From the monthly archives: "March 2006"

Big Bug in Pennsylvania
This big bug (about 2.5 in ) was in our garage in Western Pennsylvania. We found it in the evening on March 30th after a warm day. We looked at several websites to identify it but couldn’t match it exactly. It looks like the body of a roach but the upper part seems to have pinchers more like a boring beetle. Please help if you can.

Hi Travis,
What a great photo of a Toe-Biter, or Giant Water Bug. They are aquatic, but also fly. They are attracted to lights and are sometimes called Electric Light Bugs, which could explain how it was drawn to your garage.

Hi Bugman.. I found this picture at a real estate site we are corresponding with in Dunlap, Tennessee. Someone building one of their log homes stopped and took this picture on the side of the house. They captured and kept this picture on their site. I decided to send it to you, in hopes you could identify it? It is gorgeous and seems rather large. Can you let me know what this spectacular, furry moth is? Thanks so much!

Hi Nanette,
This moth is a Large Tolype, Tolype velleda, a relative of the Tent Caterpillar.

We are trying to identify these insects in our landscaping. They are about 3/4 inch long and maybe 1/4 inch wide with six legs. Some have just the yellowish stripe and others have the stripe and red rings. They mainly seem to face the same way and seem lethargic, they do not run and very easy to catch. There are hundreds of them on each plant. Thanks in any help identifying this insect that you can provide.
Stephen Clarke
Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Stephen,
Thank you for getting back to us with your location. Often exact species identification depends upon a locale. These are early instar Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This is a highly variable species when it comes to coloration. Also, Grasshoppers are insects with incomplete metamorphosis, and the basic body shape remains unchanged through a series of molts. Each molt increases the size of the grasshopper, and also sometimes changes coloration. Often nymphs are differently colored than adults. The striping on the abdomen is very distinct in your photo, but most online images do not show this pattern. Just to be sure, we will inquire if Eric Eaton agrees with our identification.

Unidentified caterpillar from West Palm Beach, Florida
Hello there,
I hope you can help me identify this caterpillar. I was hiking through a Florida scrub natural area in Boca Raton and came across hundreds (maybe thousands) of these guys tearing into the local scrub oak trees. They really liked the new growth! They were only found on the oaks – so they are very specific. They also sting! What are they?
Ann Mathews
Environmental Analyst
Palm Beach County
Dept. of Environmental Resources Management

Hi Ann,
This is a Buck Moth Caterpillar. Visually, it matches the New England Buck Moth Caterpillar, Hemileuca lucina, that we found on BugGuide. Oak is the food plant. The map we found does not list the range as far south as Florida. A related species, the Eastern Buck Moth, Hemileuca maia, is found in Florida, but the caterpillar looks different than your specimen. It also feeds on Oak. At any rate, we are sure of the genus and the fact that it is a Buck Moth.

What is it?
We live in Provence in the south of France. We found this bug in the grass on Saturday morning. Do you know what it is, we could not id it from our books? We think it rather beautiful though.
Kind regards
Annabelle Hill

Hi Anabelle,
Several months past we received an image of this lovely Ground Beetle from Vermont, and at that time we were unaware that Carabus auratus had been introduced to the U.S. Thanks to you, now we have a lovey photo of it on its native soil.

they’re here again!
Hello there
These smart looking bugs appear in my garden here in France every year, but I cannot find out what they are. They are about 8mm long and although this photo was taken on march 29 they seem to be full size adults and the younger (smaller) ones arrive later in the summer, but with exactly the same markings. Thanks for the website,

Hi Colin,
These are Firebugs, Pyrrhocoris apterus, a common species in continental Europe. Yours is our second letter from France today. We suspect some publicity perhaps?

Hi again, No publicity that I know of just good old google. The locals call the firebugs