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Having trouble identifying bugs...

Posted by AdamM321 NE z6 (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 3, 03 at 19:21

Hi,

I have been searching online for hours for the third day in a row trying to identify a few bugs in my yard, that I am unfamiliar with. I garden organically and have tried to plant to attract beneficials, but beyond the most common bugs, I don't know one from the other and don't know which are good to have and which might be a problem.

I had what I thought was a hover moth today, but the photos look larger than what I saw. My butterfly weed, asclepsia, attracts all kinds of bugs, one which is a very large flying insect which looks somewhat like a large hornet that are very dark with large bands of orange on them. Another is a bug I saw in the daytime that was orange, and a little like a ladybug, but with only two very small dots on its back, then I saw the same bug at night, but it had changed into a metallic shiny gold. I know it was the same bug, as I captured it and saw it change.

Plus a few others. I don't have a digital camera to take photos of them, so I was looking for online websites that might have a photo of them, but so far, the sites I have found show ordinary bugs and nothing like what I am looking at.

Any ideas?
Adam


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

Ladybugs can have any number of dots, even NO dots at all. Can the change in the color of that bug be due to a difference in the angle that the light hits it? To all the insect mavens: Any chameleon-ish bugs you know of? Sounds fascinating!


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

Hi Quiltguy,

No, I don't think it was due to the angle that light hit it. My husband and daughter also saw the bug with it's two different colors, all standing in different angles to the bug. I collected on the back porch at night, with the porch light on. It was definitely shiny metallic gold color. I put it in plastic container with a lid at about 4am. At 8am, when we all looked in the container, it was still that metallic gold color. I put the cover back on, and looked again about 10 minutes later and low and behold it was orange with 2 small dots on its back, about the size of a ladybug and similar shape. It has me VERY curious to know what it is. :-)

Adam


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

  • Posted by kdup 5/6 Mass (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 5, 03 at 9:18

Adam, I have those big black wasps with orange bands on my butterfly weed, too. Don't know what they are, but they sure are pretty.

I think your hover moth is more commonly known as a hummingbird moth. Do an image search on google with the phrase "hummingbird moth" and you will see pictures. The hummingbird moths I have (we love them!) have bodies only about an inch long.


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

I just collected a metallic gold lady bug off my deck. Sluggish(last night was 27 degrees here in Charlotte) but once indoors on a planter of mesclun lettuces it perked right up and got to work.
Two rather faded spots on the wingcovers, have to look closely, but definitely gold metallic.
Hope she stays put on my lettuces indoors.


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

I have had the same orange and black bugs on my milkweed.
I checked with the Master Gardener in my area, and surprise! they are "Milkweed Bugs" and probably have a more specific scientific name. Insecticidal soap doesn't phase them, and of course, you don't want to use pesticides on a host plant for butterflies. I guess you just have to "enjoy" them, they won't harm any of your other plants!


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

Try taking samples to your local County extension office for
identification. Most offices will have a Master Gardener or someone who can id your bugs. Or they can send them to the Univesity for id.


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

Hi,

I really don't have the energy to take samples anywhere. I was hoping to find a website or a book that has tons of photos of bugs so when I run across one I can identify it.

Anyone know of anything?
Adam


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

why don't you post pictures? and you could go to the insect forum. some people might know what they are. (I would need pictures... not that I'm good at IDing them)


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

I might be able to help with bug IDs. Send me a sample (via mail) or a photo via email. I am an entomologist.

surface mail:
John Warner
University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Ant Lab
3205 College Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

lol. sorry about the picture thing. I skipped that part :P
anyway, could the moth be a doll's clearwing moth? they look like hornets, are under an inch long, and have red stripes.


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lol. sorry about the picture thing. I skipped that part :P
anyway, could the moth be a doll's clearwing moth? they look like hornets, are under an inch long, and have red stripes.


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RE: Having trouble identifying bugs...

i dont see that your question about the "gold bugs" was ever answered, so I thought I would post this.
I was just looking for info about some gold bugs that I have on my strawberry plants and came across this:

http://crawford.tardigrade.net/bugs/BugofMonth08.html

It describes Metriona bicolor or "Golden Tortoise Beetle, a beetle commonly found in the Puget Sound area. It seems to match up pretty well with your description, including the changing of color. It is of the family Chrysomelidae and will munch a series of holes in the leaves. The article seems to believe it is only found on morning glory leaves...

Anyway, hope that helps.


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