Currently viewing the tag: "bug love"

Subject:  Dragonflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Hungary
Date: 03/05/2019
Time: 10:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am giving a talk on Monday and would like to include the attached photographs but have been unable to identify the species as I have found most of the websites unhelpful.
You have been very helpful in the past and I would much appreciate your assistance.
How you want your letter signed:  William Smiton

Mating Dragonflies

Dear William,
Are you from Hungary or did you take these gorgeous images while on holiday?  Do you speak Hungarian?  Which sites did you not find helpful?  We did a web search for the order Odonata and Hungary and quickly found szitakotok, a site dedicated to Hungarian Dragonflies.  The site is difficult to navigate, and it loads slowly, but it seems quite comprehensive.  Did you check that site?


Your third image reminds us of the North American Common Whitetail, so we decided to see if there were any members on szitakotok from the genus Plathemis, but there are not.  Perhaps one of our readers who is adept at Dragonfly identification will provide input.  Perhaps if you have not yet checked szitakotok, you will have luck self-identifying.  Please let us know if you determine any identities.


I’m from Northern Ireland and took the photos on a birdwatching trip. I’ve tried various websites including the one you recommend but it doesn’t identify the dragonflies in the photographs. Daniel has been very helpful in the past so hope to hear from him.

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Rock, Melbourne
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 04:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think these are Endoxyla cinereus, and I assume they are mating? Some students of mine found these in the school playground – absolutely fascinated. The CSIRO page still doesn’t show it as present in Victoria, so perhaps it is something else?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew P

Mating Wood Moths

Dear Andrew,
We agree that these are mating Wood Moths in the family Cossidae, but we cannot confirm the exact species with any certainty.  We often have trouble differentiating members of this family, and we also confuse members of this family with the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths in the family Hepialidae, which are pictured on Butterfly House.  While we would not rule out that this might be
Endoxyla cinereus, which is pictured on Butterfly House, we can state that it really resembles the individual we posted earlier today that we believe is a Wattle Goat Moth, Endoxyla encalypti.

Mating Wood Moths

Subject:  Mystery bug in great numbers
Geographic location of the bug:  Houston, TX
Date: 10/21/2018
Time: 02:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These mystery bugs have been found in great numbers in our backyard and behind our fence in a wetland. They don’t fly but crawl all over the place and only appeared after Hurricane Harvey flooded our whole area very badly for an extended time.
The chickens won’t eat them at all, unfortunately. I can’t find them anywhere on the web. Not sure if we should try to eradicate them or if they are harmless.
How you want your letter signed:  KK Rush

Bordered Plant Bugs

Dear KK Rush,
These appear to be Bordered Plant Bugs,
Largus bipustulatus, which are pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “ground-dwelling or associated with the vegetative parts of forbs, shrubs and trees.”

Thank you so much! I swear I dug around all through the ‘net.
I sure wish the chickens would eat them.

Subject:  Beautiful grasshopper/locust
Geographic location of the bug:  Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind Visitor Centre
Date: 10/13/2018
Time: 03:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
We have just returned to the UK from a fabulous holiday in South Africa, during which we saw the locust/grasshoppers shown in the attached photos.  Could you identify it please.  We were outside the lower exit of the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng at about 15:30 on 22 October 2018.  It was warm (~32C) and dry.  Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  David Gittens

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

Dear David,
These are mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers in the family Pyrgomorphidae, probably
Phymateus leprosus based on this iSpot image.  The colors are variable, but generally they are aposomatic, meaning they are warning colors, a survival strategy employed by many insects that feed on milkweed.

Hi Daniel
Many thanks for the ID and fascinating information.  Although I have a great interest in wildlife in general I know very little about this category of insect, let alone those from RSA.  I had discounted the Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper on its colouration even though I wondered if it might have been in a breeding ‘plumage’.
Thanks again

Subject:  Mating Wheel Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Pegram, TN
Date: 09/29/2018
Time: 05:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Taken w/ my iPhone. Found these two hanging upside down on my outdoor garbage can and was struck by the saw-tooth crescent thingy on their back. “What IS that??” A Google search took me to whatsthatbug, where I found the answer in Top 10 and learned about Assassin Bugs. Thanks, bug man!!
If you zoom in slightly, you can see the slender sex organ extending from the male’s abdomen towards her backside. Is this the aedeagus?Never saw one before.
Staying in zoom, it honestly looks as if his back left leg is pushing her wing slightly open for contact. And I’m probably imagining things now, after reading ‘How Insects Mate’ on, but it looks like he’s tickling her with his two front left legs.
“One-third of insect species studied by scientists show….a decent effort on the male’s part to make sure the female is pleased with the sexual encounter.”
Well done, sir!!!
How you want your letter signed:  Anita Cold-Shower

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Anita Cold-Shower,
Your image of mating Wheel Bugs is awesome, and thanks to your careful research, we can add aedeagus to our insect vocabulary word list.  Aedeagus is defined on BugGuide as being:  “the intromittent organ of a male insect with its appendages” and according to Wikipedia:  “An intromittent organ is a general term for an external organ of a male organism that is specialized to deliver sperm during copulation.”

Subject:  Mating California Mantids at our porch light
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 11:30 PM PDT
Daniel was up late sitting in the kitchen when a large Walnut Underwing caused him to go outside with the camera.  There has been a female California Mantid at the porch light for a few weeks now, and she has been getting fat eating moths and other insects that are attracted to the light.  Well, seems she attracted a mate, and true to her expected behavior, she bit off his head to ensure their coupling would be successful.  The next morning, the corpse was gone.  Did she finish her meal as a post-coital snack?  The female California Mantid living at the porch light last season was not so lucky.  Daniel is thinking of moving her to the plum trees where she will have numerous choices where to lay her oothecae.

Mating California Mantids

Update:  September 29, 2018
Daniel did move the Mantis to the plum trees with the hope she will lay her oothecae there.