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

Subject:  Eastern Tiger Swallowtails
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/02/2020
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Daniel has been called out of town for a family emergency, and low and behold, he has finally entered the 21st Century by purchasing his first mobile phone, and he has been calling the iPhone 11 Pro he just bought his Magic Phone.  The magic phone takes gorgeous digital images, and Daniel has been taking images of the insects found in The Rust Belt.  Here are images of a male and female (blue scales on the underwings) Eastern Tiger Swallowtails that have been visiting the butterfly bush he is planting in his childhood front yard to replace the dead shrubs that are being removed.  Daniel apologizes for ignoring the numerous identification requests that have been flooding in, but family obligations are currently taking up most of his time.  Daniel hopes to also get some images of the Spicebush Swallowtails that he has seen in the past week.

The male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is smaller and lacks the blue scales on the underwings.

The larger female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has beautiful blue scales on the underwings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  San Antonio TX
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 05:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Took a few photos of this beautiful bug in my backyard.
May be a robber fly just hatched.
How you want your letter signed:  Niccodemure

Belzebul Bee Eater

Dear Niccodemure,
Thanks so much for sending in your gorgeous images of a very impressive Belzebul Bee Eater, one of the most magnificent North American Robber Flies. Daniel is running a bit behind this month, but he has selected your submission as the Bug of the Month for July 2020

Belzebul Bee Eater

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Yellow or Anise Swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 05/14/2020
Time: 05:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Is this a yellow swallowtail or an anise swallowtail (or are they the same)? She’s laying her eggs on a fennel plant.
Thanks,
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Ovipositing

Dear Jeff,
Please forgive our tardy response.  According to the Jeffrey Glassberg book
Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, the Anise Swallowtail has both a dark and a light or yellow form, and they are not designated as  distinct subspecies.  The two color forms exist over much of the species’ range.  According to BugGuide, there are two subspecies and BugGuide notes:  “There has been a lot of debate over the years as to whether the inland populations of P. zelicaon are different enough to consider as a distinct subspecies from ‘typical’ zelicaon from closer to the Pacific. Also, it is debated, assuming there is a difference, just what the difference is, and where one population begins and the other ends.”  We always appreciate your butterfly submissions and we are tagging this submission of an Anise Swallowtail as our Bug of the Month for June 2020.  As a side note, Daniel was excited to find a young Anise Swallowtail caterpillar on a dill umbel in his garden and he watched it grow over the course of a week, only to have it vanish.  The suspected culprit is a Paper Wasp seen patrolling the dill plant the day the caterpillar vanished.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dark Winged Beauty
Geographic location of the bug:  Ventura, California
Date: 05/25/2020
Time: 07:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I have noticed this beauty on my patio the past few days. It stays close and sometimes pauses  briefly to bask in the sunlight. I was hoping to catch a picture of the open wing span, but instead it kept it’s wings together, eventually took flight   pausing mid air about 6 inches from my face and then departed.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie in the Irish Chain

Mourning Cloak

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Thank you so much for your entertaining telephone call describing this beauty, and you actually identified it as a Mourning Cloak during the call.  You are absolutely correct.  The Mourning Cloak often basks in the sun, and it is rarely seen nectaring from flowers.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed primarily on tree sap (oaks preferred) and rotting fruit; only occasionally on flower nectar.”  Your posting lured Daniel back to the site he has ignored for nearly five weeks, and he has never in the eighteen years the site has existed, been away that long, even in the early days of exhausted band width when after about ten days, Daniel could post no more until the first of the next month.  Thanks again for our enjoyable morning conversations and for making Daniel realize he really does need to make at least one posting per day.  Though the month is nearly over, Daniel never selected a Bug of the Month for May 2020, so since it is the first identification request we have filled since April 21, it is now the Bug of the Month for May 2020.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spikybugs in garden pond
Geographic location of the bug:  Norfolk, United Kingdom
Date: 03/23/2020
Time: 08:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, At first I thought these creatures were pieces of pond weed. However, on observing them for 10 minutes or so, I see they are ALIVE and they appear to be interacting with each other.  The are located in one small part of a garden pond. They appear to have a sucker on one end. I replaced the bug in the photo back in the pond! Thank you for any help in identification.
How you want your letter signed:  Jo

Caddisfly Larva

Dear Jo,
This is the larva of a Caddisfly, an aquatic naiad that will eventually metamorphose into a flying insect that somewhat resembles a moth.  Caddisfly larvae construct a shelter from twigs, shells, pebbles, and other debris, and different species of Caddisflies construct different types of cases.  This image on Ed Brown Wildlife and Nature Photography looks exactly like your individual.  We are making your submission our Bug of the Month for April 2020.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you so much for this information – and so quickly!  I’m sure our caddis flies will be honoured to feature as your Bug of the Month!
Your site is wonderful. I’m just about to buy the Kindle version of your book, which I must get through Amazon UK, as US Amazon will not accept an order from my UK account.
Here’s wishing you and all concerned at What’s That Bug? the best of health in these difficult times.  And many thanks again for the information.
Kind regards,
Jo
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beautiful assassin
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Utah
Date: 02/08/2020
Time: 07:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this beauty in my garage and looking for second opinions as to the ID.
How you want your letter signed:  Jason

Assassin Bug:  Fitchia spinosula

Dear Jason,
We believe we have correctly identified your Assassin Bug as
Fitchia spinosula based on this BugGuide image.  Because it does not have developed wings, we originally thought this was an immature individual, but according to BugGuide:  “Micropterous individuals are more common, although macropterous forms do exist. Macroptery is more common in males than females.”  According to Merriam-Webster, micropterous means “having small or rudimentary wings.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination