>Can you help identify Small fly like bugs/insects
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel,
Noted on the site you’ve had some internet issues and resubmitting wasn’t a bad idea. Realy incredible that you get circa 100 requests a day, WOW! Keep up the good work, I realy like this site it’s already helped me identify quite a few bugs :o) Pity you get the "Nasty readers" but the award is good idea, should put them to shame. Kind regards,

(12/04/2007) Can you help identify Small fly like bugs/insects
Hi Bugman,
I was wondering if you could help me with identifying these little fly like bugs or insects. You ‘ll find top, botom and side views attached. Though they have wings they don’t fly. When you approach them they jump around, about 5 cm high, and only about 3 times max, they seem to get exausted quite quickley. They are about 1 to 1.5 mm in length. They are about everywhere in my appartment though not in great numbers, one or two tend to show up here and there (though they are difficult to see). Any idea what they are living of? location: Brussels, Belgium. Love the site! Its well made and accessible :-) Thanks in advance, Kind regards,

Hi Willem,
These sure look like Book Lice to us. Book Lice are in the order Psocoptera and they feed on sizing, paste and glue in book bindings. They may infest homes. We believe your specimens are in the family Ectopsocidae based on images posted to BugGuide. We don’t get nearly as many letters per day in the winter as we do in the summer, but we still cannot answer every letter we receive. Thanks for being patient.

Hi Brilliant! Thanks to you I’ve now narrowed their identification down to: Dorypteryx domestica. Kind regards

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

strange one…
Hello, First time on your site, and my wife and I love it. Here’s one we can’t find in books, so I guess it’s a space alien…. Thanks for figuring this one out. The picture was taken when my wife lived in Austin, TX. The blue back is more iridescent than the picture shows. All the best to you,
Rick and Jeri

Hi Rick and Jeri,
This is a newly emerged Eyed Tiger Moth or Giant Leopard Moth, Hypercompe scribonia. It is newly metamorphosed and its wings will soon expand.

Update: (12/25/2007) Eyed tiger moth, and others
Hi Daniel,
Sort of a sad story, but Merry Christmas to you anyway. I just wanted to point out (with moths and butterflies) that if something untoward happens to an individual immediately after it emerges from the chrysalis and before its wings expand and dry out (from their wet and crumpled state), I mean if, for example, the creature gets knocked to the ground and cannot immediately find a good vertical surface to crawl up on, then the wings will sometimes dry in the unexpanded state and the creature will be stuck like that, and be unable to fly. Best,
Susan J. Hewitt

Photos of Burying Beetle with Mites
Hey there,
I’m from Nova Scotia and took a couple of photos of this burrying beetle back in late August on the Eastern Shore in Jeddore. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time (looked like an unusual bee to me) but did recognize that it seemed odd and worth photographing. I posted these photos on a local message board this evening asking if anyone happened to see this insect before and someone came back with a link to your site saying they thought it resembled the Burying Beetle. After a quick look myself, I concured. I was also told that apparently, they’re rare in this region. Thought you might appreciate the photos for your site. Sincerely,
Elizabeth Gaudreau, Nova Scotia

Hi Elizabeth,
The beetle is a Tomentose Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus tomentosus, and the Mites are hitching a ride to a new food source, a phenomenon known as Phoresy. The Mites feed on fly eggs and maggots, and as flies are competitors for carrion, having the mites feeding on the maggots is beneficial to the young Burying Beetles as it leaves more food for them.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi – I wondered if you could identify the above images? The first one was on an elm tree – the whole tree was coveredin them. The second one (Oak ‘eggs’) was on the leaf until it dropped off in the autumn – what happened then I don’t know. They started out bright red but by autumn were a very pale pink. Many thanks!

Hi Jo,
Both of your photos illustrate Galls, growths that occur on various parts of plants that are usually caused by an insect or mite. Wasps, Moths, Aphids and Flies can all produce Galls. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture website: “Galls are irregular plant growths which are stimulated by the reaction between plant hormones and powerful growth regulating chemicals produced by some insects or mites. Galls may occur on leaves, bark, flowers, buds, acorns, or roots. Leaf and twig galls are most noticeable. The inhabitant gains its nutrients from the inner gall tissue. Galls also provide some protection from natural enemies and insecticide sprays. Important details of the life cycles of many gall-makers are not known so specific recommendations to time control measures most effectively are not available.” Galls are not harmful to the plant. Regarding your images, we are not entirely conviced that the tree you indicate is an elm is really an elm. Also of interest with the color change in the Oak Galls is this citation from Lutz’ Field Book of Insects: “Of the Galls caused by insects, Oak Galls have been used in dyeing, tanning, and the manufacture of ink.”

