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

crazy spider in my yard
can you tell me what this spider is. it lives in my back yard in san francisco.
jenny howell

Hi Jenny,
Your spider is a harmless Cross Spider or Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus. It is an European introduction.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

my backyard moth
I got the following information when I had sent in my moth photo taken in my backyard just north of Boston, MA. Using the information I got I stumbled on your site and LOVE it. Thought you might be interested and just MAYBE get you to guess. However, I can’t get the moth to show me its hindwings.
“It’s too bad I don’t know where your backyard is. Read on… It is either the banded sphinx, Eumorpha fasciata, or the vine sphinx, Eumorpha vitis. The way to distinguish them is to examine some very small features of the hindwings, which you photo does not show. Vine sphinx is found all over eastern North America, while the banded sphinx would be very rare in the northern half of North America. That’s why I was wondering where your backyard is–it might almost rule out the banded sphinx, even without seeing the hindwings. John Snyder
Dept. of Biology
Furman University
Greenville, SC USA”
Sorry, but the photo was not attached, Anne [in Massachusetts]

HI Anne,
As rank amateurs, we are hardly in a position to disagree with experts at a University. That said, we checked the USGS report listed on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website and have come to an agreement with Professor Snyder that the Vine Sphinx is more likely because it is not listed as common in Massachusetts, only as a confirmed sighting. However, according to the illustration in our very old Holland Guide, the wing pattern visible on the upper wings does seem a closer match to the Banded Sphinx. We could go either way given that the moth is confirmed in Massachusetts. Though we don’t want to disagree with Professor Snyder, if you had sent this in without his comments, we would have probably identified it as a Banded Sphinx.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug in Western Mass.
Hi Bugman!
Your website is so helpful regarding other bugs. I have this bug that’s been coming into our dorms in Amherst, MA. It’s about an inch long, and it emitted a somewhat foul odor when we tried to kill it. I was told it was a stinkbug because of this, but it doesn’t look like any stinkbugs on your site. How do I keep them out??? They come in every night. Thanks from some curious UMass students,
Stephanie

Hi Stephanie,
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis. in the family Coreidae. Both Leaf-Footed Bugs and Stink Bugs are in the same order, Hemiptera, the True Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Rosy Maple Moth – Dryocampa Rubicunda
Dear Bug Man,
Now that my friends are aware of how much I have my camera with me to capture unique things, my friend Robin send me this tonight. I can’t find her in your moth section. What a gorgeous sherbert color moth. Robin and I think it is a Rosy Maple Moth? She took this picture at her home in Bella Vista, Arkansas in Spring 2005 in her carport. Love the site! Amazing how many things I can identify now!
Steph Hart

Hi Steph,
This is indeed a Rosy Maple Moth and we do have photos. As a page gets too large, we either add a new page or split the pages. The Rosy Maple Moth photos can be found on our Saturnid Moth or Giant Silkworm Moth page. Sorry about the confusion. We do have a search engine to help alleviate any confusion caused by our site becoming such a behemoth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Evan Owens
Seems we’ve opened the proverbial can of… grubs?
I stand corrected as well then. I thought the head may have been a little bloated for the EAB, but I would rather be wrong and have people take a second look at the plants and animals around them then be right and not have anyone take notice. I really enjoy a good diversification of species, but when one gets introduced that threatens to wipe out another… I’ll just say that Snakeheads still give me the creeps. Not to mention, I forget there’s only, um, several million species to consider when making an ID on an insect. All I can say is, that I would be very glad if Evan’s grub wasn’t an Emerald Ash Borer… Roscommon is a good ways up north and I’d like to think they haven’t traveled that far yet. Give me the house centipedes and toebiters… you can have your Japanese Beetles and Gypsy Moths, thanks. In that vein, I was wondering if you’ve ever considered a "Who’s who" section of destructive import species? Just to let people know where infestations are likely to occur and who to contact at regional offices. You folks already kick butt at identifying things (I like it when y’all "keep it real") and that would be a fine public service.
Weston Tulloch
Still in Bay City

Hi again Weston,
We love your suggestion of an exotica section. Did you notice the scorpion at the top of our homepage that was just found in Chicago?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination