Subject: What is this bug??
Location: New Zealand
February 8, 2016 2:23 am
Sorry, my partner got a little freaked out and the bug got swatted 😕
Have never seen anything like this before in NZ!
Almost like a cross between a fly and a dragon fly!
Signature: Kim

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Dear Kim,
We are feeling sad that the first Dobsonfly image we have received from New Zealand has to be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  We found an image on FlickR that is identified as
Archichauliodes diversus, and we found another image on Hidden New Zealand Photographaphy where it states:  “New Zealand only has one Dobson fly species, They are also known as toe-bitters, due to their larva having large jaws and their tendency to bite :).”  We suspect the common name of the larva is Toe-Biter, and that is a very commonly used name for the North American Giant Water Bug despite North America having its own species of Dobsonflies.  iNaturalist states:  “Archichauliodes diversus is an insect in the subfamily Corydalinae – the Dobsonflies. In its larval form It is commonly known by the name toe-biter, and its Maori name is puene. The species is native to New Zealand. Although there are other species of Dobsonfly in other parts of the world including Asia, Australia (Archichauliodes guttiferus) and South America, Archichauliodes diversus is the only species of Dobsonfly in New Zealand. The Dobsonfly larva is the largest species of freshwater insect found in fresh water and the only family representatives in New Zealand.”  The site also states:  “The biggest threat to dobsonflies is human intervention,[14] by removing over hanging bush and trees from the waterways. This has a significant negative impact as it is a critical part in the life cycle of the Dobsonfly.[10] The Dobsonfly is only found in good quality water. Any pollution could do serious damage to not only the Dobsonfly but also other species that could be potential food source.”  Csiro has some good information on Australian Dobsonflies.  Though its larva is called a Toe-Biter (or Toe-bitter), they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Adult Dobsonflies might also bite if carelessly handled, but they do not pose any threat to humans.  We hope that should you happen to encounter another individual in the future, you will allow it to survive and that you will provide us with an image of a living Dobsonfly.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for that information, I will definitely make sure next time my partner doesn’t get to it first.
We live on a golf course so hopefully I will encounter another one and I will definitely take a pic for you 😊
Kind regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Penang Butterfly Farm
Location: Penang, Malaysia
February 7, 2016
Here are the adult’s. The one with more colour I think is the male.
Best wishes,

Leopard Lacewing

Leopard Lacewing

Dear Aeve,
Thanks for sending some butterfly images to accompany the Caterpillar image you sent previously.  One image appears to be a male Leopard Lacewing,
Cethosia cyane, but we believe the other image is another species of Brushfooted Butterfly.  We quickly identified it as a Jewelled Nawab Butterfly, Polyura delphis, thanks to Getty ImagesLearn About Butterflies uses the common name White Nawab and states:  “The butterflies are characterised by their distinctive wing shape with twin tails on the hindwings, a feature strongly reminiscent of the African Charaxes. Most have dark brown uppersides with bands of dazzling creamy white which vary in size and shape from one species to another. These bands are usually repeated on the underside in a beautiful shade of pale green, but in the case of delphis the underside is white, and marked with orange, yellow and grey spots and lunules, hence its alternative name the Jewelled Nawab.  Polyura delphis is one of the scarcer species, and is found in Assam, Sikkim, Myanmar, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Sabah, Brunei, Kalimantan, Palawan and Java.”

Brushfooted Butterfly

Jeweled Nawab Butterfly


Ed. Note:  We get annoyed when people submit images pilfered from the internet, claiming to be the authors of those images.  Eric Eaton provided the following explanation:
This is a still from a video I have seen circulating recently on Facebook (but of course cannot find right now).  Yes, it is definitely a tailless whip scorpion (amblypygid), probably a species that lives in caves given the ultra-long appendages.
Also definitely NOT from Maryland.

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: Maryland
February 7, 2016 11:54 am
I recently saw this bug and I was wondering what it was!
Signature: Creepybuggirl

What's That Arachnid???

What’s That Arachnid???

Dear Creepybuggirl,
Please provide us additional information on exactly where and when this Arachnid was sighted.  The image was obviously taken indoors, but we are having a difficult time believing it is native to Maryland.  There is not much detail in your image, and we cannot even say for certain to which order it belongs as it seems to have traits of both Harvestmen in the order Opiliones and Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi.  Tailless Whipscorpions are only reported from Arizona, Texas and Florida, and this individual does not look like any native species depicted on BugGuide.
  While Harvestmen are found throughout North America, we have never seen any images on BugGuide that look like this individual.  It is difficult to tell from your image if the appendages that appear to end in claws are the first pair, known as pedipalps, but that is what we surmise.  So, we know it is an Arachnid, and we do not believe it is native.  Are you able to provide any additional images from different angles?  We have contacted Eric Eaton to get his opinion. 

A Reader Provides a Link to the Video
Subject: The pincered still shot – here’s the video
Location: Unknown
February 7, 2016 4:43 pm
Signature: Cat

Thanks for sending the link Cat.  It is much easier to tell this is a Tailless Whipscorpion in the video clip.

My pleasure. And the self interest was that I was curious too.
I hope it wasn’t harmed. I hate to see creatures tormented for fun.
Best regards.

Eric Eaton provides additional information
One of my Facebook friends has this to say about the amblypygid:
“Stolen video, it’s a Whipscorpion … not a “whip spider”. Sheesh, I guess it gets more clicks if they call it a spider. Awesome creature (Euphrynichus amanica). Credit: Adrian Kozakiewicz / Insecthaus”
Laura Lee Paxson
Hope that helps, I’m glad to have the final answer myself.

Thanks to the inclusion of a name, Euphrynichus amanica, we found this information on Panarthropoda:  “Euphrynichus bacillifer can be found in middle and southern Africa where, in contrast to its sister species Euphrynichus amanica, it is widespread. Populations of this species occur in Kenia, Tansania (on the island Zanzibar), Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi.  On the boarders between Kenia and Tanzania close to the coast the second species of the genus, Euphrynichus amanica, appears, too. Sympatric ways of life of those two spocies have been observed in this area, meaning the two share the same habitat. The animals occur in bigger caves, under bark and in cracks in more humid areas.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: brown spider!
Location: malibu, california
February 6, 2016 12:30 am
hi! we found this cool spider on the street between dunes/beach in malibu, california. tried googling and couldn’t figure out what it was
Signature: Thanks so much! Erica

Trapdoor Spider

Southern Coastal Dune Trapdoor Spider

Dear Erica,
We immediately recognized your spider as a Trapdoor Spider, but we are very excited as we believe we have correctly identified it as a Southern Coastal Dune Trapdoor Spider,
Aptostichus simus, based on this BugGuide image.  All indications are that this species is endemic to coastal dunes in Southern California.  According to an online article we located:  “The tradpoor spider Aptostichus simus inhabits coastal dunes of southern California and the California Channel Islands (Ramirez 1995).  It lives in burrows concentrated in and about stands of native dune vegetation and extending into the dunes amid litter and the root systems of the plants.”

Thanks so much for the reply! So interesting to learn! :) I just moved out here from NJ and can’t wait to discover more things I didn’t find there!


Subject: What’s That Bug! — Super Small Edition
Location: Bay Area, California
February 5, 2016 4:49 pm
Dear Bugman,
Hello! Thanks for all your passion of the field you share online. Thought I’d add one to the mix for fun.
We’ve been seeing two or three of these very small insects on our bathroom counter every day (second floor). Our apartment is surrounded by gardens, and within reasonable proximity to water.
I’ve seen the bugs jump quick magnificently, but I don’t think they can fly. For reference, my pointer finger is in the shot (30 year-old male). So yes, they’re small. Any guesses?
Thanks for your time!
Signature: R



Dear R,
This is an Elongate Bodied Springtail in the order Entomobryomorpha and probably the family Entomobryidae, the Slender Springtails.  You can see some similar images on BugGuide.  Springtails are considered benign creatures, though when they are plentiful, they may pose a nuisance, especially indoors.



Subject: Caterpillar found in Penang Butterfly Farm
Location: Penang, Malaysia
February 6, 2016 4:20 am
Hello, I took this picture in 2011 at Penang Butterfly Farm, Malaysia, early February. I would be ever so grateful if you could identify it. I’ve been searching online and can’t find one that looks like it.
Kind regards,
Signature: Aeve Pomeroy


Leopard Lacewing Caterpillars

Dear Aeve,
We found your species of caterpillar, also taken at the Penang Butterfly Farm, pictured on the Tennyson Lee blog, but alas, it is not identified.  Onewayticketmsia also has an unidentified image from the Penang Butterfly Farm.  We eventually found the entire life cycle of the Leopard Lacewing,
Cethosia cyane, pictured on the Butterflies of Singapore site, and we are satisfied that is a correct identification.  According to the site:  “The local host plant adopted by Leopard Lacewing as it spread quickly across the island is Passiflora foetida, a member of the Passifloraceae family commonly found in wastelands. In captive setting, the Leopard Lacewing has also been breed succesfully on another plant in the same family, Adenia macrophylla var. singaporeana, a plant which only occurs naturally within the catchment reserves. This might account for the sightings of Leopard Lacewing in some areas of the nature reserves.  The caterpillars of the Leopard Lacwing feed on the leaves, young shoots and outer surface of older stems of the host plant. The Leopard Lacewing caterpillars are gregarious throughout all five instars, often eating (leaves and stems), resting and moulting together in groups.”  According to Butterfly Circle:  “the larvae and adult butterflies display a distinct warning coloration that advertises their unpalatable nature to potential predators. When handled, they often exude a noxious odor generated from the ingested passion vine organic compounds.”

Dear Daniel,
That’s wonderful you have found it! Thank you so much for taking time to do this, and for the information given.
You are welcome to keep the photo and use freely if it is useful for your website, or anything else. I also have a photo of the adult Leopard Lacewing if that might be useful too.
Have a great weekend,