June 23, 2010
Hi Daniel, I don’t know the species of these but maybe something you were looking for. They are some that looked sort of like “Fritillaries” to me. I have more but the site only allows three images. If you would like more let me know and I will send them thru outlook express. Thank You and have a great day
North Middle Tennessee

Great Spangled Fritillary

Hi Richard,
Two of your photos are of Fritillaries, probably the Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele, which is profiled on BugGuide.  Your third photo is of a Question Mark, the other butterfly we requested photos of.

Great Spangled Fritillary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

June 23, 2010
Hi Daniel, You requested photos of fireflies. Just last week I caught some in a jar to photograph. I wanted to catch one with its light on but they refused to cooperate with me. I caught three, one escaped in the house. He teased me for a few days by flying around flashing its light but never for the camera. These are not the photos I had hoped for but they are fireflies. If you can use these for anything you are more then welcome to them. Thank you, for all you do and have a wonderful day.
North Middle Tennessee


Hi Richard,
Thanks so much for sending us your gorgeous images of Fireflies or Lightning Bugs.  We may make them the Bug of the Month for July.


June 23, 2010
I told my 11 year old daughter that you wanted pictures of fireflies, so she went and caught these for you. Not certain that all 3 pictured are the same species, as we have ones that blink once, ones that blink three times in a row, ones that blink way up in trees (did not catch this), ones that only blink while diving.
The ones marked female were found in the grass, the one marked male (missing a leg, poor thing) was flying, otherwise I have no idea how to tell the sexes apart.
central New Jersey

Lightning Bug

Hi Sara,
Thanks so much for sending your photos.  We are not very good at identifying the different species of Fireflies ourselves.  We also witnessed two distinct flash patterns.  The Fireflies that appeared earlier in the evening had a yellower light and there was a lengthy flash while flying, often with a diving action.  The second distinct patter we witnessed was a series of blinks, at least 4 or 5, spaced about a second apart, and covering a distance while flying.  This flash was a brighter whiter color and these Fireflies appeared later in the evening.  As a child, we called Fireflies Lightning Bugs, probably because they appeared before a storm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Desert Spider Beetle or Black Bladder-Bodied Meloid
June 20, 2010
I found some of these beetles in my garden and looked them up to see what they were. They are very pretty, however, I really need to know if they are going to do any damage to either my house our my plants. Thank you for your information.
Living in New Mexico
Central New Mexico

Desert Spider Beetle

Dear Denizen of New Mexico,
Your identification is correct.  this is a Desert Spider Beetle or Black Bladder Bodied Meloid, Cysteodemus wislizeni, which is profiled on BugGuide.  Adult Blister Beetles feed on plants, but we don’t know the preferred plant that this species prefers to feed upon.  The Sam Wells Entomology page does not indicate the food preferences.  We believe they probably feed on some desert annual species.  They will not harm your home.  Blister Beetles, of which the Desert Spider Beetle is one, are capable of causing a skin reaction if they are carelessly handled.

Unknown Yellow and Black Caterpillar
June 19, 2010
I took pictures of this in July 2009 behind my apartments at the powerlines. I am rather new to macro photography and find bugs a interesting subject.
I have been unable to identify this one. He has sparse hair as you can see in 3rd picture and is a yellow/orange and black stripped.
There was literally thousands of them among the plants of various types.
Renton, Washington

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Hi Keith,
These are Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars, Tyria jacobaeae, a European species that according to BugGuide was:  “Introduced from Europe as a control for introduced weedy Ragwort, the host plant for its caterpillars, which is toxic to livestock.
”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Larvae feed on Senecio jacobaea. HOSTS database also lists Salt-marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata), Hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale), Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus).

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

The Weed Species website pictures Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, and it looks like the plant your caterpillar specimens are feeding upon.

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars

Thank you so much for the reply, I really do appreciate the in-depth answer.  It never ceases to amaze me all of the non native species that were introduced to control one problem or another.

June 20, 2010
Are there ANY pics or drawings of no-see-ums, to help me ID the miniscule critter I caught? (approx. size = the comma (,) or a 0.5mm pencil tip) It’s greenish, w/black dots @ head, mid, & rear. Distorted features – Hairy (or has
centipede legs). “Antenae” front and rear. Two jumping legs? Too small to
photograph. Hope the drawing helps!
Billy Wade
Scotch Tape (DUH!) Houston, Texas

Drawing of a Springtail perhaps

Hi Billy,
We get the biggest thrill out of some letters, and your letter is one of those.  We actually believe this is not a No-See-Um, but a Springtail.  You can compare your drawing to a No-See-Um image at the Great Salt Lake Marina website , and to this drawing of a Springtail by Gina Mikel commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  We believe you may agree that you drew a Springtail which is thought to be the most common arthropod on the planet.  Tom Pelletier of the Curious Nature website writes:  “It has been estimated that there are as many as 3 trillion springtails in a single acre of temperate forest.

P.S.  If we do a 2010 Calendar, we would like to use your image and letter.

Probably Springtail

“Billy Wade and the Springtails” – Live, One Night Only!
July 5, 2010
Dear Daniel,
I’m thrilled you’re thrilled! Yes; you may use my comments, letters, drawings, and pictures,
in any manner you see fit. And I’ll be watching and waiting for you to put that calendar out.
I think the “WTB” website is the greatest, and have told darn near everyone in Houston to
check it out! When I looked up springtails on WTB, I found, on page three, a picture from
Suzanne, posted: 09 October 2005, that is the spitting image of the critter that I drew up.
I compared the attached pictures. And?… I  HAVE  SPRINGTAILS! I can feel them hitting
my legs right now under my desk! Thank you, Tom Pelletier, for that “golden nugget” of
information, “..estimates of, as many as 3 trillion springtails per acre of temperate forest.”
Are you kidding me? The Houston, Texas area commonly has: 90 degree + temperatures,
90% + chance of rain, 90% + humidity, and, 90 + (thousand?) acres of temperate forests.
Multiplying numbers that big makes me feel very insignificant and…itchy!
Bug Update:
Since visiting, I haven’t swatted, stomped, or squashed any of the bugs
that are now on or in: Tape, jars, lids, shot glasses, bags, caps, cups, plates, bowls,
counters, tables, desks, and, in the freezer! I’m hooked! My girlfriend HATES it, and
won’t eat here anymore! I should get her something nice. Maybe a calendar….
“New Bugger”
Billy Wade