Leaf-type bug
Location:  Napanee, Ontario
September 18, 2010 10:09 pm
Found this on a maple tree outside our house. We live in Eastern Ontario.
Signature:  Curious about this bug

Monkey Slug

Dear Curious,
This is a Monkey Slug Caterpillar,
Phobetron pithecium, and in its adult form it is known as a Hag Moth.  BugGuide has this interesting description:  “Caterpillar is most frequently seen. Bizarre, brown, hairy creature that resembles some sort of aquatic creature more than a caterpillar. Three pairs of long arms and three pairs of short arms, which are ‘deciduous’ – often one or more is missing.”  Exercise caution when handling the Monkey Slug as it is one of the Stinging Caterpillars in the family Limacodidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Luminescent centripede

Fire Centipede and glowing slime

Luminescent centripede
Location:  Fougamou, Gabon 1°13`S 10°36`E
September 19, 2010 5:19 am
during a stay in Gabon I took this picture of a centripede. After contact he showed this green fluorescence.
Do you know how it is called?
Kind regards
Signature:  Fabian

Fire Centipede

Hi Fabian,
We had never heard of a Centipede that exhibited bioluminescence, so we hit the search engines in an attempt to answer your questions.  Surprisingly, the Orkin website had this information:  “The so-called ‘fire centipede’ is a name used to refer to any centipede that exhibits bioluminescence. Often nocturnal, bioluminescent centipedes are uncommon and are not associated with any particular habitat.  One fire centipede of repute is widely distributed in tropical Asia and Africa. Known to be the Orphaneus brevilabiatus, the said fire centipede would look something akin to a necklace of precious jewels if one were to come across it on a moonless night.  A certain chemical substance secreted by the fire centipede produces this bioluminescence. The light appears to come from the secretions of two luminous patches near the ends of each segment of the centipede’s body. The source of the light is beneath the body of the insect and can be made out through the exterior.  Another centipede that glows in the dark is the Geophilus electricus. This fire centipede is long and yellowish in color. Other than centipedes, millipedes also glow. Endemic to the Sierra Nevada of California, the species of millipedes designated as Luminodesmus sequoiae is known to emit light at night. From the moment they hatch, these millipedes glow. The source of their light is embedded in the deeper layers of their integument. Their luminescence is continuous, with no voluntary control.
”  Our next stop was the Photochemistry and Photobiology page of the Wiley Online Library where the Biochemistry of Centipede Bioluminescense by James Michael Anderson was profiled along with this information:  “The centipede (Orphaneous brevilabiatus) secretes a bioluminescent slime. The corrected emission spectrum of this luminescence was found to have maxima at about 510 and 480 nm. The reaction was found to require both a luciferin and luciferase and showed an unusually low pH optimum (4.6). Oxygen was required for the reaction, but oxygen could interact with one of the components allowing for anaerobic light emission.”  In an online article entitled Animals that use Bioluminescence by N. David, the author writes:  “Some varieties of centipede, known collectively as fire centipedes, are also bioluminescent.”  A message board on the Wild About Britain website has an interesting dialog that refers to a Centipede that may be in the genus Geophilus.  We were now satisfied that you actually encountered a bioluminescent Centipede which dispelled our first thought that somehow your camera captured a stray light source or that the digital photo file was somehow corrupted.  We eventually found a photo of Geophilus carpophagus on the Natural England website where its bioluminescence was mentioned, and it does seem to resemble your specimen, but we are reluctant to provide any genus or species identification for you, preferring instead to have a chilopodist (could that be the name given to a centipede expert?) supply that information instead.  We hope the more generic common name Fire Centipede will satisfy your curiosity.

Dear Daniel,
thank you very much for your quick and extensive answer!

Brown Butterfly
Location:  Dayton, Ohio
September 18, 2010 9:29 pm
Hi bugman, first, i want to say that you have a great website here! Anyways, today, September 18, I saw this butterfly on a rose bush in our backyard and I cant figure out what kind of butterfly it is.
Signature:  Julia

Pipevine Swallowtail

Hi Julia,
This is an incredibly battered Pipevine Swallowtail.  It appears as though it may have had an encounter with a predator that attacked the wings but failed to grab the body with the vital organs.  This is interesting because much of what we have read indicates that the Pipevine Swallowtail is unpalatable to predators.  You may read more about this lovely butterfly in our archives and on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Beetle Indentification
Location:  South Carolina
September 18, 2010 11:04 am
Could you please help me identify this large black beetle? So far, I’ve had no luck. It measures between 1 1/2 and 2 inches.
Signature:  Insect Project

Rhinoceros Beetle

Dear Insect Project,
This appears to us to be a Rhinoceros Beetle,
Xyloryctes jamaicensis, one of the large Scarab Beetles in the tribe Oryctini of the subfamily Dynastinae.  You can verify this by visiting BugGuide.

Fly Identification
Location:  Greeneville, TN
September 18, 2010 12:41 pm
I encountered these in northeast TN (Greeneville) in the middle and end of August. The closest thing I can find to this bug online is a stiletto fly or a golden-haired robber fly. While visiting an area of predominantly farmland and woods, I found these everywhere. They were attracted to my bike as I rode through rural areas. The locals I stayed with didn’t recognize them either, so I’m not sure if they appear regularly or not. Thank you for your help!
Signature:  Jennifer Grant

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Jennifer,
You are correct about this being a Robber Fly, but you have the wrong species.  We received so many identification requests for the Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, in late July that we made it our Bug of the Month for August.  We continued to get identification requests in August, so we suspect that the species was especially common this year.  Insects often go through cycles when their numbers diminish and then surge.

No idea what this is!
Location:  Yarmouth, Maine
September 18, 2010 4:01 pm
This bug landed on my neck while kayaking on a quiet river in southern Maine, September 18th. It didn’t appear to have wings, but maybe they’re just folded up close? I don’t know how else it could have landed on me, unless it was blown off a plant by the wind. (It WAS windy.) He was about 2.5-3” long. from tip to tip. Didn’t move around a whole lot, but was clearly alive. I didn’t see it depart, so don’t know if it blew off or flew off…
Signature:  Louisa

Water Scorpion

Hi Louisa,
You had an encounter with a Water Scorpion in the genus
Ranatra.  Water Scorpions are aquatic insects that are also capable of flying.  The bite is reported to be quite painful.

Thank you – I just figured it out myself, but glad to have it officially identified. (And glad it didn’t bite me.) Your website is awesome, and so helpful!