caterpillars
Can you identify what these caterpillars are? They are all over the desert in Las Cruces NM after some rain!!
Shawn

Hi Shawn,
Your caterpillars belong to the Whitelined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx, Hyles lineata. This moth can be found in all the continental United States and especially in the deserts it is prone to seasonal population explosions with 1000s of caterpillars appearing at once. The caterpillars have several different color morphs. Native Americans feasted on the caterpillars when they were plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

costa rica critters
hey bugman,
I just wrote you with some photos of jumping spiders from toronto. I remembered that I had some photos from costa rica to share with you. I just got into your site and would like to add any way I can. attached are some of the finds that I had. the first is a walking stick that looked like moss from monte verde, costa rica. the second is a preying mantis I had a photoshoot with. the way she displayed her wings (she?) was pretty cool. that was in la fortuna, costa rica. the third is a whip scorpion I found when we were volunteering in making a soccer field for the local school in playa matapalo, costa rica. I hope these pics can be of help, and I would like to know if I can get the proper names for my little friends.
thanks for the great site!

While we are not certain exactly what your Moss Mimic Walkingstick from Costa Rica is, we are fascinated by it and hope one of our readers can contribute some information.

Update:  December 15, 2008
Hello
I would just like to let you know IDs for some of the phasmid (walking
stick) pics you have on your site:
entry 25. September 2008 – this is a nymph (young one) of Trychopeplus
sp. (most probably Trychopeplus laciniatus). They live in mountainuos
neotropical regions up to the could forests – like in Monte Verde.
wishing you all the best
Dr. Bruno Kneubühler  (Switzerland)

Stonefly – Damselfly Cross With Black & Pink Wing Tips
Dear Bugman:
OK, if that subject line didn’t catch your attention and you don’t look at the photos, I’m toast. I live in far northern Arkansas in Carroll County within a few miles of the Missouri state line. This beautiful creature showed up at our lights this morning. We were expecting moths, but this is a wonderful bug. I have exhausted my field guides and searched every site I know on the internet. This is your cue to reply that I have sent a very common bug, known to even 8 year olds. But no matter, I am now so curious that I just want to know what I’ve found. I love your site, but like my own collection of photos it has grown to enormous proportions. Keep up the great work guys and thanks for any help you can give me.
David

Hi David,
This magnificent specimen is an Antlion, Glenurus gratus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of spider is this?
This spider has made a web outside the bedroom window. I was unable to identify it online. We live in N. Central FL. Thanks!

We are shocked and dismayed that you emailed us from our website and you didn’t notice the prominently posted photo of a gorgeous Nephila clavipes, the Golden Silk Spider, also known as the Banana Spider, on our homepage. We also have upward of thirty images of this very distinctive species in our spider archives. In our most recent posting, we discussed the marked sexual dimorphism as the female is about 100 the body mass of her diminutive mate. You photo is of a pair.

Peach Tree Borers
Hello!
Thanks to your site, I now know that these are Peach Tree Borers. This amorous pair was spotted in Denver. Apparently they wandered over from the Western Slope, where we have terrific peaches. I thought I’d send along the photo if you wanted to use it. Thanks for the great site!
Chris Moore

Hi Chris,
Thanks so much for sending us your awesome photo of mating Peachtree Borers, Synanthedon exitiosa. The sexual dimorphism of this wasp mimic moth is quite remarkable as the larger darker female looks like a totally different species than her mate.

Cicada Killer Photos
Hi!
I saw these Cicada Killers and had no idea what they were… Being curious, I got online, found your site, and learned lots of stuff! I would have killed these things for sure had I not found your site and others telling me not to worry, they won’t sting. Anyway, its mating season, and these two seem to be stuck together. I saw the male try to fly off, and he couldn’t! She was holding him down, even though his body was completely airborne! I had a pic of that, but it was too blurry. I don’t know how to take good action shots. Thought you might be able to use these pictures. Some mating, and some of the burrows in my kids’ sandbox. Too bad they can’t play in it for a couple more weeks. Thanks for your site.
Chad

Hi Chad,
Your letter makes us happy for several reasons. First, we like hearing that you took the time to research before acting upon any extermination instincts. Second, your submission is a wonderful counterpoint to the recent Cicada Killer carnage image we posted, and third, we are thrilled to hear we were helpful. We are not certain how successful this second male is going to be with regards to perpetuating his gene line, but we are impressed with his efforts. These Cicada Killers are lucky to have moved to such a tolerant location.

Update:
(08/09/2008) To Chad with Cicada Killers in kids sand box…
Daniel,
correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t cicada killer larva pupate in the chambers where they feed? If so, Chad’s kids may be without their sandbox for more than a few weeks. It would be next July before the cicada killer adults hatch out and start looking for cicadas of their own. Could he dig up the pupa and bury them in other loose soil nearby? Just wondering!
Liz Wickard, CHI
Interpretive Naturalist
City of Aurora/Parks and Open Space
Morrison Nature Center
Aurora CO

Hi Liz,
Your bring up a very good point. Relocating the Cicada Killer pupae would most likely be detrimental to their lives.