small black flying insect in LA
Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 1:16 PM
I have been unable to identify an insect I have been finding in my house in Louisiana. I have seen several others asking about it also and no one seems to have the answer. Its about 1/4 of an inch long, completely black, and has somewhat slender wings like a fly. It’s back legs are quite long and are positioned like a cricket’s. Its body resembles an ant or wasp. It does not seem agressive, but is attracted to light. It is fairly quick, about the speed of a house fly. They don’t tend to fly for long periods of time. Thanks for any info
Brandon
South Western Louisiana

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Hi Brandon,
Your insect is a beneficial Ensign Wasp.  They are beneficial because they parasitize the egg cases of Cockroaches, effectively reducing the population.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth
Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 9:07 PM
This moth was laying eggs on the wall of my house in Oakland, CA. She was about 1″ long.
Laurie K.
Oakland, CA

Painted Arachnis Laying Eggs

Painted Arachnis Laying Eggs

Hi Laurie,
Your moth is a common Southern California Tiger Moth known as a Painted Arachnis.  We had eight individuals on our screen door and near our porch light on Mt Washington in Los Angeles this past week.  One female also laid eggs.  Over the years, we have observed these moths laying eggs on our walls numerous times.  The caterpillars are general feeders of the Woolly Bear type.

Lacewing
Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 6:08 PM
Hi Guys,
found an ID for the plume moth, Alucita phricodes. Thanks for posting the picture. Last night had this visitor come into the house, a lacewing that mimics a moth, Psychopsis mimica. Hope you like it.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Moth Mimic Lacewing

Moth Mimic Lacewing

Wow Trevor,
That is one awesome looking Lacewing. I am linking to another image of Psychopsis mimica, but there is no information on this unusual Lacewing on the page.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The most beautiful moth ever?
Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 10:47 PM
Hi guys,
I just photographed this tiny diaphenous moth on the mudguard of my car and had to share it with you. I’ve sent it to you in a large picture size as the specks make it hard to see detail when it is downsized. The background is the green metallic paint of my car, the moth is only about 1cm wingtip to wingtip. I am blown away by how beautiful it is and so delicate, it is one of the most beautiful moths I have ever seen. Hopefully someone knows what it is.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Many Plume Moth from Australia

Many Plume Moth from Australia

Hi Trevor,
WE are quite certain this is a Many-Plume Moth in the family Orneodidae, but we haven’t the time to research an exact species. With our current internet problems due to a weak Time Warner signal that the cable company is having problems correcting, we cannot do any further research at the moment. Our very old edition of An Introduction to Entomology by John Henry Comstock states: “These insects resemble the Plume-Moths in having the wings fissured; but her the fissuring is carried to a much greater extent than in that family, each wing being divided into six plumes.” Perhaps this information will help with an exact identification.

Update:
ID for that Plume Moth
Hi Guys,
found an ID for the plume moth, Alucita phricodes. Thanks for posting the picture. Queensland, Australia

Hi Trevor,
We always like linking to other images and information online, and we were quite surprised to see your photo already posted to the Moths of Australia website.

Question Mark Butterfly?
Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM
We found a cacoon stuck to my daughter’s sand pail handle so I brought it in so we could see what came out of it. This is what came out. SO PRETTY. We had to catch it so we could let it go outside. Not sure what kind it is? I’m thinking question mark, we have a book but it looks purple in the book. Is this still the same?
Aubrey
North Texas

Question Mark

Question Mark

Hi Aubrey,
Your identification of this Question Mark is absolutely correct.  Differentiating the various species of “punctuation mark” butterflies can be quite difficult.  We are still having major problems with our Time Warner internet connection, and our signal is very very very slow.  Consequently, we can only post a few letters.

Walking stick???
Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 1:07 PM
Is this an insect? I thought that it was a walking stick, but it appears to only have 4 legs.
Matthew Peters
Hohenwald, TN 38462

Northern Walkingstick

Northern Walkingstick

Hi Matthew,
This looks like a Northern Walkinstick, Diapheromera femorata. The common name is deceptive since the species ranges throughout much of the eastern US, including the south, and Canada. BugGuide shows the genus represented in Texas, but does not identify it to the species level. BugGuide does report the species from Louisiana The front legs are being held together in front of the body.