From the monthly archives: "March 2004"

Weird bug looks like a dobsonfly and yellow jacket mixed
My wife and I found this bug in our house on the curtains. I have never seen one before so there’s no worries or anything, I was just curious and wanted to find out what it was. I looked all over the internet and can’t find it, but after coming across your site, I figured maybe you could help? We live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I saw pictures of dobsonfly’s and it looks similar to that but it has a longer neck and a body like a yellow jacket with a long tail (maybe a stinger???). I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Thanks for the great website, I find it very fascinating! 🙂

Dear Andy,
You have taken a photograph of a Common Snakefly, Agulla species. They can be recognized by their elongated prothorax and projecting head. Adults feed on small soft-bodies insects including young scale insects, aphids and mites, and are beneficial to farmers and gardeners. They are members of the order of Nerve-Winged Insects, Neuroptera that also include Dobsonflies.

I got busy and never had a chance to reply and thank you. Thank you for identifying the insect and replying so quickly! I love your site and hope you continue to run it for years to come. You provide a very unique and excellent service. Thanks again.

I have these very strange bug/cocoon things hanging all over the outside of my house, and they are on the inside of the porch. The just appear to hang there, and occasionally they must move, but I have never seen them move. I have attached several pictures of them on the porch. We live in South Florida and they are here all year. Any input would be appreciated.
Best Regards,
Daniel Foster

Dear Daniel,
Sorry for the delay in answering. You have a type of Casebearer, Family Coleophoridae. This is a type of moth which forms a case in the larval stage and pupation occurs in the case. They are often pests on apple and other fruit trees.

Hi. My name is Jacky, I go and visit my grandma every week and at her house she has this butterflie that she think got in when she brought her plants inside for the winter. we found and a put it under a strong light that gave him some heat and i gave him some friet jiuce and water. ( that is what i read on the internet to give him) he drank some of it and after sitting under the lamp for about one min. he was flying around. I would like to know what kind of butterflie he is though, i dont have a pictuer but i can tell you what he looks like. He is black with some orange specks on his back with yellow specks on the edge and some blue specks before the orange. it is hard to exsplain what he looks like but i hope you understand. I tryed to find some pictures but i cant find any. I would be really happy if you could help me out. THANK YOU.
-Jacky, Tolland CT

Hi Jackie,
While I can’t be sure based on your description, it sounds like your grandma has a Mourningcloak in her house. These butterflies hibernate, which could explain why it was in the house. Their scientific name is Nymphalis antiopa. Here is a photo I found online.

what can I get to kill chinch bugs in my lawn which is St Agustine grass I am going all of these dead spots in my lawn also I never something that will not harm my dog.. Please help any information would be greatly appreciated Barry

Dear Barry,
There is a naturally occurring green muscardine fungus Beauveria bassiana, which will kill them. It is not harmful to pets and is available commercially. Check with your local nursery.

Thanks for the quick reply on the beetle pic I sent out to you. It was interesting info… Now, I thought I would hit up your butterfly knowledge with this skipper sp. that me and my buddy have photographed at work. The shot is from Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida, which is just south of Tampa Bay. This skipper is typically seen on the edge of a small, usually wet wooded area next to our headquarters building. The best I could do with it was say it is a Grass Skipper…I am hoping that it may be possibly a Three-spotted Skipper or a Eufala Skipper, both of which, according to the NPWRC website would be first county records for Manatee County. I won’t be surprised when I get your reply that so-and-so butterfly expert will say this is a Sachem or some other common Skipper…
Thanks again,
Colin Gjervold
Sarasota, Fl

Hi Colin,
Sorry for the delay. Here is what I found out from Weiping at the Natural History Museum. This skipper is Cymaenes tripunctus.

I stumbled on your website during a search. I have a question concerning Chocolate. I have a co-worker that brings me Hershey Kisses every morning. I don’t eat them right away, so, when I finally decided to eat a few, to my surprise, there were little brown gnat type bugs that had burrowed through the kiss!!!!!!!!!!! One co-worker had the entire Hershey Kiss gone including the almond! It did leave the shell however! HELP. We just want to know what they are! Thanks!

Hi Pamela,
Certain types of Pantry Beetles will eat chocolate, burrowing through the candy leaving the shell intact.