Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Search Challenge (7/29/15): Identify these three insects

Entomologically speaking...

... this Challenge shouldn't be that difficult.  But as we've seen, sometimes these things can spiral out of control and present real challenges.

This summer has been a series of insect encounters. Luckily, few of them have been biting insects (mosquitos, ticks, ants, spiders, etc.), but instead they've been moments of beauty and wonder.

Thing is, these lovely creatures are sometimes difficult to identify.  Even though I like to think I recognize most flora and fauna, I find it difficult to remember which kind of insect is which.

For today, three Challenges:  Can you identify the common and Latin names of each of these?

A few hints to get you started:  These are all local to where I live in California. I list the county name where each was observed.

1.  What's this?  (I spotted this at the Sunol Regional Wilderness, Alameda County, California.)  

2.  What's this?  (Note that it's very similar, but not quite the same as butterfly #1.  This one was found in Santa Clara County.)

3. What insect is making this sound?  Can you figure out not just the kind, but also the genus and species names?   (This was recorded around 6PM on a warm summer's day at the Pearson-Arastradero Space Preserve.) 

Can you figure these out?  

If so, let us know HOW  you found them out.  (How on earth will you figure out what kind of insect is making that sound?)  

Search on!  


  1. 1. Lorquin Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)
    2. California Sister, Eulalia Sister; Limenitis bredowii
    3. Four-spotted Tree Cricket

    In my first search by image, the SERP included two sites for identifying butterflies.
    For the sound file I went to the page for the Beginner's Guide because I'm a beginner. I learned the difference between a trill (your sound), a raspy trill and a chirp. Trills are from crickets. I then went down the list looking at range. Surprisingly few crickets types in California. Going with the four-spotted tree cricket because of matching criteria.

    Search Path -

    1. both the sound sites are good finds Fred
      the Sample Songs of Crickets and Katydids > Most complex song > Amblycorypha longinicta, common virtuoso katydid
      most resembled Dan's sound snippet to me…?? (a Samsung Galaxy phone recording?) I looked at the time of year & day too
      thought this was an interesting piece off your SERP sound page too — Cicada Hunt
      will be interesting to see how Dan searches/sources sound…
      btw: I guess earthworms only require "sock"
      separate species
      Molecular and morphological evidence reveals three species within the California sister butterfly

  2. found via [california butterfly]
    here they are, side by side by coincidence… Lorquin's Admiral - Limenitis lorquini (Sunol Regional Wilderness) & California Sister - Adelphia bredowii
    about ¾ down the page
    (both good sites: ⬇)
    add'l Lorquin's Admiral info
    add'l CA Sister info
    as for the sound, it was largely inaudible to me, so I searched bugs> got to singing bush crickets & katydids… found this elucidating - wild guess…
    (my 2nd guess was common earthworm wearing socks…)
    California Katydid (Microcentrum Californicum)
    Tettigoniidae, many to choose from
    BugGuide node

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  4. Query [study of insects] I couldn’t remember the name “Entomology” Searching for possible terms

    Identification of Insects > “ Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are typically identifiable to genus or species only through the use of Identification keys and Monographs.” Lepidoptera link in Wikipedia > “180,000 species of Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families[1] and 46 superfamilies,... It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies.”

    Query [identification of butterflies]


    Criteria In California, open wing predominantly black & medium size >
    Need confirmation & I couldn’t locate the second butterfly at this site.


    There is the image of # 2 butterfly California Sister - Adelpha bredowii
    And confirmation of # 1 butterfly Lorquin's Admiral - Limenitis lorquini

    another possibility.

    Query [identification of insects by sound] I do believe living in the country this is the sound of crickets that I hear at night. If I recall these sounds are made by rubbing the wings together. But I don’t want to rely on generally accepted knowledge which isn’t the point of the challenge.

    #1 Link to >Selected Cicada Species of the Western United States

    I don’t think any of these sounds are the same as the recording. I will come back later to search alternatives.

  5. How on earth will you figure out what kind of insect is making that sound? is great question. I read it wrong first time. Thought you were asking for animals in general and for that I don't have a clue

    For animals in general my path could be:
    Take picture or record sound.
    Limit where I saw or hear the animal.And then, maybe looking for an app or a tool as you have been telling us.

    For this one, I searched [animal sound identification] in this case I know what can it be.

    Search for sounds. There looked for insects and recognized "cicada" here we know them as Chicharras.


