From the yearly archives: "2005"

ID butterflie
Hi, I’ve seen this Butterflie in Mexico….. What is?
Thank you!

Hi Alessio,
This is one of the Swallowtail Butterflies in the subfamily Papilioninae. Many members from this group have tailed hind wings. Your image is not a species we recognize, but the markings are remarkably similar to a tailed species known as the Pipevine Swallowtial, Battus philenor. That butterfly ranges in Mexico and we do not want to rule out the possibility that your butterfly is a Pipevine Swallowtail that has lost its tails. The fragility of the wings often results in those appendages being easily damaged and lost.

Dear Bugman
Just by chance, I ran into your wonderful website. I wonder if you can help me identify this spider. They tend to hang out on my wooden patio chairs and pounce on flies. They head into narrow cracks when disturbed and they are really fast. It took me a lot of time and efforts to get the photos I wanted.Thanks
Shouqin Huo

Hi Shouqin,
Your photos are beautiful. We really can’t tell you much more than this is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae. It could be a Metaphidippus species. We found an image online that seems to match your eye pattern.

Hello again from the Yucatan of Mexico
You helped me with a lovely (and pesky) melon moth a month or so ago and now I have a new question. The attached photos show a woolly caterpillar that has a hard and shiny reddish head. One photo shows how they gather at the base of trees during the daytime. At night they climb the local trees – one they seem to like a lot is a wild fig – and eat the leaves until they look like lacework. Then, as the sun comes up they stream down the tree trunks to gather in hollows and under logs. They are really doing a number on the trees and if they are going to hatch into something noxious I may consider spraying them to reduce their numbers near the area where we live. We live in a dense jungle so won’t be anything close to eliminating them overall. Another characteristic is that they sometimes have a spiderweb-like thread that they emit. I googled the description but don’t find anything. I have looked at all of you photos and don’t see one that looks quite like it nor any description of the behavior. Can you help?
Kathe Kirkbride

Hi Kathe,
Your written description and photos indicate this is probably some type of Tent Caterpillar, though many do not form tents. Huge aggregations often do considerable damage, but these large numbers are cyclical and do not occur every year. Loosing leaves is not a life threatening situation for trees. Poison might do more harm than good.

What is this?
I found this crawling toward my 7 month baby…please please please tell me I don’t have cockroaches!! Thanks!

Hi Jennifer,
The good news is that Cockroaches will not attack your baby, but this is a Cockroach. Whether or not you have Cockroaches in the plural is yet to be determined. As this is an immature Cockroach, indications are there might be siblings, however, often a solitary Roach hitches a ride home from the laundermat or grocery store and its appearance is not an indication of an infestation.

Hello – afraid i’m back again
Hello Bugman
The last time I had an identification problem you were kind enough and able to help (A Bee Assassin Bug) – This time it’s the largest Cicada I have ever seen! It’s overall length is 90mm and body length is 50mm. I have chased all the cicada sites I can find and while I think it may be a "Black Prince" I have not been able to find a pix that identifies it. I don’t like bothering you but if you can identify it off the top of your head I’d sure appreciate it – If not please don’t go to any trouble, it’s not life or death!. Hope you and yours have a great Christmas, we are enjoying a hot one at 36deg C.
Best regards
Keith Power
Toowoomba Qld

Merry Christmas to you as well Keith.
We were curious to give you some statistics of relative size of Cicadas worldwide as we have seen some enormous mounted specimens. Wikipedia provided the following information: “Adult cicadas, sometimes called imagines , are usually between 2 and 5 cm (1 to 2 inches ) long, although there are some tropical species that reach 15 cm (6 in), e.g. the Pomponia imperatoria from Malaysia.” In that sense, your cicada is an average sized Cicada. We have located a Scribbly Gum site dedicated to Australian Cicadas and there are many interesting colorful common names. The site does picture the Black Prince, and it is not your cicada.

Update (02/06/2006):
Cicada from Toowoomba
Dear Sir,
Some of your Aussie cicadas may be identified from the book “Australian Cicadas” by MS Moulds (NSW Uni Press, 1990) and available on www.abebooks listings. The largest Australian species is Thopha saccata (“double drummer”) which was the photo posted by Keith from Toowoomba on 24th Dec 2005. There are around 8 other cicada species from the Toowoomba area.

some kind of Sphinx Moth???
Well this is one of our more colorful moths, is it some kind of Sphinx moth? I live in "upcountry" 2500 ft Hawaii in Waimea where it is often cooler and misty. In Nov and Dec, we get these moths. I have seen the larva and they are too creepy for me to pick up, but the moths are "all tuckered out" and lathargic. They will stay on one wall in a quiet place for at least 2 days. I like the shape of the wings and subtle coloration, and the little turned up tail. Reminds me of a sea plane for some reason. What are the pros and cons of such a critter?
Jock Goodman
btw I shot this with an old 3 Mp sony DSC S-70 digital camera that I still like best for macro even though I am on my 4 th camera after this dinosaur. I use a Nikon D-70s for sports,(surfing, rodeo, moto X races) and landscapes.

Hi Jock
Your Sphinx is an Oleander Hawk Moth, Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii, depending upon the author. According to Bill Oehlke’s site the range is: “the southern Mediterranean region, North Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan” but the moth is included in the Hawaii section of his site since it was recorded as having established itself there in 1974. The host plant is oleander. If the lovely insect is to be accused of any bad behavior, it would come from oleander enthusiasts who are upset at loosing some blossoms and leaves due to the caterpillar’s ravenous appetites. We would love a caterpillar photo sometime.