Subject: sweat bee or mason bee
Location: SW Florida
January 5, 2014 8:41 pm
Just wondering if this is a sweat bee our a mason bee. Sighted in sw florida 1/5/14. Size of a honeybee. Hovered like a hummingbird. Blue in the light, green in the shade. Solo, friendly, gentle!
Signature: Stacey

Orchid Bee

Orchid Bee

Hi Stacey,
This is an Orchid Bee,
Euglossa dilemma.  It is a neotropical species and we first became aware of the Orchid Bee‘s presence in Florida in 2004.  Since that time, it has become well established.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth Newly Emerged During Blizzard!?
Location: Champaign, IL USA
January 5, 2014 10:12 pm
I’ve been a long time reader of the site, and thought you might find this one interesting. I was sitting in the basement (finished, half below grade) this evening and heard a humming, buzzing noise from behind the couch. It turned out to be this moth, which looked very ‘fresh.’ I wonder if it had pupated indoors and has just emerged? Do you have any idea what kind of moth it might be? I thought the green striped on the back were nice.
Anyway, I set it near my plants in the kitchen, dribbled some water nearby for it to drink (it also liked the salt on my finger). No chance of it mating, I’m afraid.
Tonight (Jan. 5th 2014) there are blizzard conditions here in Illinois, and it’s twenty below zero with the wind chill. It got cold fast and early this year. Thanks in advance!
Signature: Cold Enough for Me!

Tussock Moth:  Halysidota species

Tussock Moth: Halysidota species

Dear Cold Enough for Me!,
What an interesting anecdote you have relayed to us and we are happy you have finally submitted a query.  We believe a caterpillar must have wandered into your basement and pupated, and the temperate conditions indoors resulted in early eclosion.  This is a Tiger Moth in the genus
Halysidota, and the five species documented on BugGuide are all known as Tussock Moths.  Only two species of the five range as far north as Illinois: the Sycamore Tussock Moth, Halysidota harrisii and the Banded or Pale Tussock Moth, Halysidota tessellaris.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults [of Halysidota tessellaris] in the eastern regions can only be separated from Halysidota harrisii by genitalia dissection.” 

Thank you so much! There is a large mature Sycamore tree close to the basement (and the basement door), so it’s reasonable that it could be either of these moth species. Great site, keep up the good work.  

Subject: Unknown bug from Peru
Location: Central Peru
January 5, 2014 2:40 pm
Dear bugman,
thanks for all the help with my previous posts! I still have quite a collection of unidentified insects/spider etc pics and am very glad I found your website, so I will keep them coming to you if you don’t mind…
This is a picture of a pretty tiny bug I also took in central Peru, at about 1.000m altitude. Any idea what it is? Thank you again, congratulations on your great website and best wishes!
Signature: Frank

Scarab Beetle from Peru

Scarab Beetle from Peru

Hi Frank,
This is a Scarab Beetle in the family Scarabidae.  If it is a small beetle, chances are not really great that we will be able to determine a species identification for you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly/Moth? from Peru
Location: Central Peru
January 4, 2014 7:54 pm
Dear Bugman,
I took this picture in the cloudforest of central Peru, and I have no idea if this is a kind of butterfly or moth or something else. Can you help me? Thank you once again!
Signature: Frank

Long Tailed Skipper

Long-Tailed Skipper

Hi Frank,
This sure looks like the North American Long-Tailed Skipper,
Urbanus proteus, but without doing any research, we cannot be certain if the range extends to Peru or if this is a related South American species.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “‘Argentina north through Central America, the West Indies, and Mexico to peninsular Florida and South Texas. Occasionally strays and colonizes north to Connecticut, southern Illinois, eastern Kansas, southern Arizona, and southern California.’ (Butterflies and Moths of North America).”  Taxonomically, Skippers are classified as butterflies, and they are thought of as an evolutionary transition between moths and butterflies.

Subject: caterpilar
Location: SW France
January 5, 2014 2:48 am
Hi, this caterpillar was seen in my neighbours garden in SW France and I cannot find it in any of my books, it is about 7 to 8cm long, can you help.
many thanks
Signature: Marland

Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar

Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Marland,
We get very few identification requests from France, and we are not certain if there is a general disinterest in bugs in France, of if the language barrier is leading French speakers elsewhere for their identifications.  This is a Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar,
Saturnia pyri, and you can find additional information on the Saturniidae of the Western Palaearctic website.

Hi Daniel, wow what a great service you give, insect identified in just 45 minutes!! I think the French are interested in insects but perhaps they do not know about your site, I will start spreading the word and just hope you do not get inundated with requests.
Many thanks

Subject: Massive black fly with distinct yellow spots
Location: Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
January 5, 2014 4:25 am
This is the first time we have since this massive ‘fly’ – we took photos of him and thought it would be easy to identify him using our insect book, as he is so distinct, but it appears we are battling – real novices! Do you possibly know what type of fly it is? May not even be a fly…
Signature: Emma Theron

Male Horse Fly

Male Hippo Fly

Hi Emma,
Before we start our research, we will begin by telling you that the common family name for this fly in North America is Horse Fly, but in Australia, the same family is referred to as the March Flies, and that common name refers to a totally different family in North America.  We are going to use the scientific taxonomic name, which is Tabanidae.  It will be easier to begin our search of South African members that way.  We can also tell you that because of the close eye placement, this is a male Horse Fly and it is only the females that suck the blood from warm blooded mammals.  Horse Flies generally feed on livestock, but they can and do bite humans and the bite is somewhat painful.  Again, this is a male and only the females bite.
Continued research led us a matching photo and a very interesting answer. There was an identification request posted to ISpot and David Notton wrote in and identified it as a Hippo fly (
Tabanus biguttatus).  We found another image on Zandvlei Trust confirming the name Hippo Fly with the information:  “Adults attack large mammals such as hippos as blood suckers. Their larva feed on insect larva and tadpoles in mud pans.”  On South African Photographs, a photo of a female fly (space between the eyes) is identified as a Hippo Fly, Tabanus biguttatus, but the spotted abdomen is not visible.  Instead, the thoracic region is golden, leading us to believe there is pronounced sexual dimorphism in this species beyond the difference in the eyes which is characteristic of the entire family.  South African PHotographs indicates:  “These flies are huge – must be at least an inch in body length if not more. They attack large animals such as cattle and hippo’s driving them to spend the night underwater to avoid being bitten.” A similarly marked female is also pictured and identified on ISpotPHotos of both an identified female and unidentified male are pictured on the slide show of flies on Natures World of Wonder South Africa.  We would love to locate some reference that pictures both the male and female and discusses the distinctive differences between the coloration and markings of the sexes.

Thanks so much Daniel for the feedback and the good explanations and cross-references, I really appreciate it!
Kind Regards,