Black and gold bug
September 25, 2009
Found this bug on a milkweed seed pod in a flower garden. It was in September in late afternoon. It was slightly less than an inch long. Black and gold on top, red and black undersides.
Cathy & Carlos M
Kennett Square, PA

Large Milkweed Bugs

Large Milkweed Bugs

Dear Cathy and Carlos,
These are Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus.  The pale yellow specimen is freshly molted, and according to BugGuide:  “
their color becoming darker and more orangish with age.

Thank you so much! I’ve never seen anything like it.
I love your web site! Whenever I run into something new and interesting, you always know what it is.
Thx

Cathy Matos

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Spider, Red and White Patterned Back
September 25, 2009
Hi there! Found this beauty on my porch in July 2009 in Southern NJ. Haven’t seen him before or since. Pattern is really cool, haven’t been able to find anything about him here or online.
MYP in NJ
Southern NJ

Araneus cingulatus

Araneus cingulatus

Dear MYP,
It is quite unfortunate that this lovely green Orbweaver, Araneus cingulatus, does not have a common name.  You can see additional images on BugGuide.

Golden Silk Spider from Mexico
September 25, 2009
Hi!
I just moved to a new house and it’s not on downtown so there’s a lot of vegetation and bugs.. I have found lots of this spiders and browsing your site i get to the conlusion that’s a Nephila clavipes, am i right? hehe well, I have my sister and my newborn nephew living with us and i want to know if this spider can be a danger for the little baby.. I never found one of this inside the house, they’re always in their spiderweb and I must say: That’s a strong spiderweb!! … I killed 2 of this on my garden the day I moved in but on an impulse of fear (you know, i’m not familiar with insects)… now.. if they’re not dangerous maybe i can live with that … because a new one showed up today and his web is amazing and I don’t want to kill her (it’s a female, right?) and excuse me for being such a coward, but my sister was very very scared of this
Guillermo Medina
Fortin, Veracruz, Mexico (Gulf of mexico)

Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Hola Guillermo,
Your identification is correct, and you have nothing to fear regarding the Golden Silk Spider.  They are harmless to humans, but they will help to control flying insects that might be a problem, like mosquitoes and biting flies.  We would encourage you to educate your sister and to live in harmony with these beautiful spiders.  Yes, their webs are incredibly strong.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need Caterpillar ID
September 25, 2009
Could you please identify this caterpillar? It was found on a Willow tree this week (September 2009), in Los Angeles, CA. It measures aprox. 1.5 inches long.
S Logan, Los Angeles CA
Los Angeles CA

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear S Logan,
What a nice find.  This is a One Eyed Sphinx or Cerisy’s Sphinx Caterpillar, Smerinthus cerisyi.  Bill Oehlke’s Sphingidae of the United States website has images of the adult moth as well as other stages of development.  This is a wide ranging species in North America.  In addition to willow, the larvae also feed on poplar.

Unknown Larvae Formations
September 24, 2009
We live in central TN and found these larvae formations around our driveway after heavy rains. Mostly seen in circular and abstract formations but always in clusters, never single larva alone. They also seem to stay in one location for long periods of time after patterns are formed. Their exterior has a translucent appearance rather than solid color and has a black tip or end. Do you know what this is?
Thanks for your help – Shannon
Central TN

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Hi Shannon,
We contacted Eric Eaton and here is what he had to say:  “Hi, Daniel:  Well, these must be the dumbest larvae in history to be going in a circle.  LOL!  They are the larvae of some kind of dark-winged fungus gnat, family Sciaridae.  The larvae of some species are well-known for their occasional, spectacular mass movements.
Eric

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Moth?
September 24, 2009
This”moth” was labeled a stowaway. I’m uncertain if it came from the Denver Airport/airplane and stayed on my luggage till we got to Tulsa, Oklahoma or if it just greeted us in Tulsa when we were waiting for our ride. I was standing outside the Tulsa airport on August 2nd about midnight and looked down to see this LARGE moth looking thing (It was about the size of my iphone). He really liked my bag – Not wanting to touch its wings, I had a little trouble getting it off! I found a stick and kind of forced it to walk aboard and then I put him in a safe place. Can you tell me what kind it is?
Katie ~ Photographer
Probably Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pandora Sphinx

Pandora Sphinx

Hi Katie,
Bill Oehlke’s awesome website does not report the Pandora Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, from Colorado, but the species is found in Oklahoma, which is indicated as the western limit of the range.