Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Camouflaged Moth
Location: West Hollywood, CA
November 28, 2012 12:13 am
Hello from your neighbor over the hill,
I was in West Hollywood today and almost walked past this beauty. I had to do a double take at the ”fuzzy” wall when I realized it was a very well hidden moth.
Any idea wheat he/she might be? The furry legs are different from what seems more common around here.
As far as size goes, I’d say about 1.25” from head to tip of abdomen. A bit longer if you consider the wing tips. For such a neutral color I thought it was quite beautiful.
Signature: joAnn Ortiz

What’s That Moth???

Dear joAnn,
We are in agreement that this moth is quite lovely in a very subtle and nuanced way, but alas, like many moths, it is rather small and drab and we are not the best at discerning these differences when it comes to their identification.  Noted entomologist Julian Donahue once said that chances are good that most moths that can’t be identified, and we very loosely paraphrase his words, likely belong to the families Pyralidae, the Snout Moths or Noctuidae, the Owlet Moths.  We are going to post this as unidentified and then head outside to do some gardening before the sun rises.  We returned from Ohio with some corms from a yellow calla lily as well as some Fellow’s Favorite daffodils.  Since we spent the Thanksgiving holiday away, the garden and the website have not had much attention.  Right now we are relishing the thought of witnessing the southern California dawn and the crepuscular wildlife that might be about.  Perhaps one of our readers will take a stab at identification.
P.S.  The legs remind us of the way the Pearly Wood Nymph carries its body at rest.

Thank you Daniel,
I had a feeling it was going to be either really easy or a needle in a haystack to identify this one.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving away as well as your return to our lovely fall weather.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I’m sure I’ll have more images to send your way in the coming months.
Kind regards,
joAnn Ortiz

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ”Well there is something you dont see every day”, I said to myself.
Location: Bonny Island, Niger Delta, Nigeria, West Africa.
November 14, 2012 11:34 am
May 2008 – This was the beast that started it all for me; sheltering from the rain on the underside of a leaf in my garden in, of all places, the Niger Delta on Bonny Island, Nigeria. It certainly wasnt happy when I tried to move it to a better perch for its first photo shoot. It actually sqeeked!
It appears to fall into Longhorn territory but I cant find any other image of it. I would dearly love to know if it has a name. At 50mm long, excluding ”horns”, it is a magnificent creature. You can see how the psyche of science fiction writers would make their imagination run riot. If only I had time to go on a bug hunt here in Thailand.
Signature: Bill Hester


Hi Bill,
We haven’t had any luck with an identification on this beautiful Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae.  We are posting your photo and we hope to have it identified before too long.
  We especially love the photo where this impressive Longhorned Borer Beetle is attempting to take flight.



Hi Daniel…
Just downloaded the Electronic version of your book to my iPad… thumbs up to that!
Glad the Longicorn is a new animal for the team… and thanks for posting it.
It made several attempts to fly off until I finally let it go.
Some of the locals were showing a bit more white in their eyes as it soared up into the massive Jungle trees on the other side of the perimeter wall.
There are one or two other unidentified “monsters” on my hard drive for you to get your teeth into.
When I find the images of Bert and Jimmy having breakfast, two huge black and orange Assassin bugs, I’ll share them with an amusing story over their sad demise to an Great African Water Diving Beetle.
Which, apparently, is the biggest “bug” in the world –  Can you confirm that?
Very much appreciate the time you devote to it all.
Thanks for doing what you do.

Longhorned Borer Beetle

Hi again Bill,
We hope you enjoy the book and we look forward to your other submissions.  We believe you are mixing up Diving Beetles with Giant Water Bugs or Toe-Biters as they are known in the U.S.  Southeast Asian Giant Water Bugs are reportedly the largest True Bugs on Earth.

Karl provides the identification of Ceroplesis adusta.
Hi Daniel and Bill:
Your longicorn looks like a species of flat faced-longhorns (Lamiinae), probably Ceroplesis adusta. It is widely distributed throughout East Africa, but I couldn’t find out much more about it. Regards. Karl.

Thanks for the assistance Karl.  Your input is always greatly valued.



What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found this weird hive/cocoon’s next
Location: Israel
November 3, 2012 6:59 am
I have no idea what it is, it was on the wall behind a photo. We haven’t touched it yet and we have no idea what it is, I’ve never seen anything like it before, it looks like cocoons inside a hive..
Signature: Nicole

Mystery Nest

Hi Nicole,
This really is an interesting looking nest.  It appears that the cells are made of sand.  Our best guess on this is that this might be a wasp nest of some type.  The creatures in the cells appear to be pupae.  Many female solitary wasps build nests, some of mud, that they provision with paralyzed prey that the developing larvae feed upon.  This might also be a Bee Nest that was provisioned with pollen.
  We will try to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.

Mystery Nest

Eric Eaton agrees with our assessment.
Looks like wasp or fly pupae inside the individual cells.  Rearing them out to adulthood would tell you what they are.  Otherwise, I need to know what, if any, debris is in each cell with them.  Pollen = bees; insect or spider parts = wasps; other, or none probably = flies.

Thanks Eric,
We came to the same conclusion.  We responded about the wasp and bee possibilities, but we only thought the fly possibility.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red insect from Borneo rainforest Sarawak
Location: Sarawak, Borneo
November 4, 2012 7:18 am
I shot this gorgeous insect recently in Sarawak, but sadly have no idea what it is. I do hope that you can help. This was shot in secondary forest, though near to primary forest at the end of the dry season. It was during the day.
Signature: louise murray

True Bug

Hi Louise,
This is some species of True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera, but we cannot determine the family based on the angle of your photo.  We did find a matching photo, # 1566-1074713 on Superstock (scroll down), though we don’t trust the Boxelder Bug identification, though it might be in the same family Rhopalidae, the Plant Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identificatoin of forest creature
Location: Volta region, Ghana, West Africa
October 5, 2012 5:08 pm
I just returned from a trip to Ghana. During my stay, I visited a forest in Wli (an area in the Volta region of Ghana). The purpose of my trip to the forest was to visit the waterfall which is located in the centre of the forest. As I was walking through I noticed a creature that I’ve never seen before. I’ve tried to find out more information about this creature online but haven’t been able to. I was wondering if WTB would be able to give me some information on this creature?
Signature: AK

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear AK,
We believe this is some species of Tussock Moth Caterpillar.  It reminds us of the North American White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma.  We could not find images online of any Ghanan relatives that look like your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mysterious milkweed eating caterpillar
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
September 14, 2012 7:21 am
Hello! I am an avid observer of bugs, but this is a new one to me. I am familiar with the common bugs that eat milkweed – monarch and milkweed tiger moth caterpillars, etc. But this one is completely different. I have found several in a large pasture with a high concentration of milkweed plants. Curiously, I have seen no milkweed tigers at all on these plants, but there are many of these guys. I would be very grateful to learn what they are. Thank you so much for your WONDERFUL website.
Signature: Bug Watcher Guitry

White Woolley Bear

Dear Bug Watcher Guitry,
Your unknown caterpillar is most likely one of the Woolly Bears or Tiger Moth Caterpillars in the subfamily Arctiinae, but your claim that it is feeding on milkweed has us puzzled.  We couldn’t turn up any likely species candidates that would feed on milkweed in our initial search, and the plant in your photo does not look like common milkweed.  Please look at this marvelous page with photos of common milkweed as a reference.

Thank you Bugman,
I am almost absolutely certain that this caterpillar is feeding on Milkweed. It isn’t ‘common milkweed’ but there are so many species of milkweed. And I have also observed monarch butterfly caterpillars feeding on these same plants, (I mean, not the exact plant – the caterpillars don’t seem to share except with each other). I found two wooly ones on the same plant, but I have seen monarch caterpillars on them, and I have even seen adult female monarchs laying eggs on them. I am no botanist of course – but maybe you could point me to a good plant ID site… THANK YOU so much for your response. I am always excited to learn about new bugs.

Hi again Bug Watcher Guitry,
Try breaking the stem of the plant to see if it oozes a milky sap.  If you are certain Monarch Caterpillars were feeding on this plant, then we are pretty certain it must be a milkweed despite our own doubts.  The Butterfly Encounters website has a milkweed gallery with several species.  The plant in your photo does not appear to be among those in the gallery.  Seeing a photograph of the bloom might also help.

Update from Bug Watcher Guitry
Hello again, Bugman,
I did make it back to break the stem of the food plant. It did indeed ooze a milky liquid (see attached photo) but I think it is likely that I am mistaken about the plants being milkweed. When you mention the flowers, I realized I did not recall ever seeing or smelling their flowers. I also attach a picture showing the seed pods that have formed on these plants. I looked at the milkweed gallery you linked me to, and I agree, there isn’t a matching plant. The red stems are quite different from any of the plants shown there. I was wondering if I could perhaps keep one of these caterpillars in captivity to see what kind of moth it turns into? Would you recommend this, or is the caterpillar unlikely to survive if I keep it in captivity? (I have raised Monarch butterflies from egg to adult successfully quite a few times.) Do Arctiinae spend the winter in cocoon? Would I need to keep him outside once he pupates? I am just very curious, and I am enjoying the mystery with this particular caterpillar!
Very many thanks.
Bug Watcher Guitry

Unknown Plant with milky sap and pods is Dogbane

Hi again Bug Watcher Guitry,
The milky sap would indicate that even if this plant is not a milkweed, Monarch Caterpillars might feed upon it.  The pods do resemble milkweed pods.  We actually remember seeing this plant growing up in Ohio, but we cannot tell you its identity.  Try keeping the caterpillar outdoors in a protected area over the winter to see what moth emerges.

Update:  October 11, 2012
We just approved a comment that identified this as a Delicate Cycnia Caterpillar,
Cycnia tenera, which according to BugGuide, does feed on milkweed.  It is also called the Dogbane Tiger Moth and according to the photos on the Primitive Ways website, the plant it was found feeding upon is Dogbane, Apocynum cannibinum.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination