From the monthly archives: "June 2006"

Beautiful Clymene moth?
Hello fellow insect lovers,
I just wanted to start by saying that your site has really educated my family on the types of insects we have outside our home. I understand your "swamped", but now I have a need to know exactly what im looking at, because of you guys. So…what kind of moth is this? Some type of Clymene? Were up in Burlington Vermont.

Hi Bern,
We don’t know what species this is, but it is definitely a Tiger Moth in the genus Haploa, a close relative of the Clymene Moth, but not Haploa clymene.

what’s this moth?
Hi, I found your site useful, and already identified a Cerisy’s sphinx moth based on one of the photos someone else sent in. Can you tell me what this moth is? I photographed it in Chetwynd, British Columbia, in early Jun. It was just sitting on the sidewalk early in the morning.

Hi Melanie,
Based on an image we found on BugGuide, we are relatively certain this is a St. Lawrence Tiger Moth, Platarctia parthenos. It is a new species for our website.

Blue & Yellow striped head Tiger Moth?
Hi there!
This poor little girl (I think it’s female because it’s antennae are narrow and not super-feathery) was banging up against my sliding glass door during last night’s rain storm, while all other more sensible moths were hiding out in dry places. Based on your myriad of moth photos I’m thinking it’s some sort of Tiger Moth, is this right? I am in the Chicago area and this is my first sighting of this particular type of moth in the 6 years I’ve lived in Kane County Illinois. I hope 3 pics aren’t too many. She was so pretty I felt I had to capture every angle! 🙂 After taking pics, we let her go this morning.
Michelle Nash

Hi Michelle,
We are very excited to get your Tiger Moth photo. It is the second new Tiger Moth species to arrive today. Your specimen is a Banded Tussock Moth, Halysidota tessellaris. According to BugGuide, it is found east of the Rockies and is often attracted to lights.

Common VA millipedes mating
Tons of these have been crawling around my house lately. They were so small that I couldn’t tell how many legs-per-segment they had until we got this photo of a mating pair. They’re not as showy as many other bugs on the site, but they’re still pretty neat. Thanks,

Hi Emily,
Your photo has the distinction of being the only photo we have received of mating Millipedes.

Update: (01/20/2008) Millipede IDs
Here are ids. for the millipedes on the millipede page. Most are quite old; don’t people submit new ones more often than this? 6/26/06 Oxidus gracilis (Koch). They are not, however, mating as the posture is totally wrong; they would have to have ventral surfaces together to be mating.
Rowland Shelley
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Science

Dear What’s That Bug,
Thanks a bunch! For the past three days, I’ve been obsessing– even losing sleep– over a mystery insect that seems to have flourished this year. I’ve known about them for the majority of my life, but always by the name angelflies. Being a zoologically obsessed fifteen year-old, I realized though I knew their name, I knew nothing else. I quickly asked my lover, Google, more. Absolutely nothing useful popped up for the entry "Angelfly". This puzzled me. Why has Google failed me? So, then I asked my mistress, Jeeves (Jeeves can be a mistress if I want him to be). He also could come up with nothing. I then went to Wikipedia… again. Nothing. So, now angry at the world I viciously attacked the line of "X"s on the top, right hand corner of my screen and stomped off to bed. I then sulked around the house all day, quite distraught on the lack of knowledge I had on such a seemingly basic creature. Today, we went on a walk. As we walked I saw one flit by, as if the wind was the choice medium of steering. I gently cupped my hands around it and then tormented the simple minded creature for the sake of observation. I noticed that the white-furred little pixie had four wings… evidently not really a fly. As I paid more attention to everything under the fur, I saw that it had dark, blue-gray skin. Sort of like ash. But what startled me the most was that it looked a lot like an aphid. Bingo! As soon as I got back home, I pounced on your site and searched under the only section I seemed to miss on my hunt amongst your site… the aphids. The entry that caught my eye was that of the wooly aphids, sent by Ryan. I then went back to Google and did an image search and got a very spiffy photo of a "Wooly Apple Aphid". An exact match to what has plagued my dreams for so long! Well… three days… but let’s not split hairs. So, again, thanks for your help in clearing my thoughts! These are truly beautiful little bugs… with maybe not quite as delicate of a name as I’m accustomed to (leave it to West Virginian’s to screw up a perfectly good Google search query!).
Thanks a bunch,
Justin Caruthers

Hi Justin,
What a fabulous letter. Sadly, as it is without an image, we have placed it on our Fanmail 2 page. We hope you are planning to go to college as a wit like yours would be wasted in a factory or Walmart. Let us know if you ever need a letter of recommendation.