From the monthly archives: "August 2012"

Subject: sleeping bees
Location: Pinellas County Florida (Tampa Bay)
August 31, 2012 5:36 pm
Up to 20 bees sleeping on bare stems of St. Johns Wort. Might be combination of digger and long horned bees. Any help with identification is appreciated.
Signature: Ellen

Longhorned Bees

Hi Ellen,
You have been observing a Bachelor Party of male Longhorned Bees in the tribe Eucerini.

Subject: a tattered Tiger
Location: near Lurray, VA
August 31, 2012 8:48 am
Here is a shot from up on Skyline Drive in VA
Signature: mj

Tattered Tiger Swallowtail

Good evening mj,
We just realized two things.  We currently love posting photos of Tiger Swallowtails and you create really great subject lines because we believe this is the third submission of yours we have posted in 48 hours.  This Tiger Swallowtail is a survivor.

Subject: what is ’he’ or ’she’ called?
Location: staunton, va
August 31, 2012 7:03 am
I see these somewhat frequently late in the summer…they have amazing webs!!
What are these guys called? I have heard them called a hay spider.
(btw…I AM one of those folks that are ’terrified’ of spiders~but I do appreciate what they do!)
If I can figure out how to get the whole web this guy has made I will–the whole thing is taller than me–and Im 5’7”
Signature: mj

Hay Spider

Dear mj,
The surest name for your beautiful female orbweaver is
Argiope aurantia, but she has many common names including Golden Orbweaver,Writing Spider, Black and Yellow Argiope and Yellow Garden Spider.  Hay Spider is new to us, but we like it.

Hay Spider, flip side


Subject: Peanut /Lantern bug babies
Location: Drake Bay, Costa rica
August 30, 2012 4:15 pm
Hi Bugman,
My daughter and I found this egg pod while in Drake Bay, Costa Rica last week. We set it on a ledge because we had no idea what it was and in the morning there were babies all over. Thanks to your site , we identified them as Peanut/Lantern bugs. It was really cool to see and we wish we could have seem the mama. BTW…we took the Night Tour with Tracy and John. They were awesome and said to say hello. We got some amazing photos of a walking stick bug crawling on my daughter’s face if you would like me to send, let me know 🙂
Signature: Jennifer and Bella

Hatchling Peanut Headed Bugs

Dear Jennifer and Bella,
Thank you so much for clearing up this mystery.  These hatchlings clearly resemble the adult Peanut Headed Bug and your photograph proved that the unusual egg case we posted earlier this year is in fact that of a Lanternfly or Peanut Headed Bug.

Hatchling Peanut Headed Bugs

Subject: black with blue spot butterfly
Location: staunton, va
August 31, 2012 5:57 am
Is it a morning cloak?
Signature: MJ

Black Swallowtail

Dear MJ,
The “tails” on the lower wings immediately identify this as one of the Swallowtails.  It is a Black Swallowtail,
Papilio polyxenes, and the dusting of blue on the lower wings identifies this as a female.  She is nectaring on a zinnia, one of the best plant for attracting butterflies and other pollinators to the garden.  Gardeners should plan early if they want zinnias in mid to late summer.  Zinnias grow easily from seeds that should be started in the early spring or late winter in areas that do not get snow and have hot summers, like the southwest.  The caterpillars of Black Swallowtails are often found feeding on parsley, carrots and other related plants in the vegetable patch.  More information on the Black Swallowtail is available on BugGuide.  We have our own theory that the swallowtails that feed most on nectar are the females who need to be strong to survive to lay eggs which are deposited singly on plants rather than in clusters.  We developed this theory because of the reluctance of the Western Tiger Swallowtails at our Mount Washington, Los Angeles offices, to land and visit the flowers.  We believe them to be “hill topping” males who are hoping to mate with females that are attracted to our own zinnias, lantana and butterfly bush, though the females never seem to be around when we are camera ready.

Subject: Two headed butterfly
Location: Cozumel island, Mexico
August 29, 2012 10:37 pm
Hi guys,
I photographied this butterfly on Cozumel island, Mexico on january 17th, 5 years ago. I found it on low tropical forest.
Can you help me to identify it?
Thank you very much, in advanced.
Best wishes.
Signature: Cristopher Gonzalez


Hi Christopher,
This little beauty is one of the Hairstreaks in the subfamily Theclinae.  We doubt this species is represented on BugGuide, but we haven’t the time to research the species right now.  We wish your photo did not crop out the antennae, but perhaps you cropped them in post production and you are able to resend the original digital file so we can format it.  Your photo does show the protective mimicry the butterflies in this subfamily exhibit.  A predator might make a grab for the dominant face on the right of your photo and find itself with a mouth full of wing while the Gossamer Winged beauty flies away.