From the monthly archives: "March 2005"

What kind is it?
I have found a butterfly looking bug that my father says he has not seen since he was a kid, i will included a pic of the bug so you may identify it and i would like to get a responce soon, Thank You

Thank you for sending in a new photo of the Luna Moth, Actias luna. Many people consider it the most beautiful North American moth.

should i be worried
a friend of mine told me to send you this picture of a spider i saw running across my living room. i have seen a few of them lately, should i be alarmed or are they a harmless spider helping control other pests in my house.

Hi Thomas,
Your spider sure looks like a Carolina Wolf Spider, Lycosa carolinensis, the largest North American Wolf Spider. Females are about twice the size of males, reaching almost 1 1/2 inches. Like your specimen, sometimes this spider has a darker stripe along the midline of the abdomen. This spider is usually found in open fields on the ground and hunts mainly at night. It ranges throughout the United States and Southern Canada. It is harmless, but a good hunter that will help keep your home free of pests.

Another Red Pipevine Swallotail Caterpillar?
Dear What’s That Bug,
I found this in Austin, Texas at our Barton Springs trail. Is this for sure a Red Pipevine Swallotail? If so, what plants do they normally eat? I want to paint this wonderful creature and would very much like to include accurate plantlife in my picture. Thanks for your help!
Denise Garza

Hi Denise,
With caterpillars, the best way to determine food sources it to check the plant the caterpillar was found eating. Your Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar, Battus philenor, should enjoy eating upon its namesake Pipevine Family plants, such as Dutchman’s Pipe and Virginia Snakeroot. The plants have toxins in the leaves and the caterpillar absorbs those toxins which make them inedible to birds and other preying dangers. Here is a site with some nice images and information.

What about this bug that I found on my living room floor, in Perth, Australia?
Paul M Bartley

Hi Paul,
You have some species of Weevil, Family Curculionidae, the largest Family of Beetles. They are plant pests. Sorry, I can’t be more specific.

Update: 29 November 2008
Since our site migration last summer, we have had much work to do reclassifying old postings from our archives. Since this entry was originally posted, we have identified this unusual Australian Weevil as an Elephant Weevil, Orthorhinus cylindrirostris . Substantiating photos can be found on the Brisbane Insect Site and an Australian Forestry Images Website.

dusty odd looking bug
Hey, Pepi here is really dusty and odd looking, i figuire its some kind of bug that hibernates because a few days ago he came out when it was warm, and he was covered in massive dust, poor thing, looked so thin. I don’t know if it is native to michigan or not, I live in Muskegon Michigan there are always bugs here near the lake so let me know. I think it looks really odd but cute, and i named him pepi

Just don’t try to cuddle with Pepi. You have a Masked Hunter, Reduvius personatus, a species of Assassin Bug. Pepi will bite painfully when provoked. Masked Hunters get covered with dust, and become “masked.” They are beneficial, since they eat Bedbugs.