From the yearly archives: "2005"

What’s this caterpillar?
We found this caterpillar in our backyard, 6-24-05, Dayton Nevada. Can you tell us what he is? In defensive mode, it curled up. Thanks in advance for your help.
Dennis & Pamela Nolan

Hi Dennis and Pamela,
Nice photo of a Striped Morning Sphinx, or White Lined Sphinx caterpillar, Hyles lineata. There is a brown form as well as the green form your photo illustrates.

whats this bug
we have a bug in the garden that no-one around here seems to know what it is. It eats leaves of tomatoes and potatoes please let me know what they are and how best to get rid of them

Hi Eldon,
You have a Tortoise Beetle, called a Goldbug, in the subfamily Cassidinae. Most of our sources cite morning glories as the host plant and we have not heard of them on tomato or potato.

Hi Bugman,
Found this beauty on the screen of my lanai in Bradenton, Florida. It was about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and patiently posed for many photos until I got the right one. I thought it bore resemblance to Buprestidae, but I’m not an entomologist.

Hi Tom,
Your beetle is an Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus, one of the Click Beetles in the Family Elateridae. This family is often organized near the Family Buprestidae.

Can you identify this for me…?
I’m curious about this spider. Is it a fishing spider. It was on the side of the dock early in the a.m. at Little Lake St. Joseph in Muskoka Ontario. Interesting site! Have it bookmarked now
Theresa Durning

Hi Theresa,
Your spider is indeed a Fishing Spider, one of the Dolomedes species. It does illustrate an interesting aspect of spider physiology since it has regrown two legs. According to Comstock: “The Reproduction of Lost Organs.– The reproducing of legs that have been lost by immature spiders is frequently observed. If a leg be lost by a young spider the wound soon heals, and at the succeeding mount the bud of a new leg appears. This bud increases in size at each succeeding moult; and in time, if the process begins early enough in the life of the spider, a functional leg is obtained.” In your image, the two middle legs on the left (the spider’s right) have regenerated. Your photograph is a very interesting addition to our site.

moth identity
Found this beautiful & large moth in my backyard last night, the second one in as many weeks, much to my kids joy. I’m pretty sure it’s a hawk-eyed moth, but would like confirmation. Also any links for more info, such as what the larva is consuming. Cheers!
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Hi Greg,
Your moth is not a Hawkmoth, but a Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus, one of the Giant Silkworms in the Family Saturniidae. The large caterpillars eat leaves from alder, basswood, birch, chestnut, elm, hickory, maple, poplar sycamore, and oak as well as other hardwood trees.