Hi Daniel – thank you very much for your reply. I thought they may be galls but wasn’t sure. The tree was identified by a wildlife trust (I work for them so quite a few people saw the leaves and said they were elm). However no one was sure what the ‘lumps’ were. Have a good Christmas Best wishes

Gainesville, Florida bugs
These ‘insect items’ were found on the edge of a small, spring-fed, swampy area adjacent to a sandhill. (I know that sounds crazy, but this area of Florida is a bit unpredictable. They were about 2ft above ground level on a pine trunk. There were only 2. I Did not look for it on your site, as I have no idea where to begin. Butterfly or beetle? Who knows? The ‘baskets’ containing the pupae(?) are about 2cm long, so basket and attachment are about 4-5 cm in length. Sorry about the poor photo quality. Thank you,
Heather Martin
Senior Environmental Specialist
Alachua County Environmental Protection Department
Gainesville, Fl.

Hi Heather,
We don’t believe these are Moth Pupae, and we are putting out some additional inquiries in an effort to get you an exact identification. Perhaps some Neuropteran or a Caddisfly or other aquatic insect.

Additional Inquiry
(12/29/2007) Basket Cocoons? Weird Pupae?
One of our environmentalists found these weird cocoons or pupae attached to what she thinks was a “Pond Pine” or Spruce. Do you know what they are? Thank you,

Dear What’s That Bug,
Please find attached a photo of a new resident we have at one of the properties that we manage in Phuket, Thailand. This chap and hundreds of his mates (and possibly relatives) have taken residence on one of the trees in the gardens. Obviously we are keen to identify him (or her) and find ways to limit the affects of his insatiable appetite before we loose too much foliage. Thanking you for your consideration regarding this matter. With kind regards,
PS : This particular individual is approx. 10 cms long and has a diameter of approx. 2.5 cms

Hi Mark,
We are nearly certain this is a Giant Atlas Moth Caterpillar, Attacus atlas. We found a wonderful website with images of the entire life cycle. The Giant Atlas Moth is one of the largest moths in the world, with the greatest wing area but not the greatest wing span. Giant Atlas Moths are frequently featured in insect collections as well as in popular butterfly exhibits in zoos. Specimens for exhibits and collections are generally reared in captivity. You should be able to capitalize on the mating flight of the adult moths when they emerge as a tourist attraction as a fair exchange for your foliage loss. Thanks for contributing to our site.

Dear Daniel,
Wow, thanks for the speedy reply – you guys really know your Lepidoptera (new word for me). Once you had correctly identified the species, I also did a little but of searching on the Internet to find out more about our guests. Seems that the ones with the spikes / feathers are most likely male. For your information, on the tree in question (as yet unidentified) all the individuals I was able to observe were male. Is this normal ? Or have external environmental factors conspired to limit their reproductive capacity in some way ? I only ask as I am informed that certain reptiles have the sex of their progeny dictated by nest temperature. I also found out that on occasion, the Giant Atlas Moth can stay for years in its cocoon. Why is this so ? Does a good nights sleep, supersede the promise of unbridled mothly passion or does this wobbly, hungry little guest realize that once out of the cocoon, his days are numbered ? On an un-related note, about six months ago this particular property woke up to find almost every woody surface covered in the casings of cicada’s. It was quite eerie and I felt like I had walked onto the set of some strange B-Movie about an invasion of small, but ferocious looking insects. Curious Place. I wonder what’s next. Thanks again for your help and if we find any more unusual species we will definitely give you and your team a call. With kind regards,
PS : For your information, we will not interfere with their life cycle. Although some of my landscaping staff are keen to throw furidan at the problem. Yes, furidan is readily available here and sold over the counter for next to nothing – some peanuts or a small bag of sea shells. Hopefully none of the Villa or Apartment owners will notice or comment on the extra sunshine coming through the canopy or the strange brown balls underfoot.

Hi Mark,
We are not entirely convinced that only the male caterpillars have spikes. We venture that nothing short of DNA analysis can correctly determine the sex of caterpillars. Regarding staying in the pupa stage for several years, we believe there are two possible explanations. If not all moths emerge from the pupa in the same season, the perpetuation of the species is more likely. Also, some species await optimum conditions of temperature and humidity to emerge to better ensure a food source for the young caterpillars, though in tropical climates, this seems less likely a factor. The bottom line is that we are just not sure.