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

Subject:  What’s in my web?
Geographic location of the bug:  Camarillo, Ca near succulents
Date: 05/07/2018
Time: 07:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I was outdoors enjoying some fresh air and succulents  and noticed a pretty substantial spider web plus these very interesting white spiky spheres. I’m wondering if you can identify them?
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Brown Widow Egg Sacs

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
These are the Egg Sacs of a Brown Widow Spider, a species recently introduced to North America from Africa.  The Brown Widow is a relative of the native Western Black Widow, and since the introduction of the Brown Widow, populations of native Western Black Widows seem to have diminished, perhaps being displaced by a more competitive relative.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Beetle Perched in Papaya Tree
Geographic location of the bug:  St Croix, US Virgin Islands
Date: 04/20/2018
Time: 11:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good Day,
Hurricanes Irma and Maria randomly seeded our debris-laden yard with a few dozen Papaya volunteers last September (along with tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin and more!). Jan-March we’ve received little to no rains, and so with recent April sprinklings, these parched trees have finally begun setting flower buds. Today while searching for open buds, this intricate beauty greeted me. After admiring his morphology for a timeless hour (or more), I wondered if I could figure out his name. “Large beetle” in Google’s image search did not help, but it did point me to your site 😃. Using inches, from “head to toe”, the main body measures 2.5″, with width of “shoulder blades” (widest part) being 3/4″ and width of rounded base being 1/2″. The antenna measures just shy of 3″. I opted not to disturb him, so, I don’t know what the underbelly looks like. What a delightful find. Thank you for providing this ID service and forum 🐞☀️🌻
How you want your letter signed:  Lee

Mango Stem Borer

Dear Lee,
This impressive beetle is not native to the Caribbean.  This is an introduced Mango Stem Borer,
Batocera rufomaculata, a species native to Asia.  Its larvae bore in the stems of mango, fig and papaya among other trees.  According to Carnivora:  “A serious pest of edible fig, mango, guava, jackfruit, pomegranate, apple, rubber, and walnut. In India recorded for more than 30 different host plants.  The female cuts the tree bark and lays eggs singly into these cuts, laying a total of up to 200 eggs. Egg is a brownish-white cylinder, 6.2 mm, with narrowly rounded ends. On hatching the larvae start to tunnel into the sapwood of the trunk or branches. Larval development takes about 2 years. As a very large species, the larval tunnel measuring 2 or 3 centimeters in width that is correspondingly large and very damaging to the tree. The larvae tunnel through the sapwood and because of their size, they make large tunnel which interfere with sap flow and affect foliage and fruit production. Attack by Batocera rufomaculata often leads to the death of the tree. Tree death has been recorded in the Virgin Islands, Israel, Mauritius, India and Malaysia. Economic loss can follow when the tree attacked bears fruits or yields another product.”

Mango Stem Borer

Whoa…. so potentially (most likely) this is a female boring eggs into the stem right now. Hmmm… I shall relocate her momentarily, as I believe she chose a host with female flower buds that eventually will fruit. Was kinda hoping the bug was a pollinator vs parasite. Incidentally, this cluster of papaya are growing under what used to be a massive Mango canopy, felled by recent hurricanes. The past 4-5 years, it rarely produced mangos, and if so, on a only few branches (15% at best). Whereas 5-6 years ago, it was fruiting heavily. Mr Bugman, I sincerely appreciate your ID expertise. Simultaneously, you solved our long curiosity as to why mangos systematically stopped appearing on our once-massive tree  Thank you, Lee

Hi again Lee,
In our opinion, the pictured tree upon which you found this Mango Stem Borer is too young to be able to support a growing larva.  There is some evidence that adult beetles feed on leaves, based on this image we located on Dreamstime.

That’s a cool foraging pic. Thank you for the addition info and links. What an enjoyable, interactive, backyard entomology trip

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hawaii
Date: 04/15/2018
Time: 03:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just need to know what this is so we can kill it and keep it out of our yard
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Oriental Fruit Fly

Based on images posted to Wikimedia and Nucleus where it states “Host: Most fruits and fruiting vegetables” and “Highly significant economic damage”, we believe this is an Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis.  According to Featured Creatures, the Oriental Fruit Fly has been introduced to Hawaii and “The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a very destructive pest of fruit in areas where it occurs. It is native to large parts of tropical Asia, has become established over much of sub-Saharan Africa, and is often intercepted in the United States, sometimes triggering eradication programs.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Olympia, Washington
Date: 03/28/2018
Time: 10:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am normally very knowledgeable when it comes to insect identification. However, my friend sent me this image and it has me stumped. I know for sure that it is some type of moth, but beyond that, I’m at a loss.
How you want your letter signed:  Micah

Small Magpie Moth

Dear Micah,
This sure looks to us like a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but we cannot locate any similar looking moths on the Pacific Northwest Moths site nor on BugGuide’s images of North American Tiger Moths.  It is possible we have the subfamily incorrect, but it is still not pictured on the former site.  We have written to Arctiid expert Julian Donahue and we are still waiting to hear back from him.  Until then, we will tag it as unidentified.

Facebook Comment from Joan Brehm Rickert:
Looks like a Small Magpie Moth. Anania hortulata. They are present in that area.

Thanks to that comment, we have verified the identity is correct on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Eurasia, North American distribution seems patchy and not well known (as of May 2013, BugGuide has photos from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia). Any additional info appreciated.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Hi Daniel,
Just spotted this (so to speak) on Daily Kos: a Chinese lanternfly that has turned up in Pennsylvania, which feeds on Ailanthus.
Full detailed, informative, article here:
And here’s a pic of the critter from that post:

Thought What’s That Bug might be interested.
Best Wishes,
Julian P. Donahue

Spotted Lanternfly

Thanks Julian,
WTB? has gotten about five reports of Spotted Lanternflies or White Cicadas from Pennsylvania in the past year.  The oldest posting is from January 2017.

We did not know they fed on ailanthus.  unfortunately, we do not believe their diet is limited to Ailanthus.  Even if that were the case, we doubt they would have much effect on that invasive tree.  The Daily Kos states:  “Both nymphs and adult SLF cause damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves. The adult SLF prefers the invasive tree of heaven (
Ailanthus altissima) as its primary host. The nymph stages will use numerous plants as hosts.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Possible false wolf spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Oxnard, CA
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 10:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this pretty spider sitting on the top of an outdoor table after cleaning the umbrella above it of cobwebs. It probably fell from the umbrella. Maybe it was hunting for webspinners and not in a web. I didn’t see where it came from. The legs were a dark redish color in the darker parts (not black like in the picture). It was about half an inch in body length and moved very slowly.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious homeowner

Unknown Spider

Dear Curious homeowner,
We are posting your submission as unidentified and we will attempt a species identification soon.

Update:  Moments after posting, we received a comment from Sean McCann “I think it may well be Badumna longinqua, an introduced desid spider” and upon researching BugGuide which states “In North America, known only from coastal urban areas of California,” we are in agreement.  We had no category for this introduced species from Australia, so we added a Desidae subcategory for this family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination