Some Bugs

OK, they aren't all true bugs,  True bugs are one particular Order (classification) of insects called Heteroptera which is only one of the 24 orders.  Here are pictures of representatives of several of the other orders.   I will try to point out things that will help you categorize and  identify these small creatures.   There are a couple of other things on this page that are not insects even though they are small and have exoskeletons just like insects do.  The word exoskeletons literally means "bones on the outside".  That refers to the hard outside covering of their body and legs with their muscles inside.  Compared to them we are inside out. 

When you look at the pictures you can put your mouse pointer over them to find out what Order of insects they repersent. 

I have included a few pictures of things that aren't insects too.  Putting your pointer on them will bring up a note telling you what they are.

  katydid (Orthoptera)katydid face  (Orthoptera)katydid foot  (Orthoptera)
Katydid,  common around here and they can be incredibly loud when they are calling for a mate. 
They are in the same order as grasshoppers and crickets which they resemble.

eastern comma 	(Lepidoptera)comma antenae 	(Lepidoptera)comma, body 	(Lepidoptera)
A butterfly, the knobs on the ends of the antenna's distinguish it from a moth. 
The scalloped edges on the wings show that it is not one of the many kinds of Fritillary butterflies that are found around here and have similar markings. 
It seems to be an Angle Wing butterfly called an Eastern Comma. 

monarch emerging   (Lepidoptera)monarch on chrysalis (Lepidoptera)
The two pictures above show a Monarch butterfly just after it has emerged from its chrysalis. 
The wings unfolded as it pumped fluids from its abdomen into the veins in its wings. 
Note the size of the wings compared to the empty case.  A few minutes after the second picture was taken it flew away.

luna moth caterpillar 	(Lepidoptera)
This is the caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth.  The three front appendages are true feet which will become the legs and feet of the adult moth. 
The other "feet" are pseudopods (phony feet) though they work just fine to help it make its way along this twig.

unidentified caterpillar  (Lepidoptera)
An as yet unidentified caterpillar included here because of  its interesting markings and branched horns. 
We saw it in northern New York in August.  It was only about  one inch long.

moth 1 	(Lepidoptera)moth 2  (Lepidoptera)2 moth 3  (Lepidoptera)3
More unidentified creatures. 
All are moths that I found near my porch light one night. 
You can see the antennas of  the first one pictured is slender and taper to points and the last one has feathery antennas. 
This illustrates some of the antenna shapes of moths.  None however have knobbed ends like butterflies do. 
Moths all tend to keep their wings out flat along the surface when they land.  Butterflies tend to hold their wings perpendicular to the surface on which they are resting.

moth 4a  (Lepidoptera)moth 4b  (Lepidoptera)

These two pictures are of the same moth.  The first shows a front view of how it was perched when I discovered it and the second a few minutes later.

A visitor to this page who works with insect conservation has identified the brownish moth immediately above.
He said, "[It] is Melsheimer's Sack-Bearer (Cicinnus melsheimeri), an uncommon to rare species that feeds on oak leaves as a caterpillar.  It was previously reported from only 6 Kentucky Counties (Bullitt, Harlan, Letcher, Jefferson, Owsley and Perry) [Elliott] County is apparently a new record."
Thanks Jim.

This picture of another unidentified insect was sent to me with the request for my identification.
The description included
"it's antennae are each about 4 inches long, it makes weird screeching noises, and was photographed in upstate New York."
Unfortunately I didn't know what it was so I asked visitors to this page to help with the identification.
When one of them asked if we had figured out what it was Chris and Stacy (the folks who had sent it in) and I  tried again and this time using improved web search tools we were successful.
It is a
Northeastern Pine Sawyer, Monochamus notatus

cecropia moth  (Lepidoptera)cecropia moth, body (Lepidoptera)
A Cecropia moth with a wingspan of  nearly 6 inches, not unusual for this species.
They are the largest moth in North America and are impressive in real life.
I remember the first one that I ever saw, when I was about 7 years old.
This one is missing an antenna.  He must have had a hard life.

walkingstick 1  (Phasmatodea)walkingstick clasp  (Phasmatodea)walkingstick foot  (Phasmatodea)walkingstick head  (Phasmatodea)
This walkingstick insect is about 5.5 inches long from the tip of his antennae to the end of his abdomen. 
He relies on his resemblance to twigs to camouflage him from predators. 
You can tell that this is a male by looking at the clasping structures at the back end of his body. 
The third picture is of one foot with it's five segments (tarsi). 
The last picture is a detail of the head showing  the eyes, base of the antennae and some of the mouth parts. 
You can also see some of the thorax and two front legs.

walkingstick 2   (Phasmatodea)
Here are a male and female preparing to mate.  The female is about 6.5 inches long.

damselfly larva  (Odonata)blackfly larva  (Diptera)
Here we have a Damselfly and Blackfly larva. Both are found in streams and shallow ponds.
The Damselfly cannot survive in polluted low quality water like the Blackfly can.

hellgrammite dobsonfly larva (Megaloptera)hellgrammite, ventral dobsonfly larva (Megaloptera)
This is a Hellgrammite the larval form of a Dobsonfly.
They can be up to 4 inches long.  This one was considerably smaller.
They require high quality water to survive and are therefore a good indicator of  minimal pollution.

dragonfly  (Odonata)damselfly  (Odonata)
The first picture is of a Dragonfly perched on the edge of a lilly pad.  The second is a Damselfly on a very still finger. 
Both are also called Darning Needles, and Horse Stingers but the name Mosquito Hawk is particularly apt.
Their legs are better adapted to grabbing other insects in flight than to landing or walking and mosquitos are a favorite prey.
Damselflies are generally smaller, brightly colored, and  rest with their wings folded.
I have found references that cite the top speed of Dragonflies at 20 to 80 miles per hour. 
The lower end of that range is probably more accurate.

tomato hornworm tail   (Lepidoptera)tomato hornworm  (Lepidoptera)tomato hornworm head  (Lepidoptera)
Tomato Hornworm, the adult is called a 5 spotted Hawk Moth. 
It may be hard for you to guess which direction this guy is going. 
Just so you know, the horn is at the back end.

centipede  Class Chilopoda not Insecta
This prehistoric monster is NOT an insect. 
It is a centipede, the name means 100 legs. 
One leg per segment distinguishes it from millipedes (means 1000 legs) which have 2 legs per segment. 
Neither lives up to their name but they have far more than the 6 legs found on every insect.

beetle  (Coleoptera)
A  Banded Net-wing beetle. - Calopteron reticulatum
It has 2 pairs of wings like most other insects but the two front wings are hard and serve to cover the other 2 which some beetles can use for flying.

green bee (Hymenoptera)green bee 2 (Hymenoptera)
A bee despite a very un-bee-like metallic green color.
It is probably an Agapostemon splendens or a near relative.
The scientific name is both accurate and the translation memorable,  It means beautiful green backside. 
You won't find a hive of these.  They live alone.

fly   (Diptera)
This is a fly.  It can be recognized by its two full size wings and two tiny knobs called halteres that serve as balancing organs.
They distinguish it from other insect orders and can be seen just behind the wings.

fly on flower  (Diptera)fly above flower  (Diptera)
Two pictures of another large fly that seems to be acting like a bee.
Its sucking mouth parts are one way to distinguish it from a bee which has both sucking and chewing components to eat with.

unknown pair    (Orthoptera) probably
Two small insects that I can't identify. 
They are certainly in the same order as crickets and grasshoppers. 
Their long antennae make me think that they may be katydid nymphs.

green tiger beetle   (Coleoptera)
This is a six spotted green tiger beetle.  They can fly well and are active during the day. 
This beetle is a voracious predator that sometimes captures insects as large as bees.

Ermine Moth   (Lepidoptera)
Would you believe this is a moth?  Specifically an Ermine Moth, family Yponomeutidae.  For this identification I have to thank Dr. Sandof, an entomology professor from Perdue, who was looking at these pictures and offered his help.

click beetle, dorsal view   (Coleoptera)click beetle, ventral view   (Coleoptera)
An Eyed Click Beetle.  The eye spots on on their thorax are just decoration not real eyes. 
When they are upside-down they arch their body and then suddenly straighten it.
This action makes the click for which they are named and tosses them into the air. 
If they are lucky they land on their feet and don't have to try again.

lady bug beetle   (Coleoptera)
A Seven Spotted Lady Beetle resting on a dry clover flower. 
Nymphs and adults eat a variety of  insects (aphids, mealybugs, soft-scale insects, spider mites and others).
Each adult may consume thousands in its lifetime.
There are several other varieties common to our area and I will add photos of them as I get them.

