Huge Moth Southern California
Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 3:57 PM
I have only seen four of these guys my whole life, in So Cal… I always wondered what the genus is… they are HUGE!!!!
Katt
West Hills, Ca

White Lined Sphinx

White Lined Sphinx

Hi Katt,
The White Lined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx, Hyles lineata, is one of the most common Sphinx Moths in the U.S., being found in all lower 48 states.  Periodically, in the desert regions of the Southwest, there are tremendous population explosions of both the caterpillars, which are edible, and the adult moths.  Just last week, we had 8 moths on our screen door because we often leave the light on in Los Angeles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Colorful Grasshopper from South Africa
Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 2:18 PM
Hi, I found this guy roaming my house and not being timid provided me with an opportunity to take some nice snaps I thought would make a welcome addition to your great site. Not sure what species it is though. Keep up the good work.
Allan, South Africa
South Africa, Limpopo

Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Hi Allan,
This is a Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper in the family Pyrgomorphidae.  The coloration is Aposematic, conspicuous warning coloration that indicates the animal is either dangerous, poisonous, or foul-tasting.  We believe this may be the Koppie Foam Grasshopper, Dictyophorus spumans, which we located on a Flickr Posting.  We substantiated that on the BioLab Website.

Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Polyester Bee In Idaho?
Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 7:49 PM
We nearly stepped on this fellow in our kitchen in North Idaho. She is grey with a smooth abdomen and a fuzzy thorax and yellow front legs and face. At first we thought she was covered in plaster dust or something. Is she a polyester bee?
AnnE & James
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Queen Yellowjacket covered with dust

Queen Yellowjacket covered with dust

Dear AnnE & James,
We wanted to verify our suspicions with Eric Eaton, and this is what he wrote back to us:  “Daniel:  An extremely dusty queen yellowjacket, probably the western yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica.  Eric”  With that, we can say you are lucky you didn’t step on her.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hong Kong bug
Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 5:24 PM
Hello,
I just took this photo yesterday (April 18) on a roadside tree in Hong Kong. These bugs have been appearing for years, but only on this one specific tree. At times I have seen more than five all within plain sight.
They are about 2 inches long from nose to tail. The can fly, but not well, and they move sideways just as easily as backwards and forwards.
I don’t even know where to start looking them up – they look half moth and half beetle.
Thanks
Guy
Mid Levels, Hong Kong

Longan Chicken, a Lanternfly

Longan Chicken, a Lanternfly

Dear Guy,
This is a Lanternfly, an unusual group of insects in the family Fulgoridae.  When we posted another image of this species from Hong Kong in January 2007, we got this species identification:  “Hi Bugman,
I believe that the lanternfly that Alex found in Hong Kong is Pyrops candelaria. The two most “common” Mandarin common names of this lanternfly , if translated literaly to English, is “white wax cicarda” (because of the white, wax-like powders on its eggs), and “longan chicken” (because it feeds on saps of the longan trees (Dimocarpus longan) as well as other fruit trees such as mango, lichi and olive). Pyrops candelaria is easily seen in Hong Kong and SE Asia. Images can be found here ( http://www.pbase.com/bluetitan/pyropscandelaria ) and here ( http://aestheticarthropoda.blogspot.com/2006/12/pyrops-candelaria.html ). (Unfortunately most of the introduction to this lanternfly is in Mandarin, and the second link is the best English description I can find.) hopefully you find it helpful,  Wei-Ting ”  As a side note, we use the compound word Lanternfly, while some websites prefer to split the units and call this insect a Lantern Fly.  That would imply that it is a true fly, which it is not.  We stand firm on the spelling Lanternfly being correct.

Unknown caterpillar
Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 6:40 AM
My son found this caterpillar on the grass. He was quite a compliant fellow and I placed him on a plectranthus leaf in order to get a better shot. He was quite a chunky caterpillar and when he did move about, his body extended to about 8cm. I’d love to know a bit more about him.
Tami Roos
South of Johannesburg in South Africa

Unknown Caterpillar

Unknown Caterpillar

Dear Tami,
We did not have any luck identifying your caterpillar on the South African page of the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site. We searched there because we believe your caterpillar is in the family Saturniidae, the Giant Silk Moths. We will try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can identify your caterpillar.

Daniel,
I do not think it is a Saturniidae caterpillar. I have nothing that is a good match.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill Oehlke

Long neck, not a mantis?
Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 6:41 PM
Stanford university, tall grass, mixed oak woodland, middle of a hot spring day. On my leg, probably from the grass.
Dave H
Palo Alto, Ca, USA

Snakefly

Snakefly

Hi Dave,
This is the third Snakefly image we have posted from California in a short period of time.  Perhaps it is a more plentiful year for this harmless predator, or perhaps people are just more closely observing the other creatures we share this troubled world with.