From the monthly archives: "March 2006"

can u tell me what this is
i found this guy in a casino out side of chicago
stephon young
chicago il

Hi Stephon,
We believe this is a male Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa. We usually get photos of the females with their extremely long ovipositors. We will check with Eric Eaton to get a second opinion.

Mystery spider – big!
We live in rural Maine, and this spider was on my garage last fall. Can you help me identify it? You’re more than welcome to use the pic on your site, if you’d like. Thanks!
Christine, Maine

Hi Christine,
Your spider is Argiope aurantia, and it has numerous common names including, but not limited to: Black and Yellow Orb Weaver, Golden Orb Weaver, and Yellow Garden Spider. Seems yours has a taste for Grasshoppers.

found when cleaning out old mulch
Found this guy amongst oak leaves, pine bark and acorns. He was slow, but alive and — well, I guess you can’t really say he was kicking…. Any ideas?
Valdosta, Georgia,USA

Hi Kay,
We haven’t finished researching yet. We believe this might be one of the Underwing Moth Caterpillars in the genus Catocala. They feed on a variety of deciduous tree leaves. There is a close match on BugGuide and a second equally close match.

Your site is wonderful. We have just moved from Southern Calif to South Carolina and would like to learn the flora and fauna here in south. I photographed this cocoon and have been watching it closely but if I miss it I would sure like to know what I missed. Thanks,

Hi Kathy,
If you happen to catch the metamorphosis, you will be in for quite a treat. This is a Polyphemus Moth Cocoon. We have images of the moths on our Giant Silkworm or Saturnid Moth page. Sometimes the cocoons are suspended from branches like your photo, and sometimes they are found in leaf litter on the ground.

Mystery Australian beastie PLUS BONUS BUG MURDER
Hi Bugman.
Love your work, and I’m overjoyed to have discovered your site – identifying bugs online is almost impossible as I’ve not found a handy online key thingy, e.g. Does it have 6 legs? Y/N, Does it have wings Y/N (where each Y and N is a link to the next question page, all the way to the final answer). Anyway, the mystery bugs are attached. Found in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney, Australia. Cool looking chap ain’t he? The special offer today is a few somewhat unfocused shots of a bee being impaled against a flyscreen by what looks like a big horsefly (taken at my home in Sydney). It has a huge proboscis that was pinning the poor honey bee down and appeared to be sucking the life out of it. The murderer flew off leaving the desiccated bee stuck to the screen. Many thanks in advance for your help,
P.S. Will I get an email if you post your identification(s)?

Hi Aidan,
While researching your Mystery Treehopper, we stumbled upon an excellent site, but sadly, your specimen was not among the many pictured. The closest we could come is a Two Lined Gum Treehopper, Eurymeloides bicincta. Continued searching lead us to another site with Eurymeloides lineata and Eurymeloides pulchra which looks like a much better match. Your murderer is some species of Robber Fly.