    Cicadas are insects in the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha. Cicadas are in the superfamily Cicadoidea

    Cicadas by Genus and Species page.
    Even a map of them in 2015

  6. Fred has linked the sound of the cricket and this site supports its credibility. Interesting read & my thinking was correct about the wings but there is more to it. SEX.

  7. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers


    Search Google for this image for a and b questions.

    For case a:

    [california butterflies identification]

    Lorquin's Admiral - Limenitis lorquini

    [Lorquin's Admiral]

    Riparian species

    Riparian definition

    Lorquin Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)
    Family: Brush-footed Butterfly (Nymphalidae) Subfamily: Admiral and Relative (Limenitidinae)

    For case b, California Sister Butterfly, Adelpha bredowii californica

    [California sister Butterfly]

    Family: Nymphalidae. Subfamily: Limenitidinae Includes Map about sightings.

    There found: [NCGR], but what is that? in Glossary of Entomological Terms says: NatureServe Global Status:
    NatureServe is a non-profit conservation organization.
    Global ranks indicate the rarity of a species at a global scale. Species may be fairly common globally but imperiled locally.

    Global ranks have the following meaning:
    G1 - Critically Imperiled - At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very steep declines, or other factors.
    G2 - Imperiled - At high risk of extinction due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors.
    G3 - Vulnerable - At moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.
    G4 - Apparently Secure - Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.
    G5 - Secure - Common; widespread and abundant.

    * ? or Q = status unknown or uncertain

  8. 1. Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)
    I entered [butterfly species in Alameda County]into the search box. The first result was . The site has a search box for links to descriptions of the species.

    The image gallery for the site does not filter by location, so I tried another link from my original search that looked like it would have images specific to the region: . Scrolling down on the home page led to an image that matches and even says it was taken in Sunol Regional Wilderness.

    2. California Sister (Adelphia bredowii)
    This one was easy, since the photo of this butterfly was right next to the photo of the Lorquin’s Admiral from the first search.

    After listening to sounds on several different sites (starting with a Google search for [California insect sounds], I found a site ( ) where I narrowed the sound down to a type of cricket. I think it could be a Four-spotted Tree Cricket (Oecanthus quadripunctatus), even though its pitch may be higher than the mystery insect’s. I could try to analyze the mystery insect’s song for the kHz, but I’ve already spent too much time on this. :)

  9. "... this Challenge shouldn't be that difficult. But as we've seen, sometimes these things can spiral out of control and present real challenges." uhmmm, confusion…?

    made me think I was missing something and should go back and have a closer look & listen to the two pics & sound clip…
    •no.1 -- missed what was in the background, camouflaged - Lorquin's Admiral -
    Limenitis lorquini with Ecpantheria denudata (must have hitchhiked into the county)
    •no.2 -- the California Sister comes in many variants —
    Adelpha trafficusliti californica, with a Leopard larva
    •no.3 -- once I got the speakers and filters dialed in, minus the bush crickets… definitely a California sound/vibe —
    The Insect Surfers
    more TIS - not sure why they were at the Pearson-Arastradero Space Preserve (in spirit)
    the sounds of nature, starting to grow on me… "ORION CANYON"
    "Tiger Shark" - nice guitars, definitely not the Beatles or beetles

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    2. originally submitted 7/31… added to in the lag…
      good to know about the patterns & mimicry, thanks Ramón… interesting infobit regarding the behavior of the Poplar Admiral… (maybe it should be the Pooplar Admiral, given the following traits:)
      They are attracted to foul smells, such as those given off by carrion or dung. The butterflies use their proboscis to draw important minerals from the sap of trees, from the ground or from sweat. They do not visit flowers."

      poplar admiral (Limenitis populi)
      half a world away - Lorquin's Admiral - they share Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin
      we need an audio/sonic search app/tool… and now, maybe a sniffer/olfactory/scent search app/tool too…
      a tricorder, of sorts?
      something Google/Appall might be working on as an extension of search/hardware
      btw, Fred's pick, in concert…

      were they involved in hithBot's demise?
      the journey ends

  10. 1. Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini

    2. California Sister Adelpha californica

    both courtesy of which has lots of images and lots of details. Lorquin's are even found on Vancouver ISland

    3. Have listened to many [insect songs] and the best I can do is suggest its a kind of cicada.

    jon tU