Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
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Subject: Caterpillars in Costa Rica
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
April 24, 2015 10:28 am
What are these caterpillars, what are they going to turn into, why do they clump like this, and why does one (lower right) appear to have white things on it?
Signature: Ashley from the Monteverde Institute

Nymphalidae Caterpillars

Moth Caterpillars

Dear Ashley,
We believe these Caterpillars are in the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, and the caterpillar in question appears to have been parasitized by a Chalcid or Braconid Wasp.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can identify the caterpillars more specifically.

Nymphalidae Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Moth Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Keith Wolfe provides a correction
Hi Daniel,
Nope, these are immature moths, the scoli (spines) being much too long for any Neotropical nymphalid.
Best wishes,

After Keith Wolfe’s correction, we are now speculating that they are relatives of Buck Moths in the subfamily Hemileucinae and we will see if Bill Oehlke can provide any information.

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Subject: Madagascar ladybug
Location: Madagascar
April 24, 2015 3:44 am
Dear bugman,
On our trip to Madagascar we found this, in my opinion, ladybug.
I haven’t been able to find anything like it with the ringed-spots and as wondering if you could help me identify it.
nb; maybe worth mentioning; in the surroundings I’ve also found similar orange ladybugs who looked to be of the genus Epilachninae…
Signature: Dennis

What's That Beetle???

What’s That Beetle???

Dear Dennis,
This is probably a Lady Beetle, but we cannot discount at this time that it might be a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  Alas, we are late and we will be posting your image as unidentified, and we will return to the office to research this later today.  The spot pattern is similar to the Eyespot Ladybird Beetle from North America.

Take your time! Thanks for having a look at it :)

We tried searching without any success this evening, and interestingly, all our searches brought up the posting we created.

Hi Daniel,
That’s interesting indeed, what do suggest I do now?

We are only able to devote so much time to a particular identification request because with warm, spring weather conditions prevailing over more of the northern hemisphere, our identification requests increase.  Also, when new requests coming in, older requests become more difficult for us to track as they get buried further back in our inbox.  We would suggest that you place a comment on the posting requesting assistance.  Sometimes months or years later, we receive comments from our loyal readership that result in a long overdue identification.  Your email did not indicate any urgency with the identification.  We don’t know if you are just satisfying your own curiosity or if your life requires an immediate identification.  If the latter, we would suggest that you try attempting a more thorough internet search and pursue other venues for identification.  Meanwhile, your posting will remain on our site in perpetuity, and we hope that one day you will receive the answer you desire.

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Subject: Beautiful black and white moth
Location: Central Kalahari, Botswana
April 23, 2015 2:49 am
Hey guys :)
I have been doing a lot of searching for this fella/misses lately.
It came by on April 4th and I haven’t seen one before or since i my almost 3 months stay. It came to our dining area late evening, where we have lights on.
as you can see on the picture, the hind wings are white outlined with black and fore wings are white and black, but much diffuse markings. The abdomen is yellow with a broad black line from thorax to the tip of abdomen.
I hope you can help me with an ID :)
Signature: Mathias

Unknown Moth

Unknown Moth

Dear Mathias,
As you have probably realized, attempting online insect identifications can be quite difficult, and many times after hours of searching, no results are produced.  With that said, we are posting your image and tagging it as unidentified.  It is not unusual for us to get comments many years later that provide proper identifications.

Jep I know…
I identify insects as my job in Denmark, but in Denmark we have
Bayasian keys for almost every kind of insect in the country. So being
in Southern Africa and the only way to identify is by internet search,
isn’t that much different, except you don’t have anything to start
from :)
But it can never hurt to try right 😉 sometimes one can get surprised 😉

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Subject: Green, yellow and blue caterpillar?
Location: West of Merriwa, NSW, Australia.
April 10, 2015 11:31 pm
Is this a caterpillar?
It was about 30mm long, sitting on a Lomandra leaf.
It was in a brigalow forest , about 400m altitude.
Signature: lsbth

Slug Moth Caterpillar, we believe

Slug Moth Caterpillar, we believe

Dear lsbth,
We believe this is a Slug Moth Caterpillar or Cup Moth Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, but we have not been able to locate a matching image to substantiate that belief.  This species does not appear to be pictured on the quite comprehensive Butterfly House websitePerhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had.


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Subject: Worms
Location: Denison tx
April 6, 2015 5:34 pm
We have zillions of little worms hanging from Cobb webs out of the tree and the porches. Really everywhere. What r they and what can we do about them?
Signature: Michelle



Dear Michelle,
In the past, we have gotten reports of Oak Leafroller Caterpillars,
Argyrotaenia quercifoliana, hanging from trees, but a closeup of your caterpillars indicates they are a different species in the Spanworm or Inchworm family Geometridae.  We will research this and try to come up with a species identification for you.





They are killing my trees I think and I’m not sure what to do.  Parts of my trees are brown where they were budding leaves last week

Newly Planted Apple Tree, we presume.

Newly Planted Apple Tree, we presume.

Hi again Michelle,
One tree image you provided appears to be a freshly planted Apple Tree.  Please provide information on the tree.  What is it?  When was it planted?  Is this the only place you are finding the caterpillars?  It is possible the eggs were on the tree when it was purchased and now that all the young leaves have been eaten, the caterpillars are on the move searching for more food.  If their diet is limited to the leaves of apple trees, they will starve and you will no longer have the caterpillars, and unless the tree is really unhealthy, new leaves will sprout.  We just noticed you also attached an image of a large tree.  What kind of tree is it?  Are the caterpillars on all of your trees or only on selected trees?  The large tree should have no trouble resprouting if it is an otherwise healthy tree.  Birds and other insectivore predators should help to keep the numbers of caterpillars in check.

What Tree is it?

What Tree is it?


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Subject: Giant Weevil
Location: Trinidad
April 5, 2015 1:47 am
This beetle was attracted to a light. It looked like a very large broad-nosed weevil to me, maybe 2 cm.
Signature: Steve Nanz

Weevil or Longicorn???

Fungus Weevil

Dear Steve,
We agree that this looks like a Weevil, though we have never seen a Weevil image with such long antennae.  That trait is more like a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae.  We have not been able to locate any matching images from either family from Trinidad, or any other place for that matter, so we are posting this beetle without identifying it and we hope to get a second opinion, and perhaps some assistance from our readership.

Unidentified Longhorned Weevil

Longhorned Fungus Weevil

Cesar Crash of Insetologia, a Brazilian site similar to our own, provided us with a link to the Paraguay Biodiversidad site of the family Anthribidae that includes an image of Ptychoderes mixtus that looks identical to the image submitted by Steve.  A similar image can be found on the Coleoptera Neotropical site.  Anthribidae are commonly called Fungus Weevils.

Eric Eaton confirms
This is a fungus weevil, family Anthribidae.  Males of many species have really long antennae.

Thank you for the update and thanks to Cesar Crash for pointing me toward a possible ID. The descriptions for many in this genus are in German which I don’t speak. However I did find a key to some of the species:
Karl Jordan, 1907. Biologigia Central-America. Insecta. Coleoptera 5(6): 303
It appears that Ptychoderes mixtus is a good contender and may be in range. Ptychoderes rugicollis is also possible. Barcoding Life images show the latter with shorter antennae. There are no images of the former. So P. mixtus does seem like a reasonable tentative ID.
Best Regards,
Steve Nanz

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination