Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
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Subject: Hibernating Moths
Location: Seattle WA
February 21, 2013 10:33 pm
I was cleaning the Garage, and when I opened the barbecue grill (to fix the handle) I found that it had become a ”den of choice” for hibernation. I think these are Ectropis crepuscularia – Small Engrailed. There are a lot of them, dozens, all through the garage, and they move only very slowly, but I thought this grouping amusing.
Signature: George

Winter Geometrid Moths

Hibernating Winter Geometrid Moths

Dear George from Washington,
These are Geometrid Moths in the family Geometridae.  They are also commonly called Measuring Worm Moths or Inchworm Moths.  We located on JSTOR an online article called Bat predation and flight timing of winter moths,
Epirrita and Operophtera species (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) by Mats G. E Svensson, Jens Rydell and Richard Brown,  when we searched for “hibernating Geometrids.”  We then searched those names and found additional information, but the photos are all of rather drab and unremarkable looking moths shaped similarly to your beauties, but without the intricate markings on your moths.  These must be hibernating male Winter Geometrid Moths, and we don’t really know how to tell them apart for certain based on the markings found in photos of individuals online.  BugGuide has some pictures of several species from the genus Operophtera found in North America and all three species are found along the West Coast.  The markings on the Espirrita species pictured on BugGuide are more defined, but different from the markings on your moths.   We love your photo.  We rotated it and cropped it to a square prior to sizing for the internet.  Moth PHotographers Group has nice photos of the Autumnal Moth, but they do not look like your moths.


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Hi Daniel,
Once again, greetings from Goa, India.
I am attaching three images here of two very pretty snails from Bali. Feel free to use them if you would like! And if you do know what kinds they are, I would be grateful!
P.S. – I am about to order your book on Amazon! Will let you know once it arrives.


Hi Sucheta,
We must confess that identifying snails is not our strength, but we attempted to do some research.  We found your yellow snail and possible the other Snail on My Growing Passion, but they are not identified.  Bali for Kids also has a photo of your yellow snail, but it is not identified.  We eventually found a FlickR page where it is identified as
Tropis bekicot, but we cannot verify that name.  Perhaps Susan Hewitt will see this post and write in with a comment.



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Subject: what fly is it
Location: Taman Insiyur Haji Juanda, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
February 8, 2013 1:31 pm
Hello Daniel,
I took this one on 2010, beautiful colored fly… but I wonder what is it.
Signature: Mohamad Idham Iskandar

Could it be a False Plume Moth???

Wow Mohamad,
We don’t even know where to begin with this one, except to eliminate what it is not.  We are confident it is not a fly, beetle or orthopteran.  Our best guess is that it is some type of moth and some of its features are similar to hymenopterans.  We wish you had additional photos.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide some information.  The antennae are unusual and there appear to be structures associated with the mouthparts that are pointing upwards as well.

Trevor suggests False Plume Moth
Looking at those heavily spiked legs makes me think it may be in false plume moths. These moths are usually small (with wingspans around 1-2 cm/less than 1 inch) and brownish in color. They have large compound eyes, thread-like antennae, and prominent labial palps. The body is slender, and the legs bear large spines.

Thanks Trevor,
We had to do important things unrelated to What’s That Bug? today, and we are satisfied that we did more than expected.

Thanks alot Daniel and Trevor,
Ahhh… (Bang on the head) I forgot about lepidoptera (scale wing). Just like what Trevor said, yes…it is small, no more than 1,5 cm long.
Sadly after looking in my photo collection from that place 2010, I only have 1 decent looking photo of them.
I only met this guy once, and until now I haven’t met them again.
If I ever met them again, I’ll take more decent photos and inform you …

Karl provides some suggestions
Hi Daniel and Mohamad:
You are quite right Daniel. This is one of those frustratingly difficult Microlepidoptera, a group of tiny moths made up of numerous families and innumerable species. I think it is likely some sort of Concealer Moth in the family Oecophoridae. They are sometimes referred to as wasp mimics, which is in line with your suggested resemblance to a hymenopteran. However, it could also be Cosmet Moth in the family Cosmopterigidae (and there may be other candidate families as well). The prominent upturned facial appendages are its labial palps, a feature that is common to all sixteen or so families of the superfamily Gelechioidea , the Curved Horn Moths, to which the Oecophoridae and Cosmopterigidae both belong. Identifying it any further would require some serious expertise. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  We will classify it as Microlepidoptera.

