From the monthly archives: "May 2007"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We saw lots and lots of nests of these worms in the nooks of small trees at Bear Mountain NY. We didn’t notice them until the peaks which are around 1000 ft in altitude. They may have been at lower altitudes but we didn’t notice them there as much. Any idea what this insect is? We assumed it spins the nest so it’s maybe related to silk worms?
Ted

Hi Ted,
This is the tent of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum. The female lays eggs on tree branches in the fall and the egg overwinter, hatching in the spring. The caterpillars are social and spin the tent for protection.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hawk Moth, but what kind?
Hi,
A friend of mine sent a picture of a moth from Durban, South Africa. She said it was a hawk moth, but do you know what type of hawk moth it is please?
Thanks,
JJ

Hi JJ,
This is not a Hawk Moth, it is a Giant Silkmoth. We identified it as Imbrasia wahlbergