From the yearly archives: "2004"

Alien Moth
Hi Daniel!
Now I know I must be overloading you with all my bug pictures, but I have one more unidentified bug for you! We spotted this humming bird like moth in the fall just outside of Las Vegas… I haven’t been able to find any info on it yet… Is it a moth? It sure is pretty…
Thank you again for your amazing site… I LOVE checking out all the pictures and everybody’s crazy bug stories… especially that lady with the bugs and snakes in Mexico… so funny!… and what a cute gecko! =)
Best wishes,
Leah Balecha
Hollywood CA

Hi again Leah,
Your moth is a Striped Morning Sphinx or White-Lined Sphinx Moth, Hylas lineata. It is a very common Hawkmoth or Hummingbird Moth with a huge range in the new world. It is probably found in the old world as well, as in introduction. The caterpillars are Sphinx caterpillars with a caudal horn and they eat a wide range of plants, being particularly fond of fuschias. Adults are often seen flying in the day when it is cloudy, but more commonly at dusk and dawn. I used to see large numbers on the walls in the open hallways at USC when I taught there.

Hi Bugman/House Centipede
Here are two shots of this bug I found in the hallway between my bathroom and bedroom! Way to scary for words… (of course I caught and released it.. =)
Thanks for the very cool site! =)
Leah Balecha
Hollywood CA

Hi Leah,
I’m happy our humble site was helpful in your House Centipede identification, but I am amused that your photos were originally titled “monster”. We are also very happy your House Centipede is now running free.

what kind of beetle is this?
We have these around our home here in washington. we have never seen them before. do you know what they are? let us know and thanks for your help.
sheryl gafford

Hi Sheryl,
You don’t have beetles, but True Bugs, more specifically, Box Elder Bugs. They often get very plentiful and also enter homes to hibernate.

Strange and fierce bug
We found this on our window sill the other day here in San Salvador. Can you help me identify it? I’ve never seen anything like it.

Hi Scotty,
You have an impressive specimen of a male Dobsonfly. I don’t know the exact species as I am only familiar with the species found in the continental U.S. We have gotten reports of male Dobsonflies that reach four inches in length. The males have the scary looking pincher jaws, but the smaller mandibles on the female are more capable of delivering a bite.

Thanks for the information. We do run across all sorts of strange stuff here that we can’t identify. Since we live up in a coffee plantation both my wife and I have been bitten by scorpions. Talk about a pop. 🙂 The Dobsonfly that we had was the length of a key. I’ll forward you another photo that shows his size. Again, thanks for the help.

Potato Bug
When Fear Factor aired the episode with the Potato Bugs you received a question asking if these were the same as Sand Puppies. In southwest Wyoming we have bugs that look just like the Potato Bugs that we call Sand Puppies. These Sand Puppies here have a Parasite that looks like a thin worm that lives in them. If you put the Sand Puppy in water, say to kill it, then this Parasite comes out! You didn’t answer the question about them being the same bug. If they are then I find it even more disgusting that Fear Factor would let someone eat this Parasite without mentioning it! Unless this is something that only happens to our Potato Bug/Sand Puppies. I sure hope you can figure this out!
Tim Doak

Hi Tim,
We just received a new letter asking about Sand Puppies which we now believe might be Solpugids which also are called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, or in the Middle East, Camel Spiders. I know nothing about the parasite you mention, but most animals on the planet fall prey to some type of parasite, and most parasites are very host specific.

Hello – Please find the attached photo of a spider (?) that we found in our bungalow sink on the tropical coast of Oaxaca, Mexico in October. This spider’s body was .5 – 1 inch wide. What are the long antennae-like structures? Do they bite? Thanks so much,
Will Bellomy

Hi Will,
Thanks for sending in a photo of a Tailless Whip-Scorpion from the Family Tarantulidae, Order Pedipalpida or sometimes Order Amblypygi. Arachnid relatives of spiders and scorpions. Several species are also found in the continental U.S. They are not poisonous, and despite their fierce appearance, they will not bite. They are nocturnal hunters that often run sideways. They prey on small arthropods.