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Bug of the Week

Welcome to our Bug of the Week page!  This is something new we have begun, to put some lucky ‘bugs’ in the spotlight during the ‘buggiest’ times of the year.  If you have a good picture of a ‘bug’ that you’ve very recently found somewhere in Maine that you’d like to have identified and/or would be willing to have featured here as the next Bug of the Week, please email your photo to us and don’t forget to include a statement giving us permission to use your photo on our Home and Garden IPM website and how you would like to be credited for the photo.  Send your email to Jim Dill (IPM Specialist) at james.dill@maine.edu


Week of August 4th, 2013: Tortoise Beetle larvae – The larvae of these beetles use their own frass and debris as a way of protecting and disguising themselves against potential predators (2nd photo below), and they can even raise the entire mass up and onto themselves from a special structure at the tip of their abdomen (1st photo below shows the pile in the ‘lowered’ or flipped-down position).  The adult stage of this insect was noticed by a lot of people early in July, and was even the Bug of the Week for the week of July 1st (Scroll down, or visit our Tortoise Beetles page, to see what the adults look like.)

Tortoise Beetle larva

larva of a Tortoise Beetle; Photo courtesy of G. Dill, staff

Tortoise Beetle larva

larva of a Tortoise Beetle; Photo courtesy of G. Dill, staff


Week of July 28th, 2013: Redhumped Caterpillars (Washington State University), Yellownecked Caterpillars (Penn State University), a Tachinid fly (see Tachinid flies for more examples of this unique family of beneficial flies and to learn more about them), and a cicada, photographed while it was molting! (see Cicadas for more cicada photos and to learn more about them).

Redhumped caterpillars - July 29, 2013 (photo by Jo-Anne Severy; used here with permission)

Redhumped Caterpillars; Photo courtesy of J. Severy (7/29/2013)

photo of two Redhumped Caterpillars

Redhumped Caterpillars; Photo courtesy of B. Watt, staff

photo of 3 Yellownecked Caterpillars beside a 12-inch ruler

Yellownecked Caterpillars; Photo courtesy of J. St. Clair (7/29/2013)

Tachinid - Ashley Anderson (Dayton, ME) (July 2013)a

a Tachinid fly; Location: Dayton, ME; Photo courtesy of Ashley Anderson

a Tachinid fly - photo by Ashley Anderson (Dayton, ME) (July 2013)

a Tachinid fly; Location: Dayton, ME; Photo courtesy of Ashley Anderson

Tachinid - Ashley Anderson (Dayton, ME) (July 2013)b

a Tachinid fly; Location: Dayton, ME; Photo courtesy of Ashley Anderson

Photo of a Cicada undergoing a molt - photo by April & Lee Townsend (Portland, ME)

a cicada, undergoing a molt; Location: Portland, ME; Photo courtesy of April & Lee Townsend.

the shed exoskeleton of a cicada (after it molted) - Photo by Griffin Dill

The shed exoskeleton of a cicada that molted; Photo courtesy of G. Dill, Staff.

 


Week of July 21st, 2013: Hickory Tussock Caterpillars (Not a true member of the tussock family, but–as is true of other members of the family–the hairs on these caterpillars can cause a very itchy rash for some people, especially for children)

White-Hickory-Tussock-Moth-caterpillar2


Week of July 14th, 2013: Fishflies (The adults are attracted to lights at night and the larvae are aquatic; they are harmless to humans in spite of their intimidating appearance) and Syrphid Flies (also called Flower Flies or Hover Flies)

a Fishfly adult

Fishfly; Photo courtesy of J. Dill, staff

a Fishfly adult

Fishfly; Location: Etna, Maine; Photo courtesy of C. Armstrong, staff

a Fishfly adult

Fishfly; Location: Etna, Maine; Photo courtesy of C. Armstrong, staff

a Syrphid Fly from Unity (mid July 2013); photo by Dana Wilde

Syrphid Fly; Location: Unity, Maine. Photo courtesy of Dana Wilde


Week of July 1st, 2013: Tortoise Beetles (These beetles are rarely found in high numbers in home gardens; feeding is primarily cosmetic, and you’ll find them on morning glory plants and on crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, beans and peppers; various plants in the Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae families.)

Tortoise Beetle Tortoise-Beetle-GMD