I have never seen one of these in 22 years in Napa Valley! It is about one and a half inches in length. There are two of them.

Hi Larry,
This is a Banded Alder Borer, Rosalia funebris.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what’s this bug?
found flailing in our swimming pool in 90+ degree F. two nights in a row in Palm Springs, CA. Maybe it’s totally common, but I can’t seem to find what it is!! (about 2.5-3 inches long, very dark black)
David in PS, CA

Hi David,
This is a Palo Verde Root Borer, Derobrachus hovorei. The increased use of Palo Verde trees in landscaping is probably contributing an increase in sightings of the Palo Verde Root Borer in developed areas.

An 8-legged beast from Nova Scotia
Hi Bugman (Bugmen?)
I spent a few days camping in Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia with a few of my friends, and opened my eyes one morning to this fellow’s silhouette above my face. Evidently he decided to clamber onto the top of the tent during the night for the heat, or the mosquitos trying to get in. Although spiders freak me right out, I respected that this one was not on me, and did not pose any major threat. Now, who is he? Until we were able to get close, I thought he was a dock spider, as we get those fairly commonly by lakes in Nova Scotia, but the coloring was very different. He resembles the small spiders we get in firewood piles, but he was approximately 6 centimeters across, much larger than any I’ve seen before, aside from dock spiders. As I approached to take a picture and usher him onto some firewood for deposit in the forest, he stood his ground and waved his two front legs at us…very intimidating! In any case, I’d love to know what sort he is, besides tenacious. He turned up the next morning too, and was just as reluctant to leave! Thanks!
Ryan Saunders

Hi Ryan,
We believe this is Dolomedes scriptus, one of the Fishing Spiders. Based on the size of the abdomen, we also believe he is a she. We are not certain what a Dock Spider is, but Fishing Spiders are often found near water and we suspect your Dock Spiders are probably the same species. BugGuide has many examples posted of Dolomedes scriptus, and there is variation in the coloration and markings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My kids found the Moth or Butterfly outside our front door. They want me to identify it. Please help me look like a smart momma. Thanks,

Hi D’Lonna
The fact that you cared enough to research on the internet makes you a smart momma. This moth is a Vine Sphinx, Eumorpha vitis. It is a wide ranging species that can be found in Argentina up through the souther United States, and it occasionally strays as far north as Nebraska according to Bill Oehlke’s excellent website. The caterpillar feeds on vines, and is especially fond of grape

can you tell me what this is
It was too high to get a straight on picture…..is it a moth or butterfly?? How very beautiful….the color and the texture intrigue me. I’m attaching two pictures I was able to take. Thanks in advance for help
Eileen Wanamaker

where are you located????????

Southeastern PA

Hi Eileen,
Thanks for the additional information. We are having trouble identifying your moth. We thought it might be an Owl Moth, Thysania zenobia, or possibly one of the moths in the genus Zale, but we can’t be certain.

No, it is not an Owlet Moth….I’ve checked and the pictures online look nothing like the moth I took the picture of. It seems to be a type of moth in the Zale family, the best I can compare, but I can’t find the exact name for it.

how large was it???

Ed. Note: (06/22/2008)
We contacted lepidopterist Julian Donahue and here is what he has to say: “It’s a geometrid: The Common Lytrosis, Lytrosis unitaria. Looks like a male, judging from the antennae. Julian”

Mosquito Larva?
Hello Bugman,
I am wondering if this is a mosquito larva. I found it (and many other interesting things) in the water on the cover of our pool prior to us opening the pool for the season. There were also many tiny wiggly worms and even some red water mites. We had our own little swamp going in our backyard! The water doesn’t usually get so swampish, but we’ve had cooler than usual temperatures here, and the opening of our pool happened about 3 weeks later than usual. I have pictures of all of them, but will stick with just the mosquito larva (if that’s what it is) for now, for I know you are very busy. Thanks!
Barrie , Ontario

Hi Yvonne,
You have been such a loyal contributor for so many years, we try to answer your letters whenever possible. Mosquito Larvae are known as Wrigglers, and this is a Tumbler, a Mosquito Pupa. The name Wrigglers and Tumblers refers to their methods of locomotion through the water. BugGuide has a great photo of a Tumbler, ane we located another website with photos of the other stages of Mosquito Metamorphosis.