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Subject: Skull faced caterpillar
Location: Gamkaskloof ”Die Hell” Western cape, South Africa
January 25, 2013 3:03 am
Hi Guys.
On a recent camping trip, I found this little guy crawling along my serviette.
He was only about 20mm long and looked more like a caterpillar than a millipede / centipede.
Thank you.
Signature: Skull faced caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar, we believe

Hi Kevin,
Our quick research turned up no visual matches, but we believe, based on the similarity of appearance to some North American Tussock Moth Caterpillars, that this is also a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the subfamily Lymantriinae.

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Daniel.
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
Interesting – I will have to read further on what Tussock moths we get in SA.
Keep up the good work!
Kind Regards.

Hi again Kevin,
You might have some books on South African insects in your local library.  If you find out what species this is, please write back to us with any updates.

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Subject: What Kind of Flea is This?
Location: Ontario Canada
January 22, 2013 11:45 am
Hi, we’ve had a flea issue lately although our cats do not go outside. My cats have been given advantage twice since December 15th and I vacuum almost every day. I’ve been unsuccessful at finding fleas on them. But it seems like we have two different kinds of fleas going on.
I’ve found a few on chairs that jump and appear to be cat fleas. They are small and dark brown and are very fast.
But every now and then I will get a bite and take my shirt or pants off and find a litter brown flea that doesn’t crawl as fast and doesn’t jump away when I try to catch it! Very disgusting to find a flea in your pants! I inspects my clothes every time I put them on and don’t see any on our beds. I wear white socks and never do I have any on them. It’s not like they are jumping all over us but every now and then there’s one biting me or my son but not my husband!
Could this be a squirrel flea?
Signature: Ali


Dear Ali,
We apologize.  Despite your excellent photomicroscopy, we haven’t the necessary skills to properly identify your Flea to differentiate it from other Fleas.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Need insect identified
Location: East London, Eastern Cape, south Africa
January 14, 2013 3:51 am
Hi there!
I’m a huge entymology enthusiast, and I’ve been doing some photography and research of insects around my garden
I found this bizarre insect on a a lemon tree, it’s the middle of summer here, and I’m in East London South Africa
The weather was overcast, and after I got these two decent pictures, it started to rain. I would appreciate any help with regards to what this thing is, name, family, anything, my insect guide has no information on it, and I can’t find anything on Google as I have no leads. Thanks in advance!!
Signature: Simon Robinson

Immature True Bug

Dear Simon,
This is a True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera, and we strongly suspect it is in the family Coreidae, the Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs.  It appears to be an immature nymph, which might make identification to the species level more difficult as most identification guides contain images of adult insects and nymphs can change appearance prior to maturity.  The head on view might also complicate identification to the species level.  We will continue to research this when time permits.  Please let us know if you learn anything additional.

Yes, that would make the most sense! As I have many species of Coreidae in my garden, mainly Carlisis Wahlbergi (According to my insect guide, they are found in Limpopo, but I think it’s perfectly possible for them to have migrated down here, as there are many on The Gardenia) There are also few Holopterna alata and Anoplocnemis. and I agree that it is most likely a nymph of sorts, but from the nymphs I’ve seen, it doesn’t look related to any of the above mentioned. Otherwise, I appreciate the help!
I did some more research of my own, and I have suspicions that this may be the nymph of Leptoglossus Membranaceus, as that species of Coreidae, is a pest to Citrus trees, among other plants, given the fact that this was found on my lemon tree, I’d say the chances are pretty high that it is. But due to an inability to find pictures of a nymph of this species, I’m afraid I cannot say for sure. This has been lots of fun, and I hope we can come to a conclusion soon!
Kind regards

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination