From the monthly archives: "March 2005"

We are being invaded by these bugs which are about and inch long. I have lived in Tucson Arizona all my life and have never seen these.
Can you help?

Hi Meredith,
Even though your Cranefly looks like a giant mosquito, it is harmless. Craneflies often enter homes because they are attracted to lights. They will neither damage you nor your home.

Matt’s moth
I’m a member of our local 4-H entomology club. Recently, while in Yucatan, Mexico, we captured this moth. Our leader says it’s probably in the hawk moth family but key out came to a dead-end there. He suggested we contact you to solve this mystery. Could you please help us identify this insect? (attaching didg. photo; windows asked if we wanted the photo made smaller so it would be sent quicker and be easier for our recipient to view. We chose to shrink it. Did we do the right thing?) Thank you,
Matt Watson & dad.
Yuma, AZ

Hi Matt and Dad,
Your moth is one of the Hawk or Sphinx Moths, Family Sphingidae. More specifically it is the Ficus Sphinx, Pachylia ficus. It is a large moth that is very common in Central and South America where it’s amazingly large and beautiful caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Ficus Trees. Check out the caterpillar on our caterpillar page. The species is occasionally found in Texas and Florida.

bug definition
I have these Spiders in my Garage. Last year my wife flipped out and killed one that was between 1/2" and 3/4". All the ones that we have seen since have bee half that size. We live in the pacific Northwest. If it helps any, these spiders are very aware. I had one on the hood of my car while I was waxing it. I tried to sneak up on it. As I got about 4 feet away it turned towards and me and reared up it’s head as if it had no fear of me whatsoever and wanted me to know it.

You have a species of Jumping Spider from the Family Salticidae. They are small, often colorful, do not build webs but stalk their prey, and are harmless to humans. They have excellent eyesight and have very rapid movements.