moth or butterfly?
Dear Bugman,
Would you be able to identify the attached creature? This beautiful insect was discovered in Minnesota as a caterpillar and then has since blossomed into what you see here. The wing span is about 5”. It’s still below freezing temps here so we have it flying around in our office. Do you know what it eats? Any information would be helpful.

Hi Kristin,
This is a Cecropia Moth, one of the Giant Saturnid Moths that do not feed as adults. They only live a few days and their goal is to mate and reproduce.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Taiwan Caterpillar ID
Hi WTB people,
I found the following caterpillar methodically devouring my hibiscus plant (on my 14th floor apartment deck in Taichung, Taiwan). I am wondering if you can identify it for me?
Thanks so much for the time
Brent Wilken

Hi Brent,
This is some species of Tussock Moth, but we can’t tell you the exact species.

Update: (03/06/2008) Tussock Moth Caterpillar from Taiwan
Hi, the Tussock Moth Caterpillar from Taiwan looks very similar to the species Dasychira mendosa Hubner. Some nice photos (both adult moth and caterpillar) can be found here: The mandarin description says the caterpillar of D. mendosa feeds on Water Lily, Ixora, and Acacia confusa (a perennial tree native to Asia). Other webpages also mention rose, citrus, camellia, soy, and sweetgum as possible food plants –a really wide range of variety! best,
PS.The website above is a pretty good online bug guide for identifying all sorts of critters in Taiwan; the contents are all in mandarin, but Latin names are provided; index page at

Praying Mantis ID
This praying mantis flew into my house on my table yesterday. It is about 3cm in length. I am wondering if you might have any idea what species is this mantis or whether it is a male or female? Thanks for the help! Regards,
Siyang , Singapore

Hi Siyang,
Sadly, we were unable to learn anything about your mantis. Perhaps a mantis afficionado will write in with a species identification. Its diminutive size is somewhat distinctive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great peacock moth caterpillar
Hello! I met this chubby fluorescent chap with really bright blue specks on a hillside path near Grenoble, in the French Alps, last August. I am from England and therefore am not used to large, alien-looking insects, so was very excited. I identified it as a great peacock moth caterpillar, the largest European moth. I just wanted to share it with your site’s caterpillar fans. Thank you!
Emilie Pavey, Grenoble

Hi Emilie,
Thanks for sending us your wonderful image of the Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar, Saturnia pyri. We cropped your credit card out of the photo. While we agree it was a good indication of scale, which we generally appreciate, we felt the card distracted from the beauty of the caterpillar. Our readership might want to know that this Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar was longer than a standard Visa card. While researching the web, we discovered an image of this species painted by Vincent van Gogh.

What is This Moth? Hello, we found this beautiful emerald green moth outside our shop door yesterday morning. Have never seen anything like it. Can you tell us what kind of moth it is? Thanks,
We live in Northern, California East of Red Bluff.

Hi Charles,
The Pacific Green Sphinx, Arctonotus lucidus, also known as the Bear Sphinx, is sure a lovely moth. Like many moths, it is attracted to lights at night.

Pataeta carbo
Hi guys,
Thought you might like this pic to add to your database. The moth is about 3/4" long and the caterpillar feeds on eucalyptus. It has the appearance of Black Velvet up close. Here is a link to the full info. Taken on the window ledge outside my work on the Gold Coast, Queensland. 29th February 2008. regards,
Trevor Jinks

Hi Trevor,
Thanks for continuing to keep our site replenished with such a constant supply of “new to us” Australian insects. The Australian Moths page also indicates that the caterpillars of Pataeta carbo feed on gum or eucalyptus trees.