Currently viewing the tag: "countdown 10 000"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed Note: We knew that we were getting close to our 25,000th posting for a few months now, and we decided to check today, but we were caught by surprise to find out we were at 24,999.  We decided to make this one special, a little different from our usual identification requests, so we decided to post the images Daniel just shot of a pair of California Mantids at the porch light, and perhaps to wax philosophically about what we hope we are accomplishing by publishing our humble site, now beginning its 16th year as a unique website.

Female California Mantis on the porch light

For years we have been running images, generally late in the season, of California Mantids attracted to the porch light to catch insects.  Male Mantids that can fly are much more common than are flightless females that have a more difficult time reaching the light, so this female was something of an anomaly.  Later in the day, she was joined by a male California Mantis who was probably attracted by her pheromones.  We thought we would take this opportunity with this significant milestone of 25,000 postings to expound a bit on our philosophy of a healthy ecosystem in the garden.  Mature predators like these Mantids catch larger insects, and adult Mantids are much more visible in the garden, but the real significance of having predators is the number of smaller insects they consume while growing.  Young Mantids, barely a centimeter in length hatch in the spring, and they perform an incalculable benefit with the large numbers of tiny insects they eat while growing.  Having a healthy population of predators in your garden throughout the year will help control many insect pests without the use of pesticides.

A pair of California Mantids

Though we have numerous identification request awaiting our attention, we have decided to take the rest of the day off and let our 25,000th posting stand alone today.  We will return tomorrow and we will try to catch up on unanswered mail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpiller with a nasty sting
Location: Mindo Ecuador
April 3, 2015 5:09 pm
Bugman, check out this beauty found while cutting some brush in Mindo, Ecuador. It left some of its fine hairs behind on the branch it was knocked off of. The local guy I hired to help me told me to watch out for these falling on your head when battling the thicket: a sting from this will put you in the house all day with a fever and intense pain. I didn’t test his claim for myself but I did manage to get these pictures.
Signature: PDB

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Puss Moth Caterpillar

Dear PDB,
This really is a beautiful caterpillar, and it is a wonderful choice to celebrate the 20,000th posting on our site, quite a milestone that fills our tiny staff with immense pride.  At first we thought this must be a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae because of its resemblance to a Monkey Slug from North America, but our search eventually brought up an image of a Puss Moth Caterpillar
(Oruga de Polilla Gato) in the family Megalopyge on FlickR where it states:  “The’hairs’ are very urticant and touching them produces strong reactions that may include hospitalization”.  Puss Moth Caterpillars from North America are also stinging caterpillars that are commonly called Flannel Moth Caterpillars or Asps.  We then tried searching the Monkey Slug genus Phobetron and found an individual from Suriname posted on Flickr, and after careful consideration, we cannot say for certain in which family your caterpillar should be classified, but we are leaning towards the family Megalopyge.  We then found an excellent image by Andreas Kay matching your caterpillar on FlickR, but alas, it is only identified as a Stinging Flannel Moth Caterpillar in the family Megalopygidae.  The best visual match we located was taken by Shirley Sekarajasingham and posted to FlickR, but again, it is only identified to the family level.  Perhaps one of our readers would like to continue searching for a genus or species match for our 20,000th posting.

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Oruga de Polilla Gato

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Male Western Banded Glowworm

Male Western Banded Glowworm or Male Firefly

Male Western Banded Glowworm in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
April 3, 2015 10:00 PM
After a very long and busy day today, we arrived back at the office to find this male Western Banded Glowworm on the windowsill, and rather than to answer any requests that came in today, we decided to wait until morning and post our own first sighting in our yard and to wait until tomorrow to look at new mail.  We are feeling a bit inadequate that the images of a Western Banded Glowworm male we found on BugGuide are so much more detailed than our own.
  In trying to find a link to our own site, we found this other possibility, a male Firefly, Pterotus obscuripennis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: water striders
Location: Riverbend Park, Fairfax, Virginia
April 3, 2015 7:09 am
I found these water striders in a quiet part of a small stream going into the Potomac River in Riverbend Park, Virginia. They are clasping each other, but isn’t it a bit early for mating? If you can identify the species that would be great, too. Thank you for your wonderful site.
Signature: Seth

Water Striders

Water Striders

Hi Seth,
Thanks for sending in your wonderful image of a Water Strider, an aquatic insect that is able to disperse its weight so that it can skate across the surface of the water without breaking the tension.

Hi Daniel –
It looks like somehow you only got one of the water strider images I sent; here is the photo that may have gotten lost, showing one strider clasping another:
Regards, Seth.

Mating Water Striders

Mating Water Striders

Hi again Seth,
Thanks so much for forwarding what appears to be a mating or courtship image of a pair of Water Striders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Gatlinburg bug like scorpion
Location: gatlinburg, tn
April 1, 2015 4:29 pm
What could this be? 8 legs. 2 claws. 1 tail with what could be stinger. No bigger in size in total than a quarter.
Signature: josh

Scorpion, in Tennessee???

Scorpion, in Tennessee???

Are you Joshing us Josh???  It is April Fool’s Day.
This looks somewhat like a Bark Scorpion in the genus
Centruroides, and one member of the genus, Centruroides vittatus, is known from Tennessee, according to BugGuide, but other than the general shape, your Scorpion does not match the BugGuide description:  “A very important clue is the ‘triangle’ on the front of the carapace; long, slender appendages, which are noticeably more elongate in males than in females; two broad stripes down back, with orange bars on each tergite (dorsal plate); hands and fifth metasoma (tail) segment are darker, especially in young and freshly molted specimens; broad stripe on the back of the tail. – Kari J McWest.”  Your individual more closely resembles the Florida Bark Scorpion pictured on BugGuide, Centruroides gracilis, but that species has only been reported from Florida and California, though according to BugGuide it is:  “Introduced from the tropics.”  We believe a much more likely candidate for your Scorpion in the Southern Unstriped Scorpion, Vaejovis carolinianus, because it so closely resembles this BugGuide image.  It is reported from Tennessee, according to BugGuide, and the best evidence is the information posted to BugGuide that “The only scorpion native to much of the Appalachian states” and “Occasionally enters homes and is often found under rocks and other surface objects. This species is not of medical importance.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some kind of Stink Bug(I think)
Location: Mims, Florida
March 31, 2015 9:08 pm
I took these pictures yesterday of what I originally thought was a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, but after viewing pictures of them online I was unable to find any comparable color patterns.
Signature: Zach

Black Stink Bug

Black Stink Bug

Dear Zach,
You are correct that this is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, but we needed to research its identity.  Relatively quickly we located the Featured Creatures site indicating that this is a Black Stink Bug,
Proxys punctulatus, and this information is provided:  “The biology of the black stink bug, Proxys punctulatus (Palisot), is not well known. It has a broad geographical range in the Americas but does not appear to damage agricultural crops as do other more important pentatomids. Black stink bugs appear to be facultative feeders on plants and other insects.”  The host plants are listed as:  “Black stink bugs have been collected in cotton, soybean and citrus. They feed on plant juices, with some documented association with Commelina (dayflowers) species. Although the black stink bug is a phytophagous species, it can also be predaceous, and has been found attacking insect larvae in cotton.”  Additional information can be found on BugGuide.  It seems the only other image of a Black Stink Bug in our archives is nine years old.

Black Stink Bug

Black Stink Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination