From the monthly archives: "January 2006"

I first saw a moth like this two nights ago under an outside light. Tonight there
were several of them. It is beautiful. Can you tell me what it is? By the way, I’m from the Sierra Foothills in California.
Rachel Oliver

Hi Rachel,
This is a Pacific Green Sphinx, Arctonotus lucidus. They fly from January to March, and you are lucky enough to have witnessed the event. More information can be found at this government site.

Please identify for us
Dear Bugman,
Could you identify this bug for us. We found this one (dead) during our holyday on the coast of Kenya near Mombassa. The body itself is about 5 cm long.Although it looks quite specific, we were not able to find another picture with a name of it It would be very nice if you give this one a name so we are not puzzeld anymore If it is not your area, could you give a place were we could look for it? Thanks,
Rob & Annita
(The Netherlands)

Hi Rob and Annita,
This is a Tailless Whipscorpion, a harmless relative of true scorpions. They are shy nocturnal hunters found in warm climates.

millipede, but what species?
Hi bugman,
I love the website!!! I work for a non-profit environmental organization in Southwestern PA. We took a picture of this beautiful millipede while conducting field work one day. We are inducting it into our photo library but want to make sure that it is correctly identified as either native or exotic/invasive. Can you tell me what species of millipede this is and if it is native to the eastern US or, more specifically, to PA.
Thanks a lot,
Kylie Daisley, Projects Manager
Natural Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
Johnstown, PA

Hi Kylie,
Native and in your range. This is an American Giant Millipede, Narceus americanus. According to BugGuide, the range is “Southeastern US, north to Ohio, and west to Texas.”

Update: (01/20/2008) Millipede IDs
1/25/06 . Narceus americanus (Beauvois)
Rowland Shelley
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Science

I saw these caterpillars while on vacation on the island of Samui in Thailand. I thought they were beautiful and wanted to know more about them.

We have no idea what these caterpillars are, but they are so beautiful, we are posting the letter hoping someone will identify them. If we were on a game show and had to venture a guess, we would say a butterfly in the Nymphalidae Family. Certain members of that family have spines and social behavior, like the Mourning Cloak.

(04/10/2007) Caterpillar Identifications
Hello WTB,
Having reared and photographed several hundred species of butterflies (no time for moths) for the past 25+ years, I thought you’d appreciate knowing two IDs that I noticed while quickly scanning your caterpillar pages last night . . . Thai Caterpillars (01/24/2006) — “Leopard lacewing”, Cethosia cyane (Nymphalidae, Heliconiinae, Acraeini); larval foodplant: primarily Adenia and some Passiflora (both Passifloraceae). See photo of adult and caterpillar at < > . I hope this information is helpful and of some interest. Best wishes,
Keith Wolfe
Antioch, CA

pandora sphinx moth??? Dear Bugman,
My 7 year old son Alex loves your site! We are always reviewing the pictures to find caterpillars. My son found this caterpillar on a vine on his school playground and brought it home when it was a baby. He named it “Spot” because of the spots. Now it’s gotten huge, molted off his tail and doesn’t really have spots anymore. We looked at your site and are guessing it is a Pandora Sphinx Moth based on the pictures. Can you confirm this for us?
Thank you!
Alex’s Mom

Dear Alex and Alex’s Mom,
We probably would have agreed with you based on the earlier photo as there are not always photos available of early caterpillar instars and often quite a physical change occurs as they molt. This is not a Pandora Sphinx Caterpillar, but a member of the same genus, the Gaudy Sphinx, Eumorpha labrusca. The larval food includes many vines according to Bill Oehlke: “In Florida larvae have been found on Possum Vine (Cissus sicyoides ). Cissus incisa, Cissus verticillata, Eupatorium odoratum, Ludwigia, Magnolia, Parthenocissus and Vitis vinifera are all reported hosts. “

Thank you sooo much! And you are so right, looking at other pics on the web now that I have the correct name. Also we are in Florida so that all makes sense! You the BUG MAN!