Morthra?
Saw this on a home inspection in Arizona. Wingspan was between 4 and 6 inches. Hoping you could help me figure it out. Thanks!
Tom

Hi Tom,
Your moth is Hyalophora columbia, but we are not sure if it is the Columbia Silk Moth, or its subspecies, Glover’s Silk Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mosquitoes?
These are everywhere right now. I’m really tired of them. What are they? What can be done to keep them away?

These are Crane Flies, and though they resemble large mosquitos, they are not closely related (other than being flies) and they do not bite. Crane Flies are sometimes called Mosquito Hawks. Judging by the mating activity in your photo, you are apt to remain tired for a bit longer. Crane Fly adults are benign and do not feed. They are often seasonal in appearance and are attracted to lights at night. We don’t really have any suggestions on how to keep them away.

Cool Bug
If you know anything about bugs in Australia we would love to learn what type of critter we have here. At first I thought it was a dead leaf which had blown off of a clump of eucalyptus branches I had just cut for my possums…. until I saw it crawling up the spare possum box on the front verandah! NO idea what it is but I kept a safe distance as the scorpion-style tail looked somewhat threatening! Thanks
Tom

Hi Tom,
This is some species of Phasmid, commonly called Walkingsticks, Stick Insects, or in the case of your specimen, probably a Leaf Insect. We have not had any luck identifying the species. Perhaps our loyal reader Grev, who often comes to our rescue with unknown Australian specimens, will have better luck scouring the internet than we have had. Leaf Insects do not have stingers, and the posture of the tail end is display only.

Update: (04/28/2008) Unknown stick insect from Australia
Hi Daniel,
Extatosoma tiaratum, Spiny Leaf Insect, is a member of the Phasmid family. See: http://miller.emu.id.au/pmiller/books/stick-insects/phasmatodea/phasmatidae/tropidoderinae/extatosoma/index.html … Kind regards,
Grev

Update: (04/28/2008) That Unknown Australian Leaf Insect
Hi Guys,
most likely your stick/leaf insect is Macleays Spectre, Extatosoma tiaratum Here is a reference link with pic http://miller.emu.id.au/pmiller/books/stick-insects/phasmatodea/phasmatidae/tropidoderinae/extatosoma/tiaratum/index.html regards,
Trevor Jinks
Queensland

Edibility Update: (04/29/2008) Australian phasmid: edible!
Hi Daniel,
Hope your semester is wrapping up well. Extatosoma tiaratum is among the walkingsticks and leaf-insects consumed in Papua New Guinea. They’re also a popular display species in the Insectarium world, and among amateur invertebrate-keepers. Best,
Dave
www.slshrimp.com

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello Mr. Bugman,
I hope you can help me with identifying the attached moth or butterfly. Location near Hamilton, Ontario, April 8th, still some snow in drifted areas, high daytime temperatures mid 50′s. Thank you for your time.
Ron

Hi Ron,
Like its relative the Mourning Cloak, the Compton Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis vau-album, overwinters as an adult and flies with the first sunny warm days of spring, even if there is still snow on the ground. Theses butterflies are not typical nectar feeders, and they will take nourishment from sap that is running from tree wounds in the spring. The common name comes from Compton County Quebec.

What are these zebra butterflies doing?
Hi,
These zebra butterflies have been here all day, I thought they were just mating. But then my son looked closer and saw there is a pupa in the middle of the group of butterflies. I took some photos, to see the pupa, I had to shoot into the sun. I am guessing they may be shading the pupa or its just a coincidence. I will check tomorrow morning and see what is going on. A few weeks ago I saw a zebra butterfly that had just metamorphosed into an adult and another butterfly was already trying to mate with her, she had not even dried out yet. So I am wondering if these are all males waiting for a female to mature. Attached also is a group of butterflies ready for bed, they sleep all together under the cedar tree and another group sleep under a palm. I have counted over 80 butterflies in the two groups. I believe the reason there are so many is because we have a lot of wild passionflower vine this year. Best Wishes,
Lori McNamara

Hi Lori,
The first thought that went to our mind when we saw this incredible aggregation of Zebra Longwings, Heliconius charithonia, was similar to your thought of males eager to mate with a soon to hatch female. Research on BugGuide indicates a different scenario. According to BugGuide, the Zebra Longwing: “is very gregarious as an adult, roosting in the exact same location for weeks or even months. They have great preference for roosting on dead of leafless branches. ”

Hi, No they are not roosting in the first two photos, zeb1 and 2. The third photo is where they are roosting. They have roosted for years not months in those locations. They roost at night. There are no pupas where they roost. Also they roost with their wings shut. Some of the butterflies around the pupa had their wings open, it is in the daytime. Attached are two more photos taken this morning. The butterflies are all flying about, except for this one clinging to the un-metamorphosed pupa. There were more but I disturbed them when I was taking photos. They are in a very overgrown area with lots of vines. Best Wishes,
Lori McNamara

Hi again Lori,
We were unaware of the roosting aggregations of Zebra Longwings before researching your query. Now we realize that you submitted images of the roosting as well as the mysterious interest they have in the chrysalis. We would put money on the awaiting to mate scenario. We would discount the shading the chrysalis from the sun scenario as being a bit too altruistic for a butterfly. Thanks for the great images.

‘Green Comma" butterfly
Hey Bugman!
I took my camera and rode my bike on a trail here in Charlotte, NC. on April 9, 2008. I was specifically looking for butterflies. I happened to spot this one sunning itself. It’s not a perfect specimen. When I got home and looked it up in "Field Guide to Butterflies of North America" by Kaufman. The closest I could come to identifying it was a "Green Comma." I couldn’t get a profile picture of it. I looked at the geographical location as shown in this book and it doesn’t really show it flying this far south. Is this rare to find this one in North Carolina? Anxiously awaiting your reply,
Patrick Crone

Hi Patrick,
We are afraid we may not be much help. We agree this is one of the Comma Butterfies in the genus Polygonia, but we are not sure which one. Have you eliminated the possibility of it being an Eastern Comma, Polygonia comma? there is an image posted to BugGuide with a similar spot pattern. The much rarer Green Comma, Polygonia faunus, has been reported as far south as Georgia according to the Butterflies and Moths of North America website, so you are in the range. We don’t feel qualified to give an exact species identification on your specimen.

Thanks for your quick reply. After looking more closely at the winter form of the “Eastern Comma”, I believe that is what it is instead of a “Green Comma.” It would have been nice if I could have gotten a profile picture of it. I tried to look on your web site yesterday and there were no pictures available. I will try again later.
Patrick Crone