possible ichneumon wasp?
June 10, 2010
Hi Bugman,
I was wondering if you could help me identify this insect–I was thinking it was some sort of ichneumon wasp? I found it fluttering around on the ground; it was around 1.5″ long. I think the antennae are fascinating!
Western North Carolina

Crane Fly:  male Ctenophora nubecula

Hi Dakota,
This is sure an interesting Crane Fly.  The feathered antennae are very distinctive.  We are going to begin searching the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania website in the hopes of properly identifying this spectacular Crane Fly.  The closest match we found, but one that is definitely not your species, is Limonia (Rhipidia) duplicata (Doane) on the Limoniinae subfamily page.
BugGuide has an image of a Crane Fly from Alaska in the genus Ctenophora that also has pectinate antennae, but again, it is not a match.  We went back and looked at the genus Ctenophora on the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania website and we believe it must be the correct genus, but still no hit on species.  We will try to write to Dr. Chen Young for assistance.

Dr. Chen Young provided identification
Hi Daneil,
This is a male Ctenophora nubecula  http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/tipulinae.htm#Ctenophora_(Ctenophora)_nubecula and here is a key http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/idkeys.htm#23A to tell all the Ctenophora species apart in east North America.
Daneil, I was wondering if you would ask the person submitted the images if it would be okay for me to post these two images on the PA crane fly website.  The second image truely showed the characters of the structure of the antennae of this species.  A higer resolution of the images would be much appreciated.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What Larvae is This?
June 10, 2010
I’d like to know what moth or butterfly caterpillar this is. It’s on a grape vine and is a little over an inch long.
Jayne Wilson
Houston area, Texas

Probably Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Hi Jayne,
We know we have seen images of this Moth Caterpillar in the past, but we cannot recall what it is.  It superficially resembles the caterpillars of the Grape Leaf Skeletonizers in the genus Harrisina pictured on BugGuide, but that is not a correct identification.  We are going to post your photo and letter and we hope that our readership can assist in the identification.  Though your photograph is quite lovely the way you have composed it, we cropped it to more closely concentrate on the caterpillar.

Thanks for the response, Daniel. I’ll check back to see if anyone has more info.

Karl provides some information
Hi Daniel and Jayne:
This caterpillar probably looks familiar to you because it looks similar to several that have been posted on WTB before. It looks a lot like a Fruit-Piercing Moth (Noctuidae) in the genus Gonodonta, but all the white hairs on the body suggest it is likely another Noctuid, a day-flying Forester Moth in the genus Alypia. Many of these moth caterpillars look quite similar and the head and tail regions are not visible in Jayne’s photo, but I think it is likely an Eight-Spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata), previously posted by Laura in 2007. You can use the WTB search function to also find numerous images of adults. There are many good caterpillar images on the internet, like this one on pbase. Eight-Spotted Forester caterpillars feed on grapes and Virginia Creeper. I can’t say for certain that that is the genus, but that I am pretty sure that Alypia is the correct genus. Regards.

Now I’ve had a chance to look at photos of the moth — I think I can confirm that it is an Eight Spotted Forester.  I remember seeing what I took to be a black butterfly with white spots on the Star Jasmine a month or so back.  It looked exactly like the photos I found online.
Thanks, Jayne

Jayne provides photos of imago Eight Spotted Forrester
June 11, 2010
I’m attaching some photos that I took at the end of May that I thought were of butterflies.  Now I know they were Eight-Spotted Forester Moths.
Thanks for posting my original caterpillar photo, and to Karl for providing more information.
Jayne Wilson

Eight Spotted Forrester

Large hard shell beetle?
June 10, 2010
What is the beetle? Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length, grey shell with dark green spots.
Ann in Tennessee
middle Tennessee

Female Eastern Hercules Beetle

Dear Ann,
This is a female Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus, one of the Rhinoceros Beetles.  The male has spectacular horns, giving rise to the common name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Clear wing wasp?
June 10, 2010
I was told by an Ag Agent that this is a clear wing wasp, but didn’t see any like it on your site.
This came in through a window one night in August, I had never seen anything like it so snapped a couple of pics. I livein middle TN on the Highland Rim. I thought it was a dragon fly until I saw the wing arrangement- they were not perpindicular to the body, rather in a “v” shape away from the body when extended, and ran the length of the body when folded.
The photo doesn’t do justice to the beautiful blue shimmer on the wing tips, they actually appear kind of pink in the photo.
Any idea what this was?
PS: Awesome site!
Teresa in Cookeville
Cookeville, TN

Antlion in the Mirror

Wow Theresa,
This narcissist is an Antlion, Glenurus gratus, and it appears to be admiring the distinctive markings on its wings.
If we were half this good looking as this Antlion, we would primp in front of the mirror all day. Antlions are Neuropterans and they are related to Lacewings and Owlflies. This photo is absolutely gorgeous.  We took the liberty of correcting the color balance by eliminating the yellow glare of the incandescent lightbulbs.  That has enhanced the pink coloration on the wing tips.  We are going to run your photo as teaser for a possible 2011 wall calendar.  We are trying to ascertain the interest of our readership before we begin designing the calendar.  We hope you would consider allowing us to use this image if we decide to produce a calendar.

Antlion: Glenurus gratus

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Help identifying this “long skinny bee”?
June 10, 2010
These flying insects just began to appear last week. I have some children’s toys (inflatable pool, large molded plastic slides, large molded plastic playhouse) and these insects just appear to be swarming around them. There’s about 15-20 bugs around each toy and they never appear to really land on them, they just fly around them. I looked inside the playhouse and under the slides and couldn’t find any nests. It has been very hot and humid, 90+ degrees lately. The insects look like long skinny bees, and they don’t fly like a wasp. I’m no expert, but it looks like a stinger poking out of the end of the body. I found a dead one in the kiddy pool and attached some pics.
Hernando, Mississippi (northwest mississippi)

Five Banded Tiphiid Wasp

You have Five Banded Tiphiid Wasps, Myzinum quinquecinctum, a solitary wasp that sometimes forms aggregations of males like this example on BugGuide.  Of the genus BugGuide indicates “Adults found on flowers, take nectar” and “Larvae are parasitoids of white grubs (scarab larvae), especially May Beetles, Phyllophaga. Female lays one egg per grub in soil. Larvae hatches, penetrates host, first feeding on non-essential tissues, later feeding on essential organs and killng host. Pupae overwinter in soil and adults emerge in early summer, with one generation per year.”  Of the species, BugGuide indicates:  “Males are more slender than the females and have an upturned black hook at the end of the abdomen.”  Based on that description, we believe your specimen is a male, and male wasps cannot sting.  Eric Eaton ponders on a BugGuide posting:  “Is it possible male wasps are social because they have no defense mechanism, like a stinger, thus need ‘group’ protection?

Unidentified sphinx moth
June 9, 2010
This beautiful animal just happened to enter through our window.
I am unable to identify it further than to say it is a sphinx moth.
Spain (north east)

Lime Hawkmoth

Hi Joaquim,
You encountered a Lime Hawkmoth, Mimas tiliae, a species that has an extensive profile on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic website which states:  “On the Iberian Peninsula this species is recorded from northern Spain and northern Portugal, with a small population in the mountains of central Spain (Pérez De-Gregorio et al., 2001). However, Rambur (1942) records a single individual from Malaga, Spain, but it’s status in this area requires confirmation.
”  We are planning ahead for a trip we will be taking next week to Ohio, and we are presetting your letter and photo to post during our absence between June 15 and June 23 so that our readership will continue to get daily updates to the website.