orb weaver  Class Arachnida not Insecta
Another bug (in the generic, non-technical sense) that you may see.
It is of course a spider.  It is one of many types of orb weavers that make the classic spiral webs with spokes like a wheel.
You can tell that they are not an insect because they have 8 legs (not 6), 2 body parts (not 3), 8 simple eyes (not 2 compound) and no antennae.

daddy long legs   Class Arachnida not Insecta
Another 8 legged visitor.  These are called Daddy Long Legs or Harvestmen and they are not spiders.
They have very long legs, two simple eyes, and their head, thorax and abdomen are all combined in a single unit.
They also don't make silk so they can't make a web.

red spotted purple butterfly   (Lepidoptera)butterfly head   (Lepidoptera)wing detail   (Lepidoptera)
This butterfly is called a Red Spotted Purple even though it looks black and blue with orange spots just like the picture shows.
In the first picture it is tasting my finger probably to get a bit of salt that may have been there.
The second picture shows its proboscis coiled up.  Also look at its huge compound eyes.
The close-up of the upper side of the hind wing shows the tiny scales that cover it and no sign of the orange spots that are seen on the bottom.

luna moth    (Lepidoptera)luna moth eye spot    (Lepidoptera)
Here is a Luna Moth and a detail of one of the eyespots on its wing.
These moths are nocturnal (active at night) and live for only a week as an adult so they aren't often seen.
Because they are large (4 to 5 inches) and showy you won't forget this one if you see it.
The wide antennae indicates that this one is a male.
Its caterpillar looks a lot like that of the polyphemus moth that you saw earlier on this page.

woolly bear    (Lepidoptera)
A Woolly Bear, Black Ended Bear or  Woolly Worm depending on where you live.
Normally they are black on both ends and brown in the middle but this one doesn't fit the pattern.
It is the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth.
Some people say that the length of the brown band can be used to predict whether there will be a hard winter but that is generally considered to be folklore.

bees (Hymenoptera)
Two Bees collecting pollen and nectar from the flower of a thistle.
Some bees are social (live in colonies) others are solitary.
They are in the same order as wasps, which you might expect , and ants, which may be surprising.
More than 20,000 species of bees have been identified.

mantis egg case  (Mantodea)
The egg case of a Praying Mantis after the 200 or more young it contained have hatched.
 praying mantis   (Mantodea) praying mantis   (Mantodea) praying mantis head   (Mantodea)
Here are a couple that have posed for portraits.
The young Mantis will grow and shed its exoskeleton (molt) several times before it is fully mature.

oak gall formed by a wasp  (Hymenoptera)oak gall formed by a wasp  (Hymenoptera)
Two oak galls.  They are formed when certain wasps lay their eggs in twigs or leaves of oak trees.
The secretions of the larva cause the tree to form this growth which protects the developing insect.
When these are growing they are green and are sometimes called Oak Apples.
If you cut one open at that stage you will find a small "worm" at the center.
These were found after the insect that they held had left.

winged ant  (Hymenoptera)
This may look like a tiny wasp but it is an ant with wings.
Nearly all of the wingless ants you see are female workers that are not sexually mature. 
But periodically a colony will produce many individuals that have wings.
 These are males and females which leave to mate and start new colonies.

fritillary butterfly    (Lepidoptera)
Two Fritillary butterflies on a butterfly weed. 
The nearer one is showing the upper side of its wings and the one that is partly hidden behind it is showing the underside.

This butterfly seemed quite content to sit on my finger while I took this short video.

spicebush swallowtail    (Lepidoptera)
Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies, one in flight, showing the top and bottom of their wings.

wolf spider  Class Arachnidia not Insecta
A Wolf Spider (an arachnid not an insect) that is covered with many of its young.
Some types of spiders carry their egg cases and later their spiderlings with them until they are big enough to survive on their own.

(Lepidoptera) (Lepidoptera)(Lepidoptera)
Another moth that I can't identify.
I hope you enjoy the close views of its antennae and wing scales.

We were traveling at the peak of the 17 year Cicada emergence in our area so we only saw a few stragglers.
Cicada adult (Hemiptera)

The wings of the first of these didn't fully expand.
The center one is the empty shell that one of these once occupied during its long gestation underground.
The third is a normally formed adult.
Cicada  (Hemiptera)

Thank you for visiting my page of bugs

Copyright of all pictures: Brett Kuehner or Alan Kuehner.
Send e-mail if you would like to use them. 
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