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

eeeewww!
Hello, My name is Tara and I have a large bug I need identified. It is about two inches long and an inch across. I can see that it has wings under its outer shell. It only has four legs but has two more things on its head and I didn’t know if they were legs or not. Thank you for your time in looking at my bug and I love your site it is really helpful.
Tara J.

Hi Tara,
Many people react with an “Eeeeewwww” when encountering a Giant Water Bug, also known as a Toe-Biter. They will bite more than just toes, though. Glad you were unscathed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Insect identification- grasshopper?
Dear Sir/Madam
I live in the UK and found this insect in the packaging of a USB hub, that said it was made in China. Is it possible you could identify this for me. Actual size is 6 cm long from nose to wing tip.
Many thanks
Pat Jones (Mrs) 57yrs

Hi Pat,
Your foundling bears an uncanny resemblance to a group of Katydids known as Cone-heads. She is a female, recognizeable by the large ovipositor on the tail end. Your story helps to explain how often exotic plants and animals often find themselves far from home, and if the conditions are right, they are able to prosper and multiply.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

camouflaged caterpiller
Hi,
This caterpillar was photographed in Atlanta, Georgia on Oct 8, 2004.
Several of these were on a blue mist flower. Their movement was very slow.
The length was less than 1/2 inch. They appeared to be eating the flower or
maybe just biting parts off to put on their bodies. I noticed their
movements while photographing bees and got a few shots of them.. I don’t
know what they are and haven’t been able to find any information on them in
field books or on the web.
I just found your website today and spent quite a while looking at all the
stuff. It’s one of the best bug sites I’ve seen.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, Georgia

Thanks for the compliment Bill.
We were unsure as to an exact identification, so we turned to entomologist Eric Eaton who wrote back:
“Nice image! Wow! Yes, I have heard of this creature, it is an inchworm of some kind, family Geometridae. If I can dig up more information somewhere, then I will go ahead and send it along.”

Thanks Daniel,
I really apprecite your help. I sort of thought it might be an inchworm. Sometime when you’re not busy, check out my insect photo gallery on pbase. It’s insects and spiders mostly unidentified, especially the flies. Congrats on the Yahoo and the USA recognition!
Bill DuPree

Ed. Note: Several days later Bill wrote back:
Hope you remember the camouflaged inchworm photo. I may have an identification on it: wavy lined emerald moth (Synchlora aerata). Does that seem correct? Thanks,
Bill

Hi again Bill,
We did some web research with your new information and found a link with a photograph that looks like you are probably right. Thanks for the update.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the link. It does look similar. I just got a book by Thomas Eisner, “For Love of Insects”. The camo behavior is covered in chapter 8 and photos of Synchlora larva are shown both bare and in full dress. Evidently, several species of Synchlora larva camouflage themselves. I did a search for Synchlora to see how many species occurred in Georgia. I found at least 3 (there’s probably more), with the most common one being the wavy lined emerald moth. Most of the bugs I see are the common ones, so I’m guessing this one is too.
Boy, this bug ID business can get hard!
Bill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Would you identify these bugs? I live in S.W.France. Are they harmful to the lime tree that they have infested? if so, how do I get rid of them? Many thanks for your help.
Michael Warrack

Hi Michael,
I am not as familiar with French insects, but it appears you have an aggregation of Seed Bugs, Family Lygaeidae, of some sort, possibly a type of French Milkweed Bug. Seed Bugs are True Bugs and most suck juices from developing or dry seeds or the sap of grasses. They are known to form aggregations, sometimes to hibernate. My best guess is that they are not harming your lime tree, but using it as a gathering site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Would you identify these bugs? I live in S.W.France. Are they harmful to the lime tree that they have infested? if so, how do I get rid of them? Many thanks for your help.
Michael Warrack

Hi Michael,
I am not as familiar with French insects, but it appears you have an aggregation of Seed Bugs, Family Lygaeidae, of some sort, possibly a type of French Milkweed Bug. Seed Bugs are True Bugs and most suck juices from developing or dry seeds or the sap of grasses. They are known to form aggregations, sometimes to hibernate. My best guess is that they are not harming your lime tree, but using it as a gathering site.

Update: (07/28/2008) Species ID for “Maybe French Milkweed Bugs” pic
Hi there!
I’ve been a fan of your site for some time now. I used to live in central Florida and your site was an invaluable resource in helping me identify all manner of insects while I was there…during that time, I sent you a couple photos I’d taken of insects in that area. (I don’t think any of them made it onto the site, but then, I wasn’t actually requesting IDs for the pictured species and I know you’re inundated with requests, so I didn’t really have any expectation in that regard.) I have since moved to Brno, Czech Republic, and am now encountering a very different (but no less interesting) selection of creatures. Anyway, on to the point of this message! While browsing your site recently, I noticed the photo under the heading “Maybe French Milkweed Bugs”, which was submitted by a reader in France…I thought I’d send an email because I think I can help with its identification. The picture in question appears near the top of your first page of true bugs. I suspect the species pictured is Pyrrhocoris apterus, commonly known as a “firebug”. I have seen aggregations of them here in Brno, as well, especially during their mating season in mid-Spring. The information I’ve found indicates that this species is fairly prevalent throughout central and southern Europe. The fact that the submitter of the photo mentioned that they were found on a lime tree supports this identification, as well, as lime tree seeds are one of their primary food sources. Thanks for all the effort you put into the site, keep up the good work!
Sharon

Hi Sharon,
Thanks for catching this and bringing it to our attention. We have subsequently identified Firebugs on later postings, but we didn’t realize we had an old letter still listed as unidentified. We also apologize for never posting your photos. At times we are inumdated with mail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird insect
Hello Bugman,
I am writing about a bug that I have been unable to find anywhere. It has been on my mind for several years and found this site. Hopefully, you can be of assistance. I was traveling with my father, daughter and friends to Black Rock Valley in Nevada. On our way, we stopped to have dinner somewhere in the western part of Utah or along I-80 in Nevada. We saw a bug in the corner of an entry way to a truck stop diner. We had never seen anything like it before and asked the locals who told us it was a ‘sand puppy’. The bug was reddish in color with a hairy body similar to what one might expect on a tarantula. The body was in two parts like an ant, with the head in particular resembling an ant with pinchers. The plump body was ringed like a bumble bee and very full. The locals told us that if the insect were injured and the ‘bee’ body part was unharmed, that it would uncoil and sliver away like a snake or centipede and regrow it’s body. I did not witness this first hand so that part is a mystery. The legs looked like a spider from the top (meaning the legs were bowed up and out and forming a circular pattern if you played dot-to-dot with the ends of the legs), but a cricket from the bottom (meaning they looked like cricket legs the way they attached to the body) and I believe it had more than 6 legs. It was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter including the legs. The locals also said that they bite ‘real hard’ and have even seen them bite a dog. They also said that the one we came upon was bigger than they had ever seen before. I looked over your pages and the closest thing it resembled was a potato bug, but none of them have hair bodies and the head didn’t look like an ant. Nor did it crawl like a cricket. It walked like a spider, smoothly. Any ideas?
Many thanks,
Ridge

Hi Ridge,
Yours is the second letter asking about Sand Puppies, obviously a local name. The other letter also mentioned Potato Bugs which was our first guess. After reading your letter, we believe Sand Puppies might be Solpugids, also known as Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions. They are not poisonous, but do have powerful jaws we would not want to be bitten by. There is an amazing photo circulating the web which we also have published on our Solpugid/Scorpion page of Iraqi Solpugids which get very large and are known as Camel Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination