Achemon Sphinx moth
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:31 PM
Hi, I found this beautiful Achemon Sphinx moth on my porch one evening in August in Riverside California . Is it unusual to find these moths in southern California? Thanks to your site I found the name of this moth after searching & looking through your earlier posts. I thought you might want to post my photo since I noticed there arent any recent Achemon Sphinx posts on your site.
Thanks, Alicia
Southern California

Achemon Sphinx

Achemon Sphinx

Hi Alicia,
According to Bill Oehlke’s excellent website, the Achemon Sphinx, Eumorpha achemon, is a common species in San Diego County.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cave cricket – Philippines
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM
Hi there,
I love you site and take a look at least once a week to see what wonderful life people around the world have been finding. I hope you enjoy the attached pictures of a cricket we found in a cave in Sohoton National park, Samar in The Philippines.
He was 3-4 inches in length, but his antennae were almost double that. I’m amazed by the ‘toes’ on his back legs and it’s ‘tail’. Forgive me for not knowing the scientific names of it’s body parts.
Noel, UK
Philippines

Camel Cricket

Camel Cricket

Hi Noel,
Your Camel Cricket or Cave Cricket in the family Rhaphidophoridae is actually a female as evidenced by her ovipositor or “tail.”   The Camel Cricket is a Bug of the Month for January 2009.  While we don’t know the exact species of your specimen, nor do we know the common name in the Philippines, we are confident that the family Rhaphidophoridae is correct.

Cave Cricket

Cave Cricket

A few moths back, we started a dialog with an editor and an agent, and though we are a nervous wreck, we are embarking upon a book project. Since we have a limited amount of time to spend on this new pursuit, we will have to reduce the time we spend posting your wonderful questions, letters and photographs. We are setting a strict time limit of only 30 minutes per day allotted to answering your numerous requests. A few will be posted, and we can email short answers to a few more. Getting our attention is the luck of the draw. Chances are quite good that the insect you want identified might already be in our archives. Please try our search engine or click the links on the left side of the homepage. Don’t forget to scroll down to see our most recent postings and you can see the alphabetized archive of links on the lower left. Please contact us with any comments, problems, suggestions or praise.

Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM
Hi guys, great news about your book deal but is that  a Freudian slip on the
front page that a “few MOTHS back” you were talking to them :-)
Trevor

hi Trevor,
You are not the only one who caught our typographical error, but seeing as the conversation was a few moths back as well as a few months back, we have decided to let the error stand.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Double red headed bug?
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 12:23 PM
Hi,
I was mineral hounding in southern california a few days ago and found this bug(?) underneath a stone. Although the picture isn`t good, you can recognize its kind of fluffy red head, the antennae and the six legs. The the size was just below an inch.
Thank you for your help
Patrick
Riverside, California

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Patrick,
Your photo is blurry, and we are far from experts in the genus Dasymutilla, the Velvet Ants.  Female Velvet Ants are flightless wasps that can sting painfully.  The harmless male wasps have wings.  If we were to hazard a guess, we would saty that this is Dasymutilla aureola pacifica based on images posted to BugGuide.

Bright Red Crab-like Bug
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:21 PM
My brother found this on a house plant. He lives in Brazil. Have any idea what this is and if it’s poisonous?
Clayton Robinson
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Unknown Slug Caterpillar

Slug Caterpillar

Hi Clayton,
While we cannot tell you the species, we suspect this is a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae. Your specimen closely resembles the Monkey Slug or Hag Moth Caterpillar which can be viewed on BugGuide. Slug Caterpillars have stinging spines and the sting can be quite painful and stays irritated for several days.

Update:
Daniel:
I think this slug caterpillar may have been posted before (Brazilian Monkey Slug Caterpillar – December 18th, 2007). In a follow-up note, the poster (Luiz) commented that the local name was “Lagarta-Aranha” which translated roughly to “Spider Caterpillar”. That name seems to be applied to a variety of Limacodidae caterpillars in Brazil, but most commonly to Phobetron hipparchia, an extremely variable species that ranges widely throughout the tropical Americas. That’s the same genus as the North American Monkey Slug Caterpillar (P. pithecium)and they do look very similar. Regards.
Karl

Help me ID bug in Chicagoland area
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 1:17 PM
One of these appears about every 7-10 days in a second floor bathroom. It’s now the dead of winter and I saw a few more of them in late fall. Can you help identify? It is about 1 inch long. Thanks
TW
Northeern Kane County IL

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear TW,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, is a harmless creature that seeks shelter indoors when the weather turns colder.  Interestingly, in the past 30 years, this species has undergone tremendous range expansion from its native Pacific Northwest to include much of Canada and the northern portions of teh Eastern and Midwestern U.S.