Mating Griffin’s Sheepmoths
Bugman, your WTB & Bug Love sites are truly unique and fascinating. Thanks for creating and maintaining these to help us ID what we find in the field. We found a mating pair of Hemileuca griffini while hiking on Pollywog Bench above Lake Powell, UT on the east side of the Escalante River confluence. The photos submitted show the moths embraced around a small dry grass shoot held by someone (finger at bottom). We found the fine amber head hairs and fillary antanni quite beautiful. They remained clutched in spite of our interference. Date taken – 09/23/2008.
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n8urnut
Southern Utah

Griffin's Sheepmoths Mating

Griffin

Dear n8urnut,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo of mating Griffin’s Sheepmoths.  We will link to the Butterflies and Moths of North America to provide additional information on the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this Bug
My 8 year old found this on the back porch and was wondering what kind of bug it is. Note the spiny appendage on his back that I thought would make it easy to identify, but haven’t been able to find anything in the reference materials so far.
Ben
Eastern Missouri

Wheel Bug in a Pot

Wheel Bug in a Pot

Hi Ben,
If that is the 5 quart pasta pot, that has to be the biggest Wheel Bug on record. Handle with care as Wheel Bugs can deliver a painful bite. Seriously, what kind of pot is that in your photo, which we find terribly amusing, and perhaps our favorite Wheel Bug photo ever.

Thanks very much for the information.  Didn’t know they bite, so glad we asked.  No, it’s certainly not a 5 quart pasta pot.  Actually, the photo was very close-up and the “pot” is actually a doll-sized toy (probably 12 – 16 oz).  I would estimate the bug was 2.5″ to 3″ in length.  Thanks again,
DLM

Black Arch Caterpillar
Dear bugman,
I found this Black Arch caterpillar while frolicking in Shenandoah National Park. I’ve read somewhere that they are rare to unusual, but they are everywhere out here! I’ve greatly appreciated your help in the past and thought you’d like to add this picture to your collection.
Holly
Shenandoah National Park, VA

Black Arches Caterpillar

Black Arches Caterpillar

Hello Holly,
We are happy our site proved helpful with your identification. It seems like the Black Arches Caterpillar, Melanchra assimilis, is correct.  We did some internet research and found some information. The Butterflies and Moths of North America website indicates a very small reported range in Montana.  BugGuide shows more extensive data, reporting the species from Montana, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire, but on the information page for the species, BugGuide indicates that it ranges to Virginia.  It is also indicated that the species is “uncommon to rare, according to Charles Covell ” and later  in uncredited information that ‘larvae feed on bracken, sweetfern, goldenrod, st. johnswort, alder, ash, birch, willow. Wagner lists also aster, goldenrod, mullein, raspberry, and tamarack and concludes “primarily a generalist on low-growing plants.’ ”  We find it odd that the caterpillar would be rare with such an extensive list of food plants.  If you say they were very numerous, perhaps the real explanation is that the populations are highly localized and may be quite plentiful where they are found.  We found the previous posting on our site that you credited with providing your identification.  We are very excited to see if a new feature that our web host has provided for our site works properly.  Now, the five closest matching posts will appear as links with your post, which should lead our readership to other posts of the same species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Butterfly love & more!
I thought you would enjoy having these butterfly photos I took while on vacation in Pennsylvania. Attached are photos of (what I believe to be) mating Silver-spotted Skippers, a Great Spangled Fritillary and a Zebra Heliconian. Enjoy! If I mis-classified them…my apologies. Thanks for the great site!
Kristin
Mechanicsburg area, PA

Silver Spotted Skippers Mating

Silver Spotted Skippers Mating

Hi Kristin,
Your identifications are all correct, and we are very happy to post your images of the mating Silver Spotted Skippers and the Zebra Longwing.  Please explain the Zebra sighting.  This species is found in Florida and the southern states, and to the best of our knowledge, it does not stray north.  Perhaps it caught a ride on Hurricane Ike.  Please write back and verify that the Zebra Longwing was spotted in Pennsylvania, and clarify that it was in the wild and not in a butterfly exhibit.

Zebra Longwing: In Pennsylvania?????

Zebra Longwing: In Pennsylvania?????

Hi Daniel!
I’m sorry, I should have specified that! The Skippers & Fritillary were photographed in the wild and the Zebra Heliconian was photographed in the butterfly pavilion exhibit at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, PA. I also have a pic of a Common Buckeye that I photographed in the butterfly pavilion. I went ahead and attached it, in case you wanted to post that for others’ identification purposes.
Thanks again and have a great week,
Kristin

tiny fly in bathroom
Hello, i can’t eradicate these tiny flies/gnats from my bathroom. I have no idea what it is nor why it and dozens of it’s brethren over the last few months desire my shower. Please help in identifying this freeloader and what steps i can make to have him/her look for lodging elsewhere. Thanks,
Logan
Tennessee

Bathroom Fly

Bathroom Fly

Hi Logan,  
Your fly is actually called a Bathroom Fly, Clogmia albipunctata.  The larvae live in the sludge that accumulates in sink and tub drains.  Removing the sludge accumulation should help reduce the numbers of flies that are present.

Bathroom Fly

Bathroom Fly

Big Beetle
Hello Bug Man!
My husband and I came across this beetle while camping in San Diego county. It was early August, 2005 and this bug flew into our camp two nights in a row, but we only saw it at night. I didn’t see anything that resembled this one in your “Beetle” section. It was also very hard and heavy… at least it sounded that way when it would land.
BTW… LOVE this website!!
Excitedly Awaiting a Response!
San Diego, CA

California Root Borer

California Root Borer

Hi Excited,
Your large beetle is a California Root Borer or California Prionus, Prionus californicus. The antennae on your specimen indicates that it is a male. Our edition of Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin indicates that adults emerge in early summer. The late appearance of this specimen might be a sign of impending climactic changes. The California Root Borer is attracted to lights. The large grubs were eaten by Native Americans and there is a growing interest Entomophagy, of the consumption of insects, so we will also file your letter under Tasty Morsels, our Edible Insect section.