Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
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

Subject: Beetle ID
Location: Costa Rica – Monteverde region
July 5, 2012 10:17 am
For hours I’ve now been trying to get an ID on this nice beetle but I still am standing nowhere. My best guess is that it’s a member of the Chrysomelidae, but even of that I’m not sure. I saw it in Costa Rica (Monteverde Region) in November. It was around 2cm large, although I’m very bad at guessing sizes. Maybe you can help me? I would already be very happy with an ID on family level. Thanks!
Signature: Sincerely, Stefanie

Shield Bug

Hi Stefanie,
This is not a Beetle.  It is a Shield Bug in the family Scutelleridae.  We are not having much luck finding an exact match, but it closely resembles the Spotted Shield Bug,
Pachycoris torridus, which is pictured on Project Noah.  We cannot say for certain if it is the same species since there is often much variation in the number and size of markings within a species.

Thank you so much for your fast reply. I found some more pictures of the species it resembles that look even more similar
( ).
I’m very happy with the info!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: it looks like a damselfly
Location: Ottawa Ontario
June 24, 2012 10:54 pm
Ive never seen a damselfly like this before especially with the three prongs from the end. The wings and head really resemble the typical damselfly here in Canada. However from looking through images on this site I dont see it. Can you help me figure out what it is
Signature: Curious


Dear Curious,
The quality of your photo is poor and the dead creature is missing a head, but we believe this is an Ichneumon, a species of parasitic wasp.  It most resembles the genus
Megarhyssa, however, the coloration is not typical of the species we are familiar with in that genus.  See this photo from BugGuide for a nice view of the three pronged ovipositor of Megarhyssa nortoni.  We hope to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.  Can you provide any size information?

Eric Eaton provides an identification!!!
Assuming this is from the U.S. or Canada, I would bet on Dolichomitus irritator:
They get pretty large in their own right.

Thanks Eric,
That species name “
irritator” is very suggestive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: South African Flying Insect
Location: Nature’s Valley, Western Cape, South Africa
June 20, 2012 3:17 pm
Here’s a lovely bug from the South African Cape. We’d love to know what it is.
Signature: Luis

Spider Wasp from South Africa

Hi Luis,
We are nearly certain this incredibly gorgeous insect is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, but we cannot find any photos online to support that supposition.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination