Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
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

Subject: chosen over a toad
Location: Central Adirondacks
August 27, 2012 8:29 pm
At an outlet of a stream into Lake Honnedaga in the Adirondacks on August 25, I met this fellow while trying to photograph a toad. Naturally this beauty captured my attention. It measured about 2-4 mmm in length.
Is it a flea?
Signature: salvatore ja sclafani md

Unknown Nymph

Hi Salvatore,
Your subject line really caught our attention, but sadly, we don’t recognize this nymph.  It does
appear to be an immature insect, but it is not a Flea.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in the identification.

Ed. NOte:  When this was originally posted, we wrote that “It does not appear to be an immature insect” but that was a typographical error.  We do believe it is an immature insect, and most likely in the insect order Hemiptera.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: large neon orange and yellow locust from Ometepe
Location: Ometepe Island, Rivas, Nicaragua (near Playa Santo Domingo)
August 12, 2012 7:46 pm
Hello What’s That Bug Staff,
I was recently (August 2012) on Ometepe Island Biological Reserve in Rivas, Nicaragua where it is in the middle of the rainy season. While walking to Playa Santo Domingo through an area that looked like it had been cleared for agriculture, i stumbled across this absolutely beautiful gigantic neon orange and yellow locust that was sitting out in the open on a plastic bag. In retrospect, I should’ve taken more pictures of it, but I was afraid the bright colors and the fact that it was boldy sitting out in the open suggested that it was poisonous or toxic and I didn’t want to get too close. Would like it to be identified if possible. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: Sincerely, Jay from San Francisco.

Unknown Lubber Grasshopper

Dear Jay from San Francisco,
This is really a beautifully colored Grasshopper and we are relatively certain it is a Lubber Grasshopper in the genus
Taeniopoda, though we have not had any luck pinning down a species identification for you.  We did find a matching image on the SkeieScapes Nicaragua Photo Gallery website, but alas, it is not identified.  You need to scroll down the page to find the image.  We continued to research and we found a similar looking but very drably colored photo on and it is identified as Taeniopoda auricornis and this information is provided:  “Taeniopoda species are found in Mexico and Central America, with one species only crossing into the far southwestern United States. Many of the species in this genus prefer arid habitats, but there are a number of exceptions, like the species shown here, photographed in and a damp habitat in Central America. Taeniopoda auricornis is one of the more robust members of the genus, and is paler than most of its congeners. ”  The species found in the Southwest portion of the United States is the Horse Lubber Grasshopper, Taeniopoda eques, and you can read about it on BugGuide. Though it makes sense that the coloration of your species might be aposomatic or warning coloration, we could not find any reference to the members of the genus being either poisonous or foul tasting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Whats this bug?
Location: Thane, Maharashtra, India.
August 11, 2012 3:26 am
We found this little guy in the middle of a busy area in the city. He was obviously not feeling so well. We brought him back with us to a more wooded area where we stay. He’s unable to fly although he does walk around and flutter his wings from time to time. he’s been with us 3 days now and lives on a napkin inside a glass bottle. We tried to put him on to a tree but it looks like he does not want to leave. Can you please tell us What is he?
He is metallic green on the outside and has an orange stomach.
Johann Jacob. Age 11.
Signature: Johann

Jewel Beetle

Hi Johann,
This is a Metallic Borer Beetle or Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae.  Metallic green is a relatively common color for this gorgeous family of beetles.  Alas, though we could not come up with a species match, we found several that are close.  We thought it might be
Chrysochroa rajah until we discovered this photo on Science Photo Library that shows the body beneath the wings and they are green, unlike the orange color of your specimen.  We also found a close match with orange legs.  There are many beautiful examples of Jewel Beetles on the Buprestidae of Indo-Malaysia, Indochina and Philippines, however, no matches to your individual.  The closest match that we could find is Sternocera aequisignata pictured here on FlickR, though your individual does not have the pale orange shoulder patches where the elytra connect to the thorax as in this God of Insects image and virtually all other images of that species found online.  For now, the best we can do is a family identification.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist with this gorgeous beetle that was documented with your excellent photographs.

Jewel Beetle from India


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination