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

Subject:  moth in Halloween costume
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington, DC, USA
Date: 10/30/2019
Time: 05:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I scared up this beauty amid fallen red oak leaves on 10/30/19. I was admiring its leaf camouflage, then I turned it to another angle and realized that it was dressed, one day early, in its Halloween costume of cat-owl-fighter jet. Can you identify it?
How you want your letter signed:  Rachel B

Possibly Lunate Zale

Dear Rachel,
We are confident your Owlet Moth is in the genus
Zale which is represented on the Moth Photographers Group.  Perhaps it is the Lunate Zale, Zale lunata, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Daniel is leaving Los Angeles tonight to fly to your fair city with a group of Journalism students tonight.  He’s hoping it isn’t too cold and rainy.  We are going to tag your posting as the Bug of the Month for November 2019.

Lunate Zale

Update:  November 8, 2019
Daniel rushed to post this submission live the day he left town to travel to Washington DC where his LACC students won both the CMA Pinnacle and the ACP Pacemaker Award for best magazine from a two year school.  He decided in the time crunch to only post the image where the Lunate Zale could be identified.  Now that time permits, he has added this additional image with its interesting and unusual angle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  LARGE green caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Middle Georgia
Date: 08/28/2019
Time: 12:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy (girl?) showed up on my patio cover (canvas). It’s about 3 inches long and probably an inch around. (BIG joker). Thought maybe Luna Moth. Some one said maybe Imperial Moth. I know Lunas are endangered and I want to do the right thing. Don’t plan on hurting it or anything just curious about what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in GA

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious in GA,
This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar.  Many Giant Silkmoth Caterpillars from the family Saturniidae and Hornworms from the family Sphingidae pass unnoticed on vegetation while they are feeding.  Fully grown caterpillars then hunt for a suitable place for pupation  They leave the food plant and at that time they are frequently discovered by observant humans.  When we receive images of pre-pupal Imperial Moth Caterpillars, they have frequently turned brown or orange as metamorphosis nears.  Your green individual might still be feeding

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  HI, is this tomato worm?
Geographic location of the bug:  SW Michigan
Date: 08/01/2019
Time: 09:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi is this a good ol tomoato worm or? Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed:  Jules

Cecropia Caterpillar

Dear Jules,
Your submission was perfectly timed to be selected as our Bug of the Month for August 2019.  We suspect your “tomoato worm” is a Tobacco Hornworm, the caterpillar most commonly associated with tomatoes.  This Cecropia Caterpillar is a member of the Giant Silkmoth family Saturniidae.  It most likely left its food plant to search for a suitable site for pupation.  The adult Cecropia Moth is a gorgeous creature.

Yay, thank you! that was a quick response too.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  bel air md
Date: 06/30/2019
Time: 01:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  what is this beetle and what is coming out of its butt?
How you want your letter signed:  Peg

Female Broad-Necked Root Borer

Dear Peg,
In July 2011, we designated the female Broad-Necked Root Borer,
Prionus laticollis, as the Bug of the Month, and we believe enough time has elapsed to select your submission as our Bug of the Month for July 2019.  The ovipositor, an organ used for laying eggs, is protruding from the end of her abdomen.  According to iNaturalist:  “The female is larger than the male, with an ovipositor used to deposit eggs. When the female is laying eggs, she “shivers” and eggs are laid through the ovipositor, positioned down into the soil or under litter, usually in groups of threes and twos, but sometimes ones or fours. After the eggs are laid, the female moves her ovipositor up and down to fill the hole she created. When freshly laid, the eggs are pure white, glistening with moisture, but, after a while, they usually change to a deep yellow. Within a few days, the deep yellow eggs turn to a light washed pink. As the larvae develop inside, the eggs turn ivory in color. The eggs are the size of small grains of rice. When the larvae are hatching, they chew through one of the elongated, pointed sides of the egg. The larvae’s heads are adapted for digging into the soil, and they have strong black mandibles for chewing roots.”

wow… how cool! thanks for your response!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  North East Mexico Plague
Geographic location of the bug:  Monterrey
Date: 06/07/2019
Time: 12:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Worried about our forest, infestation of this insect. What is it what is the impact. Millions of these in our forest.
How you want your letter signed:  Raul

Katydid: Pterophylla beltrani

Dear Raul,
This is a gorgeous Katydid, and with a little searching, we are confident we have identified it as
Pterophylla beltrani  thanks to images and maps on iNaturalist.  We located an article entitled Geographic Distribution and Singing Activity of Pterophylla beltrani and P. robertsi (Orthoptera:  Tettigoniidae), Under Field Conditions where it states:  “Pterophylla beltrani, locally known as grilleta or false locust, constitutes an important forest pest in northern Mexico.  Populations of this species began to increase … in 1975.”  Since this is a native, local insect for you, we have a problem thinking of the large numbers you witnessed this year as an infestation.  Rather, we prefer to think about it as a possible indication of climate change.  Some species might not survive a change in climate while others may thrive.  At this point in time, Green New Deal or not, we believe that there has already been an irreversible effect on nature due to the changes, climactic and otherwise, that increasing populations of humans on planet Earth have created.  That stated, no one knows what the future will bring.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination