Distinctions between Hyles lineata and Hyles livornica
Location:  Boone County Iowa
August 17, 2010 2:42 pm
What is used to split/differentiate the genus Hyles into the two species lineata and livornica? I caught one or the other yesterday evening and wanted to know how to positively id it.
John Taylor Biology Teacher @ Woodward Academy

Stock Photo of Hyles species

Hi John,
This is a great question, and your photograph is stunning.
Hyles livornica, the Striped Hawkmoth and Hyles lineata, the Striped Morning Sphinx or White Lined Sphinx are very similar looking species that may take an experienced expert in the family Sphingidae to properly explain how to differentiate them from one another.  We can tell you that often a photograph is not sufficient to identify certain difficult species where actual inspection of the specimen is required for conclusive identification.  In the case of these two moths, the Striped Hawkmoth is an Old World species and the Striped Morning Sphinx or White Lined Sphinx is a New World species.  While it is possible that there have been transoceanic introductions, we can only speculate that the ranges of the two species are separated by large bodies of water.  We are not certain if any studies have been conducted on hybridization of these two species.  We would not be surprised if the two moths are subspecies of one another, but that is a personal opinion with no basis in scientific research.  Though we don’t generally like to cite Wikipedia, there is a distribution map of Hyles livornica available on Wikipedia. The Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic website has a nice profile of Hyles livornica. For information on the White Lined Sphinx we recommend Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

Thanks for your prompt reply. The photo isn’t mine, it is a stock photo I got from the net. I was just using it as an example. What I hear you saying is that the moth I captured is likely the Striped/White Lined lineata variety. Thanks also for the suggestions of sites to visit.
John Taylor

Hi again John,
Thanks for indicating that the photo is not your image.  We are recaptioning that image as
Hyles species since we do not have the necessary knowledge to differentiate the two species.  We may try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can assist.

Bill Oehlke responds
Hi Daniel,
I only know the two species are distinct. There are morphological characters to distinguish them, but I do not know what those characters/features are. I would only be able to differentiate between them based on location.
Bill Oehlke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

green metallic beetle found
Location:  Northern AZ (Prescott Valley)
August 17, 2010 11:21 am
We found this bright green metallic bug on our patio…looks like some kind of beetle. I have never seen one of these here in Northern AZ before..
curious in Prescott

Glorious Scarab

Dear curious in Prescott,
You are no doubt the envy of many a collector as this aptly named Glorious Scarab,
Chrysina gloriosa, is considered by many to be North America’s most beautiful beetle, and it is much prized by collectors.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on Juniper foliage.   Larvae are abundant in decaying sycamore (Platanus wrightii) logs in southeastern Arizona.

thanks for your fast reply…it really is a pretty cool looking bug thanks for the info!

Morman cricket maybe
Location:  outside of Pine, AZ USA
August 16, 2010 10:50 pm
Hey I was hiking in the pines around the mogollon rim near Pine, AZ USA. Between 4000 and 5000 feet above sea level. Found this one under a rock. About an inch and a half long. Figure its some type of katydid but not too sure.
Jeremy in AZ

Shieldback Katydid

Hi Jeremy,
Based on BugGuide imagery, we believe you are correct that this is a Mormon Cricket,
Anabrus simplex, or at least one of the Shieldbacked Katydids in the family TettigoniinaeThe long swordlike ovipositor indicates she is a female.  We will verify this identification with Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki.

Mormon Cricket

Piotr Naskrecki makes a Correction
September 20, 2010
Hi Daniel,
Please forgive this late reply, I only got back from remote forests of Suriname a few days ago.
The katydid in the photo is not a mormon cricket. It is a related shield-back katydid, almost certainly of the genus Eremopedes. Not sure of the species – it resembles E. balli, but the ovipositor is a bit too long.
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of bug is this?
Location:  A Lake near Kingston, Ontario, Canada
August 16, 2010 10:17 pm
We saw this bug on a camping trip near Kingston, Ontario, Canada. What kind of bug is it?

Monkey Slug

This unusual caterpillar is a Monkey Slug, Phobetron pithecium, and caution should be exercised in handling it because it can sting.

Huge Beetle
Location:  Oregon, USA
August 17, 2010 12:29 am
Could you please Identify this monster for me?
Thank you

California Root Borer

Hi Chris,
What a stunningly beautiful specimen of a male California Root Borer,
Prionus californicus.  Your photo is the third we have received in the past week.

California Root Borer

Hello Daniel,
Thank you so much for the identification. Amazing! We carefully put it in a cup and released it so it wouldn’t get hurt.
Thanks again

Ladybug – Black with 2 yellow eye spots
Location:  (Southern CA) Newhall California 91321
August 17, 2010 12:42 am
Hey There Bugman
I have a background in Entomology but I cant identify this ladybug. Can you help? I have never found one quite like this. It definately has that ”Mimic” sort of eye spots going for it check it out. Found Summer 2010 on Blackberry
Chris Irons

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Hi Chris,
Sadly, some of the important characteristics, like the markings on the thorax, are missing from your photos because of the camera angle and the leaf in the foreground, but we believe we have found a close match with a photo of a Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle,
Harmonia axyridis, that is posted on BugGuide.  The BugGuide information page for the species does indicate a C Spot pattern, but your pattern is reversed from the one illustrated.

Lady Beetle

Correction: November 23, 2010
We just received the following comment correcting our previous identification:  “This is Olla v-nigrum. Harmonia has more wide white parts on thorax and, as mentioned above, reversed C-shaped spot.