From the yearly archives: "2006"

My son and I came across these two interesting looking grasshoppers during a hike in the Chihuahuan desert surrounding El Paso Texas. I have searched the web and can find nothing that looks like these. They appear to be in a juvenile stage, although they are approximately one and a quarter inches long and three fourths of an inch across. Thank you for your help identifying these critters.

Hi Art,
We are mystified and turning to Eric Eaton for assistance. Eric quickly responded: ” The other two ‘hoppers from Houston are robust toad lubbers, Phrynotettix robustus. They range just into western Texas, north into southern New Mexico. They are adults, just wingless stone (boulder?) mimics:-) Neat find, nice images! Eric”

Clarification (06/11/2006)
toad lubbers
I was looking at your “What’s that bug” page and saw someone sent in a picture of some toad lubbers from my neck of the woods. Although P. robustus is in the area, these could also be Phrynotettix tshivavensis (Haldeman). The only way to tell them apart is to look on the inner hind femora which is distinctly black in tshivavensis (the one on the left might by robustus) or compare the relative sizes (tshivavensis is usually smaller). These both look like males. Both species commonly have small stubs of wings. P. tshivavensis is known as the Chihuahuan toad lubber. Good to see someone else looking at insects in El Paso without a can of RAID!
Paul Lenhart
University of Texas at El Paso

Some neat bugs!
Hi Bugman!
Near Lake Erie, while birding, I spotted this ant. It seemed ‘different’ to me and I’m cluelss as to his unwilling meal. I found it and others like it climbing a tree of which half was rotten. (The rotten half had a delightful colony of baby garter snakes looking up into the bright sun above). Thanks for your help.
Cathy Wilson

Hi Cathy,
These big black ants are Carpenter Ants.

so, what’s this bug
Please identify this bug, found today, in Belgium.
Thank you.

Hi Karen,
The Cockchafer is a type of Scarab Beetle in the tribe Melolonthini. They were once very common in Europe and periodically a population explosion resulted in mass flights. Widespread use of pesticides caused their numbers to diminish and they were eradicated in some areas. With tighter controls on pesticides, their numbers are once again increasing.l

Please help
I found this little guy and couple other of the same kind trying to keep hidden near a squirrel that I found dead next to my house. Should I be concerned at all about him?

Hi Kevin,
Carrion Beetles are harmless, and they do eat rotting flesh. Our curiosity is “How did the Carrion Beetle get from the dead squirrel to the garbage disposal?”

I was able to find it on your website after I had taken the picture. There were only 2-3 on the squirrel and they ran away at the sight of me, when I moved the squirrel there were 100’s and maybe 1000’s of little white bug directly under him. I found a great website about this and realized that it was the Carrion Beetle, after I had sent you the picture. I remove the squirrel and placed him in some deep woods for nature to finish what it had started, but 2-3 beetles remained in the area. That is when I decided to catch one and take a picture of it to send to you. My camera would not focus enough on him in the cup that I had captured him in, so I put him the sink to run around while I got a picture. I guess my only other question was will they go away. I am assuming that they are continually on the move looking for carrion, but I still wanted to ask to make sure. Thank you so much

wolf spider
Sorry if you’re getting this in duplicate. I emailed yesterday, but one of the messages was undeliverable. My daughter and I are studying spiders. In hopes of taking pictures of different spiders and webs for her journal, we decided to go on a spider hunt in our yard. While on the hunt we found this spider (with egg sack??). It was a VERY cool find for us! Could you tell me what it is? We are releasing it (not in our yard but the neighbors – as I am afraid of spiders). We are guessing it is a wolf spider. Thank you for your help,

Hi Rachel,
What a nice image of a female Wolf Spider dragging her egg sac.

Big Eyed Moth
Hi Bugman!
I have one more insect for you from the Dominican. I suspect that you might not be able to help me, but I’m rather intrigued by this moth… It’s eyes are so huge! The moth itself was rather large as well. Probably between 1 1⁄2 and 2 inches long. Even if you could give me any sort of direction on this insect, and then I could continue to try and identify it online. I really appreciate any info you could dig up.
Thanks Again!

Hi Yvonne,
This is a Sphinx Moth, but we are unsure of the species. Try checking Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

Hello Bugman, Thank you for referring me to Bill Oehlke’s site. I emailed him this morning and he has informed me that my specimen is Erinnyis ello, a Sphingidae (hawkmoth). He included some links as well.
I appreciate your help in identifying this moth. Have a great day!
Yvonne Metcalfe
Barrie, Ontario