plainly full of bright red blood. I just don’t understand it and I’m so sick of it. The tiny ones seem to bore into furniture and even tile and cement! How???
Thank you again

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Subject: Mystery bugs on black-eyed susan
Location: North Gower, Ontario
July 23, 2015 7:28 am
I’m hoping to find out what these little guys are. I’d be happy just to know a general classificiation if they can’t be identified down to species! I found them on the Cedar Grove Nature Trail in Marlborough Forest.
Signature: Suzanne

Microlepidoptera

Microlepidoptera

Dear Suzanne,
These sure look like moths to us, and at this time, the best we can tell you is that they appear to be diurnal.  We will file them as Microlepidoptera on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: microlep?
Location: Midland, MI
July 17, 2014 6:47 am
Hi bug man,
I’m stumped! I have a microlep that I am struggling to ID. A homeowner recently dropped this moth off as one captured from her yard. She indicated this spring much of their ground cover and other assorted plants were being eaten by caterpillars, and suspects this moth as the adult.
This is not a critter I am familiar with. I also have to admit that these tiny moths are my least favorite thing to ID! Is this in the family prodoxidae?
I am also curious as to what to tell this lady… “this is a small moth. it’s a species I am not familiar with as there are thousands of tiny moths in Michigan that are no fun to key out. This species isn’t one that we see as a common insect pest, and chances are it is probably not polyphagous– eating so many different kinds of plants in your yard. It’s hard to help you ID caterpillars from months ago without seeing them nor knowing what KIND of plants they were eating.”
For fun and unrelated, I am sharing a photo of hatching cecropia eggs that I took yesterday 🙂
Signature: Elly

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Dear Elly,
We agree with you fully that identifying Microlepidoptera is not easy, and we might spend hours on this and still be unsuccessful.  Your letter did not indicate why you are the point person for this identification, so we can only surmise that your work for a nursery, an extermination company or perhaps a museum.  We are posting your images and we hope that one day there might be an answer.  We suspect this moth is not related to the caterpillars that are feeding on the woman’s plants.  The hatching Cecropia Caterpillar will get its own posting.

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Unknown Microlepidoptera

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some kind of butterfly?
Location: Near Saskatoon, SK, Canada
July 20, 2013 9:00 am
I stopped to take a photo of some small purple flowers, and this tiny insect just happened to be hanging out on one. It kind of looks like a butterfly, but the wing are rather unusual to me. Can you identify this bug for me?
This photo was taken this summer (mid July), in an old pasture that has gone partially back to native grasses.
Signature: Dawn

Heliodinid, we Believe

Heliodinid, we believe

Dear Dawn,
Microlepidopterans, tiny moths, can be very difficult to identify, but since this is such a distinctive looking diurnal moth, we decided to give it a try.  First we discovered Linnaeus’s Spangle-Wing on BugGuide, but your individual has more wing markings than that species.  Then we found a very close match with
Embola ionis on the Moth Photographers Group, and we thought we had your moth, but upon searching the family Heliodinidae on BugGuide, we realized there were other general with other similar looking species.  BugGuide indicates the family can be identified because:  “Members of the family Heliodinidae are metallic-colored, mostly diurnal moths.”  Our top favorites for possible species include Neoheliodines cliffordi, which is pictured on BugGuide as well as on the Moth Photographers Group and Embola ionis, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Both of those species have a more northern range, and though neither is reported from Saskatchewan on BugGuide, both are reported from Minnesota.   

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What the heck?
Location: South Dakota kitchen floor
May 18, 2011 8:34 am
I found this on the floor. At first I thought it was something off a sunflower but found this worm looking thing inside.
Signature: Please help

Unknown Thing

We are baffled as to how to even categorize this thing.  There are not enough visible characteristics except to say that it resembles a grub or maggot, but being in that casing is quite curious.  Furthermore, why are there two of them?  The casing looks fibrous and hemplike, or possibly like fur.  Do you perhaps have a house pet with similar looking hair?  We are going to feature your photo in the hopes that our readership is able to provide some information.

Karl solves the Mystery
Mysterious Encased Grublike Thing – May 18, 2011
Hi Daniel and Please help:
Your mysterious objects look to me like the mature, presumably overwintered, seedheads of burdock (Arctium sp.). If so, the little grubs are likely the larvae of the Burdock Seedhead Moth (Metzneria lappella), a variety of microlepidoptera in the family Gelechiidae. The larvae feed on the developing seedheads, then overwinter as larvae and pupate within the seedhead in the spring. Burdock is very common here in southern Manitoba and in the fall the seedheads are typically very heavily infested with these little guys. Perhaps they hitched a ride into your home on someone’s clothing, or maybe a dog. Burdocks were originally Eurasian species but they have been naturalized in North America for a very long time. I suspect the same goes for the Burdock Seedhead Moth. Regards.  Karl

Wow Karl,  that was an impressive identification.

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Black and White Striped Unidentified insect
Location: Montana
December 31, 2010 12:39 am
Hello. I have a random insect that appeared in my home a couple days ago. I live in Bozeman, MT and I had a Fraser fir in my house and I also have a couple herbs growing in my kitchen (basil, oregano, thyme). My camera wouldn’t focus any closer but zoomed in the picture is fairly good. Thank you very much.
Signature: Jenny

Unknown Small Moth

Hi Jenny,
This is a moth, and since it is small, it is somewhat unscientifically categorized as a Microlepidoptera.  We tried scanning the plates on the Moth Photographers Group without any success.  It looks similar to a Clothes Moth in the genus
Eudarcia that is pictured on BugGuide, be we are confident that is not the correct classification for your specimen.  We do believe your moth is neither a Clothes Moth nor a Pantry Moth, and it may have been transported on the Christmas tree.  You did not indicate if this was an isolated specimen or part of an infestation.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination