Subject: Giant Moth of the of Peruvian Cloud Forest
Location: Cloud Forest – Manu Park, Peru
December 24, 2015 9:46 am
This Massive moth flew into our cabin in the Cloud Forest of Peru ( we stayed 1/2 way down the the road to Manu). I thought it was a large bat at first, and took this picture. I believe they were 1 inch slats, but this picture was taken several years ago (2007 I think), and it could be 1/2 inch slats at the minimum.
Can someone tell me anything about this moth, the species, range. Unfortunately it’s the only picture of this moth I took ( as I was horrified by the thing). Now I see that it rivals the worlds largest moth. I think it was well over a foot and had of wing span of more like 14-17 inches..
Signature: Wendy B

Giant Silkmoth: Arsenura rebeli

Giant Silkmoth: Rhescyntis hippodamia

Dear Wendy,
We were out of the office for two weeks when you wrote, and we are catching up on unanswered mail, but since you waited 8 years to write to us for an ID, we gather you were not in a big rush to learn your moth’s identity.  Though the camera angle makes seeing the details of the wings rather difficult, we believe we have correctly identified your moth as
Arsenura rebeli, and you can compare your image to these images on Colombian Insects.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to verify the ID, and he may request permission to post your image to his site.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for your email.  I hope that you had a nice holiday, that is if you were on holiday.   Yes, I guess I was not in much of a hurry to identify the moth.   It is funny as I was actually horrified that it flew into our room.  I’m scared of moths ( which I recognize as ridiculous, as they are harmless, and I’m fine with spiders and snakes)….  But I digress, but I think that is why I’ve not bothered with trying to identifying it until now.    I finally thought it would be nice to know what it was, and because it was such a large creature. I’d never seen a moth or butterfly close to that big.  I thought a bat had flown into the room.   (And then I wish a bat had flown into the room).
I received the email quoted below from Adrian Hoskins.  Given the colour and markings, I think he may be correct that it was a Rhescyntis pseudomartii  Check it out and see what you think.    I really appreciate you spending time at this.
I will be interested in  Mr. Oehlke’s assessment.  He may, of course, use the photograph(s) for his website if he chooses to.
From Adrian:
Hi Wendy
That is an impressive species. I’ve never seen it myself but I’ve come across closely related species occasionally.
It is Rhescyntis pseudomartii, or possiblyRhescyntis hippodamia (Saturniidae, subfamily Arsenurinae). They may actually be different forms or subspecies of the same taxon.
Females can measure up to about 170mm across the wings, comparing quite well with the Giant Atlas Attacus atlas, which measure about 250mm across.
Best regards

Hi Wendy,
That actually does look like a better match.  I don’t believe
R. pseudomartii ranges in Peru, but R. hippodamia does.  I will wait until Bill Oehlke writes back.

Bill Oehlke provides the identification.
HI Daniel.
It is  Rhescyntis hippodamia hippodamia by location and  Rhescyntis hippodamia colombiana by markings

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swarming on beach morning glory
Location: Wellington, Florida
December 24, 2015 2:50 pm
Dear Bugman,
There is a crowd of these bugs swarming on our only beach morning glory plant (Ipomoea imperati) here in western Palm Beach County, Florida. The plant looks peaked and is starting to turn yellow. What are these bugs, and are the bugs to blame? Will they move on to other plants after they are done with the morning glory?
Thank you!
Signature: Helen

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Dear Helen,
We are sorry about the delay, but you wrote during the time we were out of the office for two weeks and we are still catching up on old mail.  These appear to be Giant Sweet Potato Bug nymphs,
Spartocera batatas, based on this BugGuide image.  The individual in that image were also on morning glory in Florida.  Though BugGuide notes:  “native to the Neotropics (West Indies to so. Brazil), adventive in our area (FL)” and “first reported in the continental US: FL 1995,” there is no mention of food plants, so we cannot say if they will move to other plants.  Featured Creatures has much more information including:  “A large colony of Spartocera batatas (Fabricius) was found in late June 1995 on an Asian cultivar of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) in Homestead, Florida, by Lynn D. Howerton, environmental specialist, Division of Plant Industry (DPI). The plants were badly damaged by the insects. That collection represented the first report of S. batatas in the continental U.S. Subsequent surveys of commercial fields of sweet potatoes in the area failed to turn up any more S. batatas. However, an additional single specimen was found in Miami in early October 1995 by DPI Inspector Ramon A. Dones. Many bugs were found in suburban Miami by Julieta Brambila (University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) in late September 1996.”  The following food plants are also mentioned:  “The most important host of S. batatas appears to be sweet potato, after which it was named. Other hosts listed in the literature include Solanaceae [tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), and Solanum nigrum], Lauraceae [avocado (Persea americana)] and Rutaceae (Citrus spp.) (Ravelo 1988, Martorell 1976, Alayo 1967, Barber 1939, Wolcott 1923). Observations in Florida indicate that S. batatas adults sometimes disperse in high numbers. Thus, transient adults could be collected on a wide variety of plants. It is not known which of the above host records represent breeding populations.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you – this information is very helpful. I have been picking them off because the morning glory is at the edge of our vegetable garden and we found more of the nymphs on the other side of the garden. We also have an avocado tree nearby so we don’t want to take any chances that they might spread further.
I appreciate your response.

Subject: Flower Wasp ID?
Location: Blyth, SA
December 25, 2015 8:13 pm
Can you a specific ID for this wasp. Just turned up 130km north of Adelaide – about 8 of them. Dec 2015. Thanks for your help. Lovely little creature & seems oblivious to us – was burrowng in sand & bark litter.
Signature: Ian Roberts

Blue Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Hi Ian,
This is definitely a Flower Wasp or Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  It looks very similar to this individual we believe we correctly identified as a Blue Flower Wasp,
Scolia (Discolia) verticalis.  There is a similarly marked individual on Bold Systems, and this FlickR posting from Western Australia looks like your individual, but it is only identified to the genus level.  Bower Bird has a Flower Wasp identified as Laeviscolia frontalis that has the two spots evident on the abdomen of your individual, and an image on Ipernity supports that ID, but another image on Bower Bird does not appear to have the yellow color near the head.  So, we cannot be certain of the species, but we are confident with the family Scoliidae.

Hi Daniel
Thanks for that – nice to have them zipping around.
Ian Roberts

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth-like creature
Location: Sydney, Australia
December 30, 2015 2:32 pm
Hi Bugman!
Last night we saw a large moth-like creature on our wall outside. This morning we see it has left behind a very interesting chain of eggs(?) that are attached to our ceiling with insect like legs. I didn’t get a picture of the insect itself, just the eggs. If you have any idea at all please let me know!
Signature: Tom Shamrock

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Dear Tom,
These are Neuropteran Eggs, quite possibly the eggs of a Blue Eyes Lacewing.  See these images on the Brisbane Insect site for verification.

Thanks Daniel! You are definitely right, many thanks for that we just couldn’t work it out!

Subject: Found long ago
Location: Not sure. Texas?
December 31, 2015 10:39 am
Found this bug in a box, saveso by me as a child. Long antennae orange, but black at eaxh segment. Longhorn beetle of some kind? Elytra is purplish-black, somewhat iridescent. Six legs, orange, black at the joint segments. Orange thorax with two spots, like false eyes.
Signature: RRH

Red Headed Beauty

Red Headed Beauty

Dear RRH,
We are still catching up on old submissions from our two week holiday hiatus.  It is very exciting that you found this old specimen in a childhood collection box.  We were so thrilled to be able to identify your Longhorned Borer Beetle as a Red Headed Beauty,
Stenaspis verticalis insignis, on BugGuide after being let to it by the Longhorn Beetles of Texas site. It is also pictured on Cerambycidae Catalog Search.

Thank you! I knew I had a Longhorn but had trouble from there! It’s a beauty.

Subject: Caught a Bug in Home
Location: South Jakarta, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia (island of Java)
January 8, 2016 8:41 am
Not sure what this bug is. Came home after dinner to find it sticking on a wall. Caught it and placed it inside a plastic container. Plan to release it soon, just curious what it is.
Pretty small, I estimate no more than 4 centimeters.
Thanks a bunch! Really curious!
Signature: Guy in Java

Kissing Bug

Kissing Bug

Dear Guy in Java,
This sure looks like a Kissing Bug in the genus
Triatoma to us.  Kissing Bugs are in the news in the U.S. lately because they are known to spread a virus that causes Chagas Disease, especially in Latin America.  We didn’t know if there were reports of Kissing Bugs in Indonesia, so we did some research.  Though we cannot read what it says, the Blognya Mbak Widha (BMW) site does have an image of a Kissing Bug.  A scholarly article, The Rising Importance of Triatoma rubrofasciata indicates the species has spread to Viet Nam.  Thanhnien News states:  “Kissing bugs, so called because they tend to bite (and defecate) on the victims’ faces and lips, are moving from the jungle into residential areas in Vietnam in large numbers.”  The Vectors of Chagas Disease indicates at least two species, Triatoma leopoldi and Triatoma pugasi, are found in Indonesia, though it is uncertain if Old World species carry the virus.

Correction:  November 30, 2016
Thanks to a comment, we now realize and have verified on MedicineNet that Chagas is spread by a Protozoan, not a Virus.