From the monthly archives: "June 2004"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I came across your site looking for info on this bug I’m seeing. We have a mite problem in this one room, where a bird nested in the eave, and I have laid down some double sided tape to try to determine where the entry point is, so I don’t have to RAID the whole room. Anyhow, a different bug has secured itself to the tape, almost making it across the span before apparently giving up in despair. It has pincers extending out like longhorn cattle horns, equal to the length of it’s body. I don’t have a camera at the ready, I’ll try to draw one and attach it, if you could be of any help. Greatly appreciated. I live in central Minnesota.
Thank you,

Hi Steve,
What a great drawing of a harmless Pseudoscorpion. We have an entire page with some photos. Just click the Pseudoscorpion link in the alphabatized list of the homepage.

P.S. They may be eating your mites.

Thank you for the quick response and ID. I browsed your site for names I didn’t recognize, but I never thought to look at the pseudoscorpions. That’d be great if it was eating mites, except now I killed it with the tape trap.
Thanks again,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this bug feeding at my lilacs in southcentral Alaska . I have never seen anything like it. I thought at first it was a bee, But others said it must be a moth. I am looking for something more definite. I have several other pictures of this critter from several angles, as it hovered quite calmly while I snapped away. Can you shed some light?

Hi Dorothy,
Your photo shows a moth from the genus Haemorrhagia, possibly H. axillaris, known as the Snowberry Clearwing, or H. thetis which is reported to range from Colorado and Wyoming west and north to Oregon and British Columbia. These moths belong to the Family Sphingidae, or Hawk Moths, also called Sphinx Moths. The clearwings are a day flying group.

Thanks. It was from your web page that I got excited believing that you would probably have the answer! I was wondering if Alaska is a bit north for its range. We definitely have the flowers needed to attract the moth. But we have a short season compared to others and a really cold climate for a longer time. Also we have extremes of light and dark. Since this a day flying moth, no doubt it loves the summers. Guess it survives the winters as well. I will keep trying to contact folks in the University here to see how common this fellow is.
Dorothy A. Hight

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

"What’s that Bug" Website Folk –
I enjoyed very much browsing your website. I am interested to know where you are located and what regional insect fauna you are most associated with. I am author of the Exploring California Insects website –

Eddie Dunbar, Project Director
"Exploring California Insects"
5209 Congress Avenue
Oakland, CA 94601-5405

"Lake Merritt and Greater Oakland Insects"
a field guide covering 105 local groups
with 100 color images is now available.
Visit the ECI website:

Hi Eddie,
Thank you for the nice letter. I can see downtown Los Angeles from my backyard. I live in the neighborhood of Mt. Washington near one of the entrances to Elyria Canyon. Most of the photos that I take for the site are in my garden or the canyon. What’s That Bug? started as a lark in a photocopied “zine” called American Homebody. When American Homebody went online, the column What’s That Bug? went along for the ride. The column generated so much mail that we purchased the domain name and became a spin-off of the original site. Quite frankly, we aren’t associated with any entomological organizations, but we do occasionally get advice from the staff of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. One of my greatest interests is to do documentary photos of the life cycles of some local insects and I am thinking of applying for funding to create a pamplet for Elyria Canyon Park with insect photos. I have also been toying with the idea of adapting a book based on our site that could act as a humorous accompaniment to Hogue’s awesome Insects of the Los Angeles Basin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this thing??
OK….I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I work for a pest control company!
It’s brownish and black, has four distinct wings (rather large, too), and they’re not touching, it’s eyes are on either side of it’s head, two big big mandibles with sharp serrated like things inbetween them. His body has a head, neck, two body segments, and then a long tail piece. He has 6 legs. I know my nomenclature is totally off, but what do you think? He’s about 2.5 inches long. Need a picture?
Thanks so much!

Hi Suzanne,
You most definitely have a dead female Dobsonfly. The photo I sent to you was of a male, which have bigger jaws. Your photos are awesome, and I’m sure they will have our readers screaming.

Thanks so much for ID’ing it. We thought we’d found some sort of prehistoric creature 🙂 I guess I can toss it now, it’s getting kind of stinky 🙂 Thanks

Actually Suzanne, prehistoric is not so far fetched. Dobsonflies are nerve winged insects of the order Neuroptera and are among the most primitive insects that undergo complete metamorphosis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I was out pulling weeds in the garden and something stung me or bit me and this is what we found any Ideals as to what it is? Conserned for my grandchildren is it dangerous?
Mary Thank for your time.

Hi Mary,
It is a species of Assassin Bug, but I can’t tell which because of the poor focus. They give a painful bite, but are actually harmless. They are good in the garden because they will eat other insects that damage plants. Just learn to treat them with respect and you won’t be bitten again. Teach your grandchildren not to handle them and they won’t be bitten, but again, they are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Nocturnal Ants
In my kitchen, at night, large ant looking bugs scurry about when the light is turned on. They are not too shy and do not act like nornal ants. They seem independent of each other and more intellegent than regular ants. Please can you help me identify this bug and how do I rid my home of them? Thank you,

Hi Dana,
Carpenter Ants of the genus Camponotus are the largest ants in our part of the world. The largest species, C. herculeanus pennsylvanicus is a large black ant. There are several smaller species that are red and black like your photo, including C. vicinus, C. semites taceus, and C. clarithorax. They build their nests in wood, often inhabiting preexisting termite galleries, and often burrow into rotten wood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination