From the yearly archives: "2004"

My “Peanut Butter Log” bug…
Hi there. You were so helpful to recently identify my pleocoma, for which I thank you! However, I’d be curious to know what type of bug this is. I call it a “Peanut Butter Log” bug as it reminds me of the little striped candies I used to like (and STILL like, if the truth be told). I’m in Northern California. These guys show up in summer months and I am quite fascinated with their markings. Thanks in advance for your awesome site!
–Michelle Mahood

Hi again Michelle,
Beautiful photo of a Ten-Lined June Beetle, either Polyphylla decemlineata or P. crinita. I saw my first live specimens several months back when they were attracted to lights at the campus I teach at in Pasadena. Adults feed on the needles of coniferous trees and make loud squeeking noises when handled.

moth, who are they
These were in the garden in July. I have not seen a pair before. They stayed on this shrub from morning to and threw the night. The next morning all that we found were there wings. We placed the wings in clear document holder. Because of the different size of half moon shapes on the wings, it was assumed that we had one male and one female.
Area: Hammond, Ontario. Canada (Forested Area)

Your moths are Cecropia Moth, Hyalophora cecropia, the largest North American Giant Silkworm Moths. They may have been a mating pair. The adults live only long enough to mate and lay eggs and they cannot even eat as they don’t have working mouthparts. Sounds like a bird or other predator got a good meal.

bug question
Hi, Bugman,
I stumbled upon your site, while searching for snow fleas, which a local pest company said my bug was. However I don’t believe that is it, having checked the pix I have seen, and descriptions.
I had sent them a photo I took, which I am sending. the bug was the size of a millipede- a little over an inch as I recall. I found it soon after I moved in, and picked it up (thinking it was dead) and was very surprized to have a stinging sensation which persisted for maybe 10 minutes after I wshed my hands. This is why I took the photo (on a paper towel) hoping to identify it. I never saw another.

Hi Wanda,
We believe you have sent in a photo of a centipede. They are poisonous, but the bite is generally mild. Some large species grow to 8 inches or more and have a very painful bite.

Hiya Bugman,
What’s this critter? Is it a catapede or a millipillar or what? I found it charging across my living room tonight (in bright light). I’ve lived here in Malibu (elevation 250 ft.) for 35 years and have NEVER seen this beast before. I didn’t find him (or her) in Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, nor in some extensive web hunting, so of course I had to bring him (we’ll call him a boy) into the kitchen for a quick photo session. He’s almost 3 inches long in the picture; 4 inches when walking fully extended. Several legs are visible in the photo (top) near his head (left). He’s pale on the underside. I thought he might be a millipede due to his hard, glossy exterior; but he definitely has only one set of legs per section (he has legs along its entire length). And he’s not cylindrical like the black millipedes I sometimes find here, but rather ovoid in cross-section, flattish. But he’s not quite like a caterpillar either; I don’t know any that have such hard bodies… but then look at those horns! In any case, I’m pretty certain he’s not a centipede. So what say thee? If you know this critter, please tell me where he’s indigenous, and if he has a latin name. I have half a hunch that he’s a foreigner in these parts….
P.S. If the photo didn’t come through, I can send it as an attachment. I have several other photos as well, if you’d like.

Hi Craig,
I wanted to contact a real expert before writing back to you. Eric Eaton quickly gave this excited reply
“Dear Daniel:
Whoah! Tell him to turn out the lights and he’ll get a real surprise:-) That sure looks like a larviform female of the glowworm, Zarhipis integripennis. In fact, I think we still need a shot of this for our field guide…. They feed exclusively on millipedes, so he could conceivably keep her in a terrarium with some soil and leaf litter and add a millipede or two….He could also take her outside some evening and see if she attracts any males (which ARE beetle-like, fly, and have these amazing feathery antennae). She will glow bright greenish-yellow from the pale membranes between her segments. Thanks for sharing! Makes my day:-)
Happy holidays to you.
So, Craig, I’m sure it would make Eric’s day even more exciting if you would send him a copy of the image for inclusion in the insect guide he is working on. Have a great day.

I found this bug in my bedroom and I have found others of the same type. Until today I didn’t know they could fly. I know the pictures aren’t that good. The bug is less than inch long and doesn’t move too fast. I’ve only found then in my bedroom. I am concerned they could be some kind of parasitic beetle. Help

You do not have beetles, but Western Conifer Seed Bugs, Leptoglossus occidentalis.

Unkown cricket(?)
Hi Bug Man
This critter was photographed in the Big Bend area of West Texas in Dec 04. Can you ID this fellow? Long antennae suggest cricket to me and abdoman banding suggests Jeruselem, but not really, Can you help?
Thank very much
Phil Crosby

Hi Phil,
You have one of the Shield-back Katydids, more specifically Neobarrettia spinosa. Your species is a female recognizeable by her long ovipositor. They are predatory.

Ed. Note: (11/17/2005) Late Breaking Etomological Update
Greater Arid-land Katydid
Hey Bugman
I think you have a Common name mix up on your katydid page, the latin name is correct. The katydid that you guys called a Shield back Katydid’s common name is actually Greater Arid-Land Katydid, that belongs in the sub-family Listroscelinae (Predaceous Katydids). They are only two species of the genus Neobattettia in the US. The Greater Arid-land Katydid has a black outline on the pronotum, the Lesser Arid-Land Katydid’s pronotum is green.