Currently viewing the tag: "bug love"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What type of fly is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brantford, Ontario
Date: 07/26/2019
Time: 11:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Bugman,
I am hoping that you can help me identify this fly. I was leaning toward a type of syrphid fly but could not find a match online. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Dan

Signal Fly (left) and Red Milkweed Beetle

Dear Dan,
The image of the Fly with the Red Milkweed Beetle is an easier image for identifying purposes as it clearly shows the wing pattern on this Signal Fly in the genus
Rivellia which we determined thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states the habitat is “on foliage, feces.”  We tried to determine if there is a relationship between Signal Flies and milkweed, and we located this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image and on The Pathless Wood we found an image and this information:  ” I did come across this interesting fly in my search, however, and later determined it is some sort of Signal Fly, a member of the Genus Rivellia. These flies are often difficult to identify from photographs alone; they are quite small, and identification depends on the presence or absence of tiny hairs called setae on the dorsal thorax, as well as the colour pattern of the wings and legs. They get their name from their patterned wings, which they tend to wave around as if signalling other individuals. I didn’t see this behaviour as this individual rested on an unopened milkweed blossom, so I was immediately taken with the unique pattern of its otherwise clear wings.”   So, for some reason, Signal Flies are attracted to milkweed, but we are not certain why.  Are there soybean fields nearby?  Your individual reminds us quite a bit of the Soybean Nodule Fly, Rivellia quadrifasciata, which is also pictured on BugGuide.

Mating Signal Flies

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for this information. There was a soybean field right next to this patch of milkweed so I think it may be safe to say Rivellia quadrifasciata is a match. I’ve seen other flies exhibit this behaviour of waving their wings around. Now I know where to start when trying to identify them.
Thanks again!
Dan

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle eating my grape leaves
Geographic location of the bug:  SC Kentucky
Date: 07/15/2019
Time: 05:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These beetles showed up almost over night and are eating all the leaves of what I think are grapes.
How you want your letter signed:  Brad Beach

Japanese Beetles feeding on grape leaves

Dear Brad,
Because they will eat the blossoms and leaves of so many prized garden plants including roses, blackberries and peaches as well as your grape vines, Japanese Beetles are among the most reviled, introduced species that affect home gardeners.  According to Featured Creatures:  “
More than 300 species of plants are known to be host to Japanese beetle.”  Your array of images makes for a perfect Japanese Beetle posting, including the image of the mating pair and the documentation of the damage to leaves, which Pearl calls “lace doilies.”

Mating Japanese Beetles

“Lace Doilies”:  Grape leaves eaten by Japanese Beetles

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Polyphemus Moths mating
Geographic location of the bug:  Pottstown,Pa.
Date: 07/04/2019
Time: 04:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My husband found these two hanging out at our pool. We were Amazed! We have Never seen anything so beautiful.
How you want your letter signed:  Bev Farris

Mating Polyphemus Moths

Dear Bev,
Thanks so much for sending in your images of mating Polyphemus Moths.  They are indeed a wondrous sight.  The lower moth in the pair is the male, as evidenced by his much bushier antennae that he uses to locate a female by the pheromones she releases.

Mating Polyphemus Moths

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What are these two insects?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ben Lomond, CA. Santa Cruz County, CA. Redwood forest.
Date: 06/20/2019
Time: 02:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Crowd sourcing all entomologists! I found these two creatures on my backdoor yesterday. I am guessing they are either grasshopper or katydid nymphs. If they are the same species, they show sexual dimorphism. The bottom one was about 2-2.5 inches long (minus antennae). I also assume that nymphs do not mate . . . so are these two just hanging out together? Any clarifications welcome.
How you want your letter signed:  Carla

Mating Timemas

Dear Carla,
What an exciting submission to our site you have submitted.  These are not nymphs, and though there is no actual coupling happening, your images document a male (smaller and on top) and female Timema engaging in pre- or post-mating activity.  Timemas are related to Walkingsticks, not Orthopterans, and according to BugGuide the habitat is:  “
On foliage, twigs, or branches of host shrubs or trees…or on the ground near base of host or other plants, where they may retreat during the day or drop upon disturbance. Sometimes also found sheltering under stones. Host plants mostly associated with chaparral; some with woodlands or forest (e.g. douglas fir, redwood).  Green morphs tend to rest on leaves; brown to gray morphs on stems, branches or ground.  Unstriped morphs are usually associated with broad-leaved host plants (e.g. oaks, ceanothus, manzanita, etc.). Striped morphs are usually associated with host plants having needle-like leaves (e.g. chamise, douglas fir, redwood, etc.).  Coloration, stripes, and other markings serve as camouflage, and are adaptations driven by selection pressure due to predation by visually-oriented birds and lizards.”  BugGuide also has a map showing the ranges of some of the 21 recognized species, but BugGuide also notes:  “dependable species ID requires study of the shape of externally visible structures of the terminalia, especially of the male (for non-parthenogenetic spp.)…in conjunction with location, host plant, color and markings” but that is beyond our area of expertise.  Based on the map, our best guess is that your species is Timema californicum, and BugGuide does indicate:  “T. californicum has records north of San Francisco Bay in Marin Co.”  Of that species, BugGuide notes:  “Recorded host plants: manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), mountain mahogony (Cercocarpus spp.), toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia).”  If we miscalculated your location, please let us know.  In closing, BugGuide also notes:  “NEWS ITEM! (3/29/18): The Timema Discovery Project is an important new initiative aiming to harness as many people as possible to collect much needed data for advancing our understanding of Timema…please visit the web site, spread the word, and participate!”  Thanks again for submitting this exciting posting.

Mating Timemas

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for responding and sending the information! I am excited to discover a family of bugs I’ve been unfamiliar with. I know regular walking sticks but did not know about these short-bodied relatives. Wonderful!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Two lovebirds
Geographic location of the bug:  Waleska Georgia
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 04:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw these two on back of my home. They have bright orange body with bold magenta wings with white spots.
How you want your letter signed:  Cyndi

Mating Oakworm Moths

Dear Cyndi,
These are mating Oakworm Moths in the genus
Anisota, and there are several similar looking species in the genus, and based on BugGuide data, at least four species are known from Georgia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Scorpion tail bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin, Tx
Date: 06/17/2019
Time: 11:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This 4 inch long bug has been sticking around our entrance for a few days. I never saw it move but after 3 days it changed its position.
Looks creepy with that weired scorpion-like thing coming out of its tail.
Thanks for helping to identify the species.
How you want your letter signed:  Andreas

Mating Muskmare

Dear Andreas,
This is a mating Muskmare, a Two Striped Walkingstick.  The tail you mentioned is actually the smaller male insect riding the back of his much larger mate.  Featured Creatures has a wealth of information on this species, including:  “this species is capable of squirting a strong-smelling defensive spray that is painfully irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.”

Thanks a lot for your help here, Daniel!
After I submitted my pictures I went back to do more investigation as the number of legs didn’t match bug or spider. After the 10th look I also discovered that is actually a mating couple. Guess I need more practicing 😉
Cheers from Austin
Andreas Stark
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination