Friend or foe?
April 24, 2010
We have a ‘plague’ of these in our vegetable garden which backs on to woodland. They fly when disturbed but seem to prefer to be resting. Really only need to know if they are friend or foe. Their wings shimmer slightly as if covered in fine gold leaf.
Gill Kendrick
Central England


Hi Gill,
At first we thought that this might be a Caddisfly.  According to BugGuide, which only covers North American species, “Adults resemble moths, but wings are hairy instead of scaly.
”  We decided to search the UK Moths website though, and we believe we identified your insect as a tiny moth, known as Microlepidoptera, and possibly the species Micropteris calthella which is described on UK Moths as “Wingspan 7-10 mm.  Another tiny species, with a wingspan of around 8 to 10mm, this moth has metallic bronzy forewings, with purplish tinges in places. Like other Micropterix species, it has a tuft of hairs on the head.  It occurs throughout most of Britain, and can be found flying in the daytime in May and June, where it feeds on the pollen of various plants.”  An even closer match might be Eriocrania semipurpurella, which UK Moths describes as “Wingspan 10-16 mm.  The commonest and most widespread of the Eriocrania species that feed on birch, occurring throughout most of Britain.  The adults are difficult to tell apart from E. sangii without reference to the genitalia structure, but the larvae are quite different, semipurpurella being white or yellowish, sangii being quite dark grey.   The larva itself mines in a birch (Betula) leaf, forming a large blotch, from March to May. The adults fly in March and April, especially in sunshine.”  We don’t believe we have the skill to definitively identify this Microlepidoptera, but you might have better luck trying to sort through the 2012 Moth species on the site UKMoths.  Friend or Foe is relative.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mud covered beetle (weevil?)
April 26, 2010
This was seen on a window in Duiven, didn’t stay long enough to get better photo. Apologies for 1st attachment can’t remove it.
Duiven, Netherlands

Weevil: But why is it covered in mud???

Hi Janie,
You are correct that this is a Weevil, but we have no idea why it is covered in mud, or even if this is a typical state for this weevil.  We suspect an accidental encounter that left this creature encrusted in mud.

Hi Daniel,
as I couldn’t find it in Joy, I assumed it must be some ‘exotic’! I am slightly relieved that it’s a puzzle to you also, and not something very obvious.
Many thanks for your help.

Grey knobby, hairless caterpillar found in GA mountains
April 25, 2010
Hello. My children found this caterpillar one evening after dark in the north GA mountains. It is about 1.5 to 2 inches long, and as big around as a pencil at its widest point. Any idea what this guy is, and or what he will become?
Thank you so much
North GA mountains

Underwing Caterpillar

We are confident that this the the caterpillar of an Underwing Moth in the genus Catocala, and you may compare your photo to an image from North Carolina posted on BugGuide.  Underwing Moths get their names because they are masters of camouflage with upper wings that allow the moth to blend into the bark of a tree when it alights.  The underwings are often brightly marked with red and orange stripes, and when the moth is flying, it is rather flashy, but upon alighting, the bright colors are hidden and the predator easily overlooks the resting moth.

Thank you so much!  My kids will be thrilled to know what it is!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

one of MANY bugs in my yard
April 25, 2010
Hi and thanks for providing such an informative website! I live on acreage (digger pines and oaks) in the Sierra foothills and have noticed a BUNCH of these bugs milling about. What the heck are they? I am allergic to the Western Bloodsucking Conenose but don’t think that this one bites. Well, at least it hasn’t bit me yet. I noticed these guys in the spring-like weather. Any information is much appreciated. ALSO, just so you know, the dent on this bug’s back was not caused by my hand (or foot) – don’t know how it received it’s injury but that hasn’t impeded it’s ability to get around at all. Thanks again!
Penn Valley, CA

Bordered Plant Bug

Hi Pam,
Your bug is a Bordered Plant Bug in the family Largidae and the genus Largus, and it is most likely Largus californicus.  According to BugGuide it feeds upon:
Mostly plants (flowers, leaves, fruit) from a range of families, with a preference for Lupines. L. californicus is not considered a ‘pest species’ of economic importance.

Odd Snail looking Bug
April 25, 2010
I found this bug stuck to the handle on one of my shopping bags in my garage. When I accidently grabbed it blood squirted everywhere. It also has some type of grip on the bag handle. It is about a inch long and 1/4 inch thick.
Bobby Conway
Collierville, TN (Memphis)

Butterfly Chrysalis: Probably Mourning Cloak

Hi Bobby,
This is the chrysalis of a Brushfooted Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.  While we cannot be certain of the exact identity, we suspect it is a Mourning Cloak Chrysalis which you may find pictured on BugGuide.  The caterpillars of the Mourning Cloak are frequently found on willow, poplar or elm trees, and the caterpillars may travel some distance to find a spot suitable for metamorphosis.

Wow, there it is, thanks so much for the clarification.  Nice to know what I dealt with.
Have a great week

Red Ant-like bug with yellow wings?
April 25, 2010
Hi! My husband and I were out to lunch and when I got out of the car I saw this bug. It was crawling on the pavement around the tire of my car. It was pretty fast and it kept moving around the tire. It looks almost like a large red ant with yellow wings. We live in Arizona, it is April and about 80 degrees. We have never seen anything like it. It is about an inch long and we did not see it fly. I am just dying to find out what it is and anything about it!? Thank you!
Very Curious
Phoenix, Arizona

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Dear Very Curious,
You encountered an Iron Cross Blister Beetle in the genus Tegrodera.  BugGuide reports them from California and Arizona and indicates that they are found:  “In the lower Sonoran desert, T. algoa feeds on spring blossoms of Nama hispidum and Eriastrum.
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