From the yearly archives: "2006"

Tiny red specks
This winter has been exceptionally warm in the Atlanta, Georgia USA area, so some bugs may be hatching out of season. This morning I looked outside to see my back cement patio covered in what I thought was a fine mist of water…millions of tiny specks. Then I noticed that the rug at the back door had a small red pile on it as if someone had spilled half a bottle of paprika or chili powder….I looked closer to notice that it was moving – these little specks were tiny insects – so tiny that I couldn’t see any legs. They couldn’t have been any bigger than a grain of salt but there were literally millions of them. They were a rusty-red color. Any idea what they were? I didn’t get a picture because I was afraid my dogs would track them into the house so I hosed them off of the back patio immediately. Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot about – the bugs jumped like fleas…maybe they WERE fleas but I’ve never seen any that tiny and have never seen a pile of them like that.

Hi Blaine,
The jumping and aggregation leads us to believe you have Springtails.

Thanks for the quick response- today (just a few minutes ago, actually) I went out and looked for them and found just a couple of them crawling around – again, these are so tiny – about the size of a pinhead…maybe smaller. I was able to get some pictures. I had to put a magnifying glass in front of my camera because even my camera’s macro mode wasn’t good enough to get a picture. Do these look like springtails (images attached)?

Hi again Blaine,
This is definitely a photo of a Springtail.

Hey there Bug Man,
Heard about your website from a friend that sent you a few photos. We enjoy looking at all the varieties of bugs. Our 3 year old likes the site as well. We are sending you a photo that we took of a bug we found in our back yard. Not quite sure what it is but we thought it was neat.
Smith Family
Gilbert, Arizona

Hi Smiths,
This is a Katydid, probably the California Katydid, Microcentrum californicum, which is found in California and Arizona. or another species in the same genus like Microcentrum rhombifolium.

I live in Los Angeles in a lower apartment.
These thing look like “Flying Spiders”? They are hard to kill, and appear to be able to produce web? Whatchya think? Thanks

Hi Chris,
These are Louse Flies in the family Hippoboscidae. According to Charles Hogue in the wonderful book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “Occasionally, a person hiking or working in mountainous areas wilolo notice a small (1/8,. or 3 mm, long) flattened brown fly that has landed on his skin or clothing. Looking much like a winged tick, the fly clings tenaciously or crawls sluggishly for a moment before flying away. This is one of the two common local species of Deer Louse Flies (Neolipoptena ferrisi or Lipoptena depressa), which normally live as ectoparasited on deer. … Upon successfully finding a deer, it immediately crawls through the hair to the skin and begins to suck blood. Here it remains as a permanent parasite, soon losing its wings through wear. … All Louse Flies are blood suckers, although none feeds regularly on humans. They may transmit disease between wild animals but do not to and between people.” You did not provide us with any specific information regarding where in Los Angeles you live. If near Griffith Park or some other deer habitat, it will strongly support this identification. There are also other Louse Flies that are bird parasites. We cannot locate any information regarding the possible web building you mentioned, and suspect that the Louse Flies were found in the proximity of legitimate spider webs. Eric Eaton wrote in: “Hi, Daniel: You are correct about the louse flies. What a cool find! We’d love to have more images at Bugguide (hint, hint, Santa).”

Thanks Guys
I live in a large apartment building in Cerritos Ca, Now that I may have identifiied my pest, now what? Thanks again Cheers!

Greenleaf Bug
Hello WTB
Found this monster leaf / Tree hopper (?) sitting on my car this morning in Phuket Thailand. I’m assuming it dropped out of the nearby tree where it was probably munching aphids. Looks like a giant pea-pod! Measured 5″ body length and another 4″ for the antenna – total 9″ Can you tell me – What’s that bug! Please. Best regards and thanks for a great website.
Peter Garrett

Hi Peter,
This is some species of Katydid. Most are plant feeders though some are predatory.

Update: (07/03/2008) Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Thailand sylvan katydid – most likely Cratioma sp.

Butterfly or Moth?
Hello! I was given the opportunity to buy this beautiful creature from an estate sale. I was wondering if it is a butterfly or a moth and if you know what it is called. I have searched high and low for a butterfly or moth that looks like this and I have not yet seen one. I adore your site because I know I can always find what I am looking for…and more!
Jennifer Guy
San Pedro, CA

Hi Jennifer,
This is an Owl Eye Butterfly, a member of the genus Caligo. These spectacular butterflies live in the tropical Americas and have large eye spots that mimic owls. Any predator will be frightened away after sensing it is about to be devoured by an even bigger predator.

Glacier insect
Aloha Bug-people:
Thanks again for the help with the Passionvine Hopper nymph last year. I have another mystery. Attached image is of an insect found while trekking on top of the Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina. Length about 3/4 inch. Our guide told us these were discovered on the glacier, but he did not know a name for them. Searched your site of course, but the only thing with a similar structure was a Timema. I have read that sprintails have been known to live on glaciers as well, but they are much smaller to my knowledge. Sorry for the poor image. Had to shoot handheld without my tripod, and the little guy was moving. Kind regards,
Don Brown

Hi Don,
This looks like a Snowfly, a group of Stoneflies in the family Capniidae, the Small Winter Snowflies. Some are winged and some are not.