From the monthly archives: "May 2005"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Awesome website…
Hi there!
I am so glad I found your website!! A year ago, I found a creepy ugly bug pinching my 6 month old daughter. Tonight, my same daughter (now 21 months, the youngest of 3 girls) was sitting on the potty when the same kind of bug crawled across our bathroom floor. I searched countless websites trying to identify the creature…including Terminex, Orkin, several universities’ entomology sites, etc. None of the sites even came close to the bug we found….until I came across yours. Our nasty little critter is the Ground Beetle. He (she?) is identical to the ones you have listed on your site. Thank you for having such a thorough and interesting site. I’m going to save you in my favorites just incase we need to identify any more little buggers!! Thanks again!
Terra J. Ward

Hi Terra,
We once again turned to Eric Eaton to clarify matters for us. Here is what he had to say: “Wow! Actually, this is a male stag beetle in the genus Ceruchus, assuming it is from North America. Right family for certain. I’d also like to see this posted to, as right now we are getting postings of some of the other smaller Lucanidae, but not this genus. Neat.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this Canadian bug?
Hi – my dog tripped over this bug sitting on the ground at my cottage near Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada this past weekend. The bug was brilliant metallic-green/blue and did not fly or crawl away when the dog nudged it. About a thumbnail in length, quite spiney looking legs. Snow cover melted about 3 weeks ago. As you can see from picture, trees include; maples, birch, poplar, pine, spruce.
Do you know what it is? Is it a ‘good’ bug e.g. will not harm the trees?
Thanks, Susan.

Hi Susan,
Thank you for a beautiful photo of a Tiger Beetle, Family Cicindelidae. These are predatory beetles that definitely will not harm trees. They attack other insects. They are good fliers as well as great runners. Probably your guy was just lethargic because of the cold weather. They are also much prized by collectors. We are going to write Eric Eaton, a true expert, to see if we can get an exact species name for you.

Thanks so much for your reply. Since you identified it, I was able to search Internet to find information and articles – looks like different Canadian provinces have variety of different tiger beetles. Photos I saw close to my bug were from Ontario, however they had very distinct spots which I did not observe on my bug. Really interesting to read all about it. Lately I made a conscious decision to slow down and look and learn more about the wildlife who live where I live and visit. Just occurred to me this Spring how little I know about the bugs and other insects I frequently encounter in my wanderings – usually too distracted running from voracious hoards of black flies in Spring I guess!
Thanks, Susan.

Update (08/22/2006)
Hello Lisa Anne and Daniel, I recently came across your website and I was pleased to see such a vibrant (and well-done) site. I’m an entomologist and evolutionary biologist (specializing on the systematics, taxonomy and evolution of tiger beetles and their close relatives) and I have to say that I’m impressed with your accuracy rate! It’s much, much better than other comparable sites I’ve come across over the years. The two of you must really love insects. I’ll bookmark your site and check it out when I’m having trouble sleeping again!
That species of tiger beetle is Cicindela sexguttata. In Ontario they are quite variable in markings, ranging from no spots to six spots or in rare cases more than six.
Daniel P. Duran
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I live in the desert, and I found a spider by the name Golden Huntsmen. I was told it was not deadly, but it was really ugly. Could you please give me some info about it.

Hi James,
The Golden Huntsman Spider is Olios fasciculatus, one of the Giant Crab Spiders of the Family Sparassidae. They are, as you know, large spiders named for their crablike legs. They are mostly tropical but found in Florida and the Southwest as well. The Golden Huntsman Spider does not build a web, but wanders in slow search of prey. The female carries her egg sac in her jaws until the spiderlings emerge. It is found in shady woodlands and thickets from New Mexico and Utah west to California.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hawk -eyed Moth
Hi there,
My roomate captured this big moth that was hanging in our doorway and she put it on the picnic table to get these pictures. It is about 4 inches wide with the wings spread out and we think it’s a Hawk-eyed Moth. I have been searching on the Internet to find out where they are common, with not much luck. The little bits of info. I found is that these are common in Europe and parts of Asia! We are from Cloverdale, British Columbia, Canada (about 40 kilometres outside of Vancouver B.C.). We’ve never seen one of these before and wonder where it came from…. I think your website is only for people in the States, but I hope you can help us get a little more info. on this beautiful creature.
Thank-you kindly
Cloverdale, B.C.

Hi Allison,
Even though there is a border between our countries, insects tend to ignore it and we share many of the same species, including Cerisy’s Sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi. It ranges from coast to coast in the northern US and Canada as well as south into the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Mountains. The caterpillar eats willow foilage and adults fly in May and June, so your specimen is right on time. Thanks for the beautiful photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

There is a baseball size cocoon hanging from a maple tree in my yard. It’s white with prickly looking brown things sticking out from it. I really did think it was a baseball for the longest time as I looked at it from my kitchen window. But upon further inspection it’s a cocoon. I’ll take a photo of it and send it along if you’d like me to. After searching the web I can’t figure out what type of cocoon it is. Can you help?
Thanks so much
Julie Worthy

Hi Julie,
You have a Wool Sower Gall which is produced by a tiny wasp, Callirhytis seminator. Galls are growths on various parts of plants, usually caused by a Gall Wasp or a type of mite. There are many species of Gall Wasps, and each has a specific host plant. The Wool Sower Gall used the oak tree, not a maple as a host. Your photo is of an oak tree. Here is a site with additional information.

thanks so much. you can see how much i know about trees from getting the type of tree incorrect. i’m just glad to know millions upon millions of spiders or something like that will not emerge come summer. thanks for your help. i love being able to get information from others on the web who are experts like yourself.
Julie Worthy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Info request
Saw your site and wondered if you can help. I saw this in Ecuador…Amazon Rainforest. From information on your site it looks to be a puss caterpillar. Is this correct and would it be in Ecuador? Thanks for any information.
Best Regards,

Hi Alan,
If this photo came from the U.S., we would say Puss Moth Caterpillar, or Asp, for sure. Chances are good it is a close relative.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination