strange bug from Connecticut
Hello again from Connecticut! We’re flooding you with emails today, but it’s been a good week for bug sightings here. This insect was spotted on a wild blackberry bush while hiking with the kids. We’ve never seen one of these and have no idea what it is. Any ideas? My son (ever the brave one) picked it up, then quickly dropped it because it bit him. I keep trying to get him to stop touching bugs if we don’t know what they are, but he can’t seem to help himself. Thanks!
A. Ganino

Hi A. Ganino,
In the interest of equal opportunity posting, we are only responding to and posting your photo of a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus Phymata for now. If time permits, we will address your other emails.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ailanthus Webworms Mating Photo
Hi there, I just recently found your site and have found it quite helpful! I was going to submit the attached picture for identification, but, I found the bug on the site. However, I wanted to send the photo anyway because it’s a great picture of 2 Ailanthus Webworms mating and thought you may like to add it to your photos. If not, that’s cool, but I thought I’d send it just in case. I’m in Missouri and these bugs are all over the place. I assume it must have something to do with the insane amount of *annoying* Ailanthus trees we have surrounding our house? Hope you find the pic useful! Sincerely,
Sara B.

Hi Sara,
Your photo of mating Ailanthus Webworms is beautiful. We get so many requests for the identification of this species and we have numerous photos in our archives, but your photo is the only mating image we have received. Despite the frequency of sightings of Ailanthus Webworms, their presence seems to be doing nothing to control the scourge of the incredibly invasive Ailanthus tree which has been infiltrating natural forests from coast to coast. We expect that one day it may be the only tree known to mankind.

not a Purplish Copper?
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel,
I would like help identifying this butterfly photographed on Casper Mountain, central WY. I saw many Purplish Coppers and thought this to be a female, but is it? The hindwings do not look correct.
As always, thanks


Hi Dwaine,
While your specimen does not resemble the photos posted to BugGuide of the Purplish Copper, Lycaena helloides, it is a pretty close match to a female Purplish Copper illustrated in Jeffrey Glassberg’s book, Butterflies Through Binoculars: The West. We believe this is a somewhat drab female Purplish Copper

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

n ncaterpillar question
Hi Bugman.
I found the prettiest caterpillar i’ve ever seen on our campground in Maine & was wondering if you could give me a hand identifying it. It’s large & smooth with a single orange stripe running down it’s back, yellow stripes on it’s sides, & red stripes way down by it’s legs. I thought i would have no problem identifing it since it’s so bright & doesn’t have spikes or fuzz, but i’ve had no luck so far. Any idea what he could be? Thanks,

Hi Cynthia,
The caterpillar of the Brown Hooded Owlet Moth, Cucullia convexipennis, is a much comlier creature than the relatively nondescript brown moth it eventually metamorphoses into.

tarantula hawk
Is this what I think it is? I shot this on 8/12 in Martinsburg, WV in a disturbed open field. Thanks,
Rob Schwander

hi Rob,
For some reason, we are unable to log onto BugGuide today, and BugGuide is our favoritie research resource when we need to identify a species that we are uncertain about. For now, we will say that this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and it may be a Tarantula Hawk in the genus Pepsis. The only Pepsis species substantiated as being in the East is Pepsis menechma, and we did locate a photo, and it seems to resemble your wasp. We will verify either through Eric Eaton or upon the return of BugGuide to the World Wide Web.

Update: BugGuide has returned …
and we are nearly certain this is the Elegant Tarantula Hawk, Pepsis menechma. Though BugGuide does not indicate submissions from West Virginia, there are reports from border state Virginia. Since there are no Tarantulas in West Virginia other than pets, it is believed the Elegant Tarantula Hawk feeds Trapdoor Spiders to its progeny.

Correction: (08/13/2008)
Daniel: Pepsis menechma probably does occur in southern West Virginia, but the image is of a different spider wasp: Entypus unifasciatus. They do get quite large. Excellent image of a female!

Correction: (08/13/2008)
I am no expert, but I think I recognize a submission today that you tentatively identified as a tarantula hawk. I think it’s a close relative of the tarantula hawk, but is actually an Entypus Unifasciatus. It’s not quite as vicious or as large. ;)
Misty Doy
Canonsburg, PA

This is a june bug right?
Hi, I live up by Eureka California… We’ve had several of these bugs smack into our sliding glass door at night. (Their wingspan when opened is about the size of my palm) I’m pretty sure it’s a Ten Lined June Beetle.. But the faces of the bugs on your site were a little unclear… I tried to get a decent shot of this one.. It has a face like a bat. Anyway, just thought I’d pass these along. (this beetle died of natural causes… well.. actually, not so natural.. smacking into a glass door is not exactly dying of old age.)

Hi Jackie,
Your identification is correct. This is a Ten Lined June Beetle.