From the monthly archives: "November 2018"

Subject:  Big found in kitchen cabinets
Geographic location of the bug:  New York
Date: 11/10/2018
Time: 06:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
For the last couple of weeks I have had what I thought was an ant problem in my kitchen cabinets but now I am questions the type of insect
How you want your letter signed:  Ellie

Sawtooth Grain Beetle

Dear Ellie,
This is a Sawtooth Grain Beetle, one of the many species of beetles that infest stored foods.  According to BugGuide:  “serious pest of stored grain; presence in household products is incidental and causes little concern.” 

Subject:  What’s this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  West Virginia
Date: 11/10/2018
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in our cabin in Middlebourne West Virginia
How you want your letter signed:  Jenny

Larder Beetle

Dear Jenny,
This is a Larder Beetle, a common household pest that infests stored foods.  Check the pantry for the site of the infestation.

Subject:  Imposter from Japan?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cannon Beach, Oregon
Date: 11/09/2018
Time: 12:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found on the beach, November 9, 2018. Was in shallow sea water.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Salemites, Lisa & Steve

Bristle Worm

Dear Curious Salemites,
We have an image in our archives also from Oregon that we previously tentatively identified as a Marine Worm in the genus
Glycera, and this image from APhotoMarine supports that identification.

Update:  November 11, 2018
Thanks to a comment from Rusty, we were informed of the common name Bristle Worm.  We searched that and found The Chesapeake Bay Program site that indicates Bristle Worms are in the class  Polychaeta
and this information is provided:  “Bristle worms are soft, segmented worms found along shorelines, mud flats and shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. … Bristle worms have soft, segmented bodies with tiny, hair-like bristles along each side. The bristles are attached to appendages called parapodia. Each body segment has one pair of parapodia, which vary in shape depending on the species. Most worms have a head with eyes, antennae and sensory palps.”   According to Scenic Oregon:  “Polychaete worms, of the group Polychaeta, are annelids (segmented worms) that have “legs”– called parapodia– with bristles at the ends.  Some polychaetes, especially types of tubeworms, resemble palm trees, with a plume of frond-like appendages at the head.  Of all the species of annelids, the vast majority are polychaetes, with around 10,000 known species.  Some common names for different types of polychaetes are bristleworms, clam worms, featherduster worms, fire worms, lugworms, palolo worms, Pompeii worms, sea mice,  tubeworms, and many others.  They live underwater in almost every ocean environment, from cold water to undersea volcanic vents, with some burrowing into the sand at the shoreline.”

Subject:  What insect is this??
Geographic location of the bug:  India
Date: 11/07/2018
Time: 04:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  It has a texture like wood and is a flying insect.. It is there at the same place since 5 hours and hadn’t move an inch..
How you want your letter signed:  Dhruv


Dear Dhruv,
This is a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Many Hawkmoths have brightly colored underwings that are hidden by brown or gray wings that act as good camouflage if the moth alights on a tree trunk.

Subject:  What is this flying bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Sacramento California
Date: 11/05/2018
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was buzzing at me fairly large dont know what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Weirdbug

Ichneumon, we believe

Dear Weirdbug,
This sure looks like an Ichneumon to us, or some other parasitoid wasp, but we have not had any luck with a definitive identity.  We wish there was more detail in your image.  Ichneumons are parasitoid Wasps that are considered important biological control agents for caterpillars and other insects.  According to BugGuide:  “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.”   The wing veination on your individual appears very similar to the drawing on Le Monde des Insectes.


Subject:  moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  indiana USA
Date: 11/06/2018
Time: 04:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this dead moth in my garage. it’s big and beautiful. I am pretty sure it’s a luna moth however this one is all white and not green like the photos I’ve seen on the internet…. So the question is …. is it really a luna moth or does it turn white when it’s dead and dried up?
How you want your letter signed:  dszig

Luna Moth

Dear dszig,
There is much variation in the color of a Luna Moth.  Some individuals are very green while others are quite pale.  Mounted Luna Moths in collections are often quite faded, and we suspect light might cause the coloration to fade.  A faded Luna Moth is pictured on the Manitoba Museum site.