Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"

Subject:  What is it??
Geographic location of the bug:  Shark Valley, Everglades National Park
Date: 12/13/2019
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
Never seen anything quite like this. It was on a cocoplum leaf.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Unknown Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Mike,
This is definitely a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  The red color is quite unusual.  We believe it might be a Crowned Slug Caterpillar,
Isa textula, which is pictured on BugGuide, but we cannot locate any images of red individuals.  Sometimes caterpillars change colors right before metamorphosis.

Subject:  What’s this yellow wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsuala
Date: 12/09/2019
Time: 05:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! I’m living in Costa Rica and accustomed to all manner of crazy bugs, including having many, many paper wasps making my home their home. I’ve come across a very pretty wasp today, however, which I’ve never seen before. Any time there’s only one of something and it’s abnormally pretty, I start to wonder. I was hoping you could help me identify my new kitchen guest and let me know if I should be nervous about the surprisingly long stinger or not.
(sorry about the dust…it’s a daily accumulation, it’s crazy down here!)
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Monique

Unknown Ichneumon

Dear Monique,
We believe this is a parasitoid Ichneumon, a harmless solitary Wasp, but we have not had any luck finding any similar looking individuals online.  According to BugGuide:  “arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates”  and “Ichneumonids are notoriously hard to identify: aside from the sheer number of species, there are numerous cases of distant relatives that appear almost identical. Any identification based solely on comparing images should be treated as suspect unless an expert has said there are no lookalikes for the species or group in question.”  Ichneumons are important biological control agents and many species prey on caterpillars.  The female uses her long ovipositor (not a real stinger) to lay eggs inside the body of the living host and the larva that hatches will feed on the internal organs of the host, eventually killing it.

Thank you Daniel!
I used your identification in Google Images and, instead of getting moths like searching my image did, I found many similar images, so I completely trust your ID. She really was pretty and I hope that she finds a nice caterpillar nearby to help her hatch a lovely family.
Thanks for such a quick reply!

Subject:  Black and White hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Guatemala
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 09:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found two of these large caterpillars on different avocado trees in a wet mountain area near San Pedro, Guatemala, do you know what they are called? 3″ soft hairy, don’t bit or sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Caroline

Unidentified Caterpillar

Dear Caroline,
We tried unsuccessfully to identify this distinctive Moth Caterpillar.  Some families we explored were Erebidae, Lasiocampidae and Apatelodidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success with this identification.

Unidentified Caterpillar

Subject:  What is this thing?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina
Date: 08/15/2019
Time: 11:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, recently I found this very strange looking…wasp? Hornet? I don’t know. It was dead when I found it. I tried searching for what it might be online but couldn’t find anything with a matching description. I hope you can help!! Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Mack

Robber Fly

Dear Mack,
This is a large, predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, but we do not recognize the species.  The black coloration is quite unusual for an eastern species.  It might be
Proctacanthus nigriventris which is pictured on BugGuide.  Your dorsal, lateral and frontal views are excellent for an expert’s ability to identify the genus and species, but alas, we do not possess that expertise.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide a less general identification.

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Subject:  Unknown caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Atop Casper Mtn,. Wyoming
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 02:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would love to know the identity of this cat.  Photo taken 8/13/19.
How you want your letter signed:  Dwaine

Unidentified Moth Caterpillar

Dear Dwaine,
Despite the excellent detail in your images and the distinctive characteristics of this Moth Caterpillar, we are unable to provide you with an identification at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Unidentified Moth Caterpillar

Subject:  Sierra Nevada bug I cant identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Sierra range
Date: 08/12/2019
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, encountered this lovely green and red (or orange?) bug at 9800 feet near a lake in eastern Sierras near mammoth,
CA. An entomologist friend thought it was a “true bug” but wasn’t sure specifically what it was. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Craig P

Unidentified Mirid Plant Bug

Hi Craig,
When it comes to attempting to identify unknown insects, large and showy creatures with a wide distribution range are much more likely to be documented with online images than are smaller insects with a limited range.  Species only found at higher elevations are often poorly represented on the internet.  We agree with the entomologist that this is a True Bug, but if that was the best the entomologist could provide, we might be going out on a limb stating we believe this is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae.  It looks similar to the Scarlet Plant Bug pictured on The Natural History of Orange County, but it is obviously a different species.  We had no luck browsing BugGuide which indicates there are 1930 members of the family in North America.  Perhaps one of our readers will recognize your Mirid Plant Bug.

Thank you so much! That alone is helpful (and interesting). Had no idea this would be such a stumper, but I’m also a novice.
Thanks again. Will keep eyes out for more thoughts.