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

Subject: Could you please help me put a name to this mantis?
Location: Costa Rica, Heredia Province mountains
July 31, 2012 9:13 am
Found this beautiful mantis with moss camouflage in the north part of the Costa Rican Central Valley (mountains).
Could you please provide me with a scientific name?
Signature: Oscar Blanco

Moss Mimic Mantis

Hi Oscar,
Your photos are stunning and we imagine a Mantis expert should have no problem with a species identity thanks to your specific location information.  The best we could come up with in a short time is this similar looking Moss Mimic Mantis from Costa Rica on the Minibeast Wildlife Rainforest Encounters website (with a comment that identifies the genus as
Pseudoacanthops) and image on a French Website Elevage de Mantes Exotiques et Francaisesthat looks like a perfect match to your mantis.  Alas, we do not speak French, though Costa Rica is mentioned several times in the comments as is the genus name Pseudoacanthops.  Perhaps one of our readers will supply some useful information.  If you ever learn the answer, please let us know.

Moss Mimic Mantis


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown wasp or ichneumon
Location: Island Park, Idaho
July 27, 2012 3:26 pm
Could you identify this flying bug for me. It was shot in Island Park, Idaho in July 2012.
Signature: Brent

Unknown Ichneumon

Hi Brent,
We agree that this is some species of Ichneumon, but after browsing through the BugGuide possibilities twice with no luck at a species or genus identity, we are unable to provide you with that information.  We are posting it as an unidentified Ichenumon and perhaps we will be able to determine the species in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what’s this
Location: Denver, Colorado
July 21, 2012 9:40 pm
I can’t identity this bug. Photos were taken in July, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. I’ve seen several of these tiny bugs on the leaves of our sunflowers.
Signature: Mark Silverstein

What’s That Fruit Fly???

Hi Mark,
This is some species of Fruit Fly in the family Tephritidae, but we have not had any luck with a conclusive identification on Bugguide.  It does not resemble the images of the Sunflower Maggot Fruit Fly posted to BugGuide, though that would seem to be an obvious choice based on the location where they were found.

thanks for the prompt reply, and for narrowing my search down to the Tephritidae.

Unidentified Fruit Fly

Please let us know if you find an identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ok, got an exotic caterpillar for ya
Location: Chichen Itza complex, Yucatan, Mexico
July 17, 2012 9:36 pm
I took a pic of this large caterpillar last week while visiting Chichen Itza in the Mexican state of Yucatan. It was inching along a stone path under tree cover. Sadly I don’t have anything in the image to act as a frame of reference but its length was around 5 inches. My best guess is some sort of Automeris moth caterpillar, but you guys are the experts. What do you think?
Chichen Itza coordinates:
20° 40′ 58.44″ N, 88° 34′ 7.14″ W
Signature: Shannon Hammonds

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar: Automeris from Yucatan

Hi Shannon,
We agree that this is an Automeris species.  They should not be handled because of the poisonous spines which can cause a very nasty reaction to human skin. We could not find a match on The Kirby Wolfe Saturniidae Collection website in our quick search.  We will give it another try as we try to contact Kirby.

Thanks, Daniel… you guys are awesome.  Your site is my go-to reference for insects that I can’t ID.

Kirby Wolfe Responds
Hi Daniel,
That caterpillar is a mystery to me.  The only hemileucine that would have a larva that large in Mexico would be Automeris metzli, but this larva does not look at all like that of metzli.  Unfortunately, the most defining character of many Automeris larvae is the midlateral band, which does not show in the photograph.  Sorry to not be of more help.
Kirby L. Wolfe
Research Associate
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiger Swallowtail?
Location: Southern Oregon
July 14, 2012 2:04 pm
Found these on the side of Mt. Ashland, Siskiyou Mtns. yesterday at about 5000’ elev. One’s a bit different than other tiger swallowtails in color and maybe a bit smaller.
The other is a blue, but what sort?
Signature: TerryDarc

Anise Swallowtail

Hi TerryDarc,
We were uncertain at first if this was an Anise Swallowtail,
Papilio zelicaon, or an Old World Swallowtail, Papilio machaon, because they look so similar.  To further complicate matters, both species have dark and yellow forms.  We learned in Jeffrey Glassberg’s book Butterflies Through Binoculars, the West, that the Anise Swallowtail can be distinguished from other similar looking swallowtails because of the “black spot at HW outer angle is small and centered” within the orange spot.  This was verified on BugGuide which states:  “Upper surface of hindwing has yellow-orange eyespot near tail with round black center that is not connected to hindwing margin.”  We are uncertain of the identity of the Blue, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply an answer.  We suspect it is either an Azure (see BugGuide) or one of the Arctic Blues (see BugGuide).  Your photos are both quite lovely and detailed.

What’s That Blue???

Thanks, Daniel.
If by Old World Swallowtail is meant Europe or such, then this was an Anise Swallowtail b/c the picture was taken in southern Oregon. I am clueless about the blues but I know there are a bunch of them.
Thanks for the kind words about the photos. My wife says they’re already posted to Thanks so much for id’ing these two. Great site!

Hi again Terry,
The Old World Swallowtail is established in western North America, but it is originally from Eurasia.

Thanks! I guess I never thought about someone importing butterflies. BTW – I made a donation to WTB. You guys deserve it!

Hi again Terry,
We are not certain how the Old World Swallowtail was introduced to the New World.  We suspect it was an accidental introduction on plants that were brought from Europe to grow on American soil.  That was very kind of you to make a donation.  See these BugGuide categories for the subspecies of the Old World Swallowtail and the Anise Swallowtail.
Papilio machaon bairdii – Baird’s Swallowtail
Subspecies Papilio machaon oregonius – Oregon Swallowtail
Subspecies Papilio zelicaon nitra – Anise Swallowtail
Papilio zelicaon zelicaon – Anise Swallowtail

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Eggs on Fennel Leaf
Location: Atlanta, GA
July 8, 2012 5:17 pm
These egss were deposited a couple of days ago on a bronze fennel leaf. They are small, about the size of a pin head. Hoping you can help identify. Thanks!
Signature: Amy R

Unknown Eggs

Dear Amy,
Eggs can be very difficult to identify, and though this formation seems distinctive, it does not look familiar to us.  Our best guess is that perhaps they are either a moth or a type of True Bug.  We will continue to research this.

As an update, I’ve attached a picture of some of the hatchlings. Some kind of looper? The picture was taken, today, 07/11/2012.

Eggs on Fennel Hatch into Caterpillars

Thanks Amy,
It seems our first guess, Moth Eggs, was correct.  Also, judging by the way the caterpillars move, they are the hatchlings of a Geometrid Moth, often called Inchworms or Spanworms.  We will see if we can determine what species feeds on fennel.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination