From the monthly archives: "June 2006"

my very special spotted bug
I love your website and was just showing it to a friend (you know, slow Friday afternoon at work) who said,"Your unknown bug photo is better than any of these! Or at least as interesting as!" So here I am. I live in central Texas. This is the second consecutive year I’ve encountered this insect, but have only ever seen these two, once each.
Update: *Wow!* Just after I wrote that Friday afternoon, when I got home from work later, the very first thing I encountered in my path from car to door was yet a third. Each one of them has very interesting and unique variations on the zipper and the spots. Do you know what he is? I understand you are swamped but hope that you’ll get to me one day, even if it’s months from now. Thank you!
Dripping Springs, TX

Hi Kaila,
Something in the cosmos must have alligned causing you to encounter another Ironclad Beetle the day you wanted an identification. We loved your subject line, which is what caught our attention among the myriad letters that arrived. The Ironclad Beetle, Zopherus haldemani, got its common name from the nearly impenetrable exoskeleton.

Dear Bug Man (person?),
Oh my, WOW, I can’t believe my special spotted bug made it onto your site! I feel incredibly honored, especially to have such a speedy answer when you are so swamped. Now I have to go email the link to my husband, and my mom, and my friend who introduced me to your site (when she saw my photos of the polyphemous moth that flew in my bedroom one night), and the one who suggested that I email this bug to you. I hope to have more fabulous and intriguing bugs for you to identify one day. I’ve lived in Texas 35 years but have never seen so many fascinating bugs as I have in the two years since I moved to Dripping Springs. Thank you so much from your devoted fan!

millipedes in Muir Woods
Hi there –
My partner and I and my four year old son saw these millipedes today in Muir Woods National Monument north of San Francisco, hiding among the mosses and rotting leaves with banana slugs and other creatures that love the old growth. They were around 2-3 inches long, about half an inch wide. They seem pretty distinguishable with the yellow spots and all, and seem like they’d attract attention, but we haven’t been able to find out what they are. Thanks much!

Hi Jeremy,
We found a match on Bugguide for your Yellow-spotted Millipede, Harpaphe haydeniana. The are relatively common in the rain forrests of the Pacific Northwest.

Expert Confirmation: (01/20/2008) Millipede IDs 6/24/06 . Muir Woods, CA. Harpaphe haydeniana (Cook) (Polydesmida: Xystodesmidae).
Rowland Shelley
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Science

weird bug
So, I open up the door to my dad’s SUV, looking for one of his Mott the Hoople cassettes, but as I step out of the truck, I feel this distinctive smack on my back (rhymes!). I look down and I see a big, black fly-beetle-wasp thing, buzzing around on its back. I didn’t think much of it. But about a month later (today) I see the same kind of bug, but this time it’s a tad smaller, and d-e-a-d. I snap a couple of pictures, and impale a pin through it and stick it to my cork-board. My mom and I have been looking all over your site looking for this strange bug. Since we cannot find this bug in any sort of reference we have, I have decided to email you about this situation hoping that I can identify this bug. Characteristics (dead bug found):
* Black
* 1 inch long, 1/5 inch wide, and 1 and 1/5 long counting wings folded back
* Hard exoskeleton
* Seemingly large stinger (if that is a stinger)
* Ugly
Hopefully the picture attachments work.

Hi Jacob,
This is some species of Cicada. They are the loudest insects, often heard buzzing it trees. Eric Eaton just provided this more thorough identification: “I am pretty sure the cicada specimen submitted by Jacob is a species of Okanagana. If so, he lives in a northern or western state, as that is the major distribution for that genus. Eric”

Fish fly?
Dear Bugman,
From the pictures in you site I believe this is a Fish Fly. I found it in my living room watching the soccer game. Since it seemed very comfortable and was not moving much I decided to take the time to take some close-ups. Found in Lexington, MA

Hi There Jaime,
Dobsonflies and Fishflies both belong to the order Megaloptera along with Alderflies. Further classification puts the Dobsonflies and Fishflies in the Family Corydalidae and Fishflies are in the genus Chauliodes. This is a Fishfly

caterpillar needs identifying
Please please would you identify this caterpillar for me, I thought perhaps it was a swallowtail but cannot find anything that fits the markings. It was on my fuschias last summer in my garden on Vancouver Island. I have surfed and surfed! What a wonderful website.
Diane Sandland

Hi Diane,
Before we even opened your attached photo, we had guessed correctly that your caterpillar was a White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar, Hyles lineata. The tip-off was the host plant Fuschia. This is a highly variable caterpillar that has at least three recognized color variations.

A Potter Wasp Potting…
Hello! I know you already have some Potter Wasp pictures, but here are some that I thought you might find interesting. This is a Potter Wasp’s pot just after it was started, as he is working on it, and then completed (just for closure… I know there are already plenty of completed pot photos…). It’s been 4 days and I haven’t seen the wasp bring anything to fill it…
Best Regards,

Hi Matthew,
Your photo is a lovely addition to our site. Thanks for sending it.