From the monthly archives: "March 2007"

Not sure if you can identify caterpillars from Africa but the picture of one attached is ‘bugging’ us. We would love to know what its called, and whether its poisonous? We came across several in a garden near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It was about the size of an average index finger. 3-4 inches long. thank you Regards
Fran and John Barnes (England – UK)

Hi Fran and John,
All we can say for certain is that this is a Saturnid Moth Caterpillar, and it looks like one of the Royal Moths, the group that contains the Hickory Horned Devil in the U.S. Though formidable looking, these are not poisonous caterpillars.

(03/28/2007) Royal Moth caterpillar from S.Africa
Hello Daniel and Lisa Anne, Apologies for having been silent so long; I have quite a few images of edible insects to send [in fact I recently supplied edible bugs to The Tonight Show!] but am having trouble formatting them for appropriate sizes. This dramatically-colored caterpillar from South Africa: it’s Bunaea alcinoe, as found in Kirby Wolfe’s wonderful Saturnid site. And yup, it’s edible throughout several southern African countries. Here’s the pertinent web page:
All the best,

Hi again Dave,
Thanks so much for the identification and link. Further research on our part has revealed a common name, the Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth.

Moth identification help please!
Dear Bugman,
I found this beautiful moth on my front window this morning. We live in Foresthill, CA, which is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The elevation is about 2500 feet. I would appreciate if you could identify this lovely species for me. Thank you very much.
John N.

Hi John,
This is a Ceanothus Silk Moth, Hyalophora euryalus. It gets its name from one of its food plants, the Ceanothus or California Lilac.

Lightning Bugs gettin’ jiggy.
Hi there! 🙂
I just wanted to send along a photo that I took today. I’m sure it’s one you’ve seen a million times, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen ANY two bugs mating, let along managing to snap a pic of them! The neat thing, though, is that these two lightning bugs were getting busy on my brand new lilac bush, which I just named Oksana. Now, in Russian, Oksana means “hospitable, especially to strangers.” …I guess so! Thanks!

Hi Erika,
Thanks for sending us your great image of mating Fireflies.

For the spiders page
This lovely lady spent several months last summer living next to my kitchen door in Crawfordville, Florida. I think she’s an orb weaver?
Love the site!

Hi Tim,
This is a Giant Lichen Orbweaver, Araneus bicentenarius. She is truly a beautiful spider.