From the monthly archives: "May 2005"

not sure what kind of bug this is(pic enclosed)
I Live in Charlotte, NC and last night (5/09/05) my wife heard a thump outside our bedroom window, I looked and saw what appeared to be a bat, this was about 10"ish. This morning we noticed it was still out on the wall so I took some pictures. Enclosed find a picture, this was taken about twenty feet away from the insect. I asked a few people down here and no one knows what this bug is. It is freaken huge for a bug.
George Doscher

Hi George,
While 10 inches is a gross exageration, Luna Moths, what many consider the most beautiful native insect, can grow to almost 6 inches across. Thanks for the image. There is a new television commercial for a sleep aid that features the Luna Moth.

Thanks Dan,
Been looking it up now thru usgs web site, a friend called me and stated that he had one on his screen and it freaked him out….. as well…. I have been living here for like five years never seen them before…asked a few people here and no one knew what it was. By the by you have a cool web site…

Strange Beetle(?)
I found this beetle? on my driveway this afternoon. He’s about 2 inches long, pretty thick fast and strong(for a bug). He’s got paw like diggers in the front, two long feeler like appendages coming off the rear end and a very interesting cape on the back with patterned stripes in tan which tapers out to a long slim tailin the back. I would be very interested in finding out about him. I have never seen an insect like this before.
Howard Blum
Stamford CT

Hi Howard,
Your insect is not a beetle, but a Mole Cricket. They live underground and use those claws to dig. They are also capable of flying. Yours is the second letter this week requesting an identification for this interesting insect.

Mr. Bugman,
What a great site! I’ve had this bug in my house that I’ve never figured out. I finally ran into your site and found it! From your reply to another person, it is a house centipede. Sadly to say, the bug did not live over a day in an open container. It seemed like it was frozen the way it died; everything was stiff. I know you have tons of pictures already, but here’s a couple more when the bug was still alive. Anwyays..keep up the awesome work on your site.
Herbie – Tracy, California

Thanks for the new image Herbie. Because images and letters on our homepage are time sensitive, we always like getting new images of common critters so they will be prominently located at the top of our homepage where visitors with attention deficit syndrome can easily locate them without scrolling too far.

I was wondering what the bug showed in the pictures is called. We found it on a nettle (Palude Brabbia Inarzo – Varese – Italy) Thanks a lot,

Hi Alessandro,
Most butterflies in the genus Vanessa, including Painted Ladies and Red Admirals (or Red Admirables according to Nabokov), have spiny caterpillars that feed on nettles. Your caterpillar is one of the Vanessa species.

Hello –
Came upon your web site trying to locate some information on a cocoon we have hanging in one of our trees. I am sending this picture showing this odd looking form with the hopes you may have some kind of an answer for us. We are hoping that some sort of nice butterfly will emerge, and not some sort of destructive bug. We are located in North Carolina, where we have an array of strange things. Don’t know if this would help, but it is located in a Maple Tree. Any help you could give us would be appreciated.
Thank you for your assistance.
Gerri Francisco

Hi Gerri
You have Bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, an unnattractive moth that forms the cocoon you pictured while still a caterpillar. It drags around this protective housing while feeding, eventually pupating inside. The males are winged and females winglessand legless. The appendageless female never lays her eggs inside the bag after mating. They are pests.

Can you help identify?
Hi there, I have recently moved from the UK to central Boston and have found several of these flying insects in my city center apartment. Their bodies are generally 0.5 to 0.75 inches long. I am unsure if they are attracted by light or not. Thanks in advance
Mike Hume

Hi Mike,
We wrote to Eric Eaton to properly identify your beetle. He wrote back: “Ok, the beetle is the “Wharf Borer,” Nacerdes melanura. It is in the
family Oedemeridae, the False Blister Beetles.” Adults are usually found on flowers or foilage near water and the larvae live in decaying wood. It is common in woodsheds, cellars and lumberyards. Originally European, it has been spread around the world due to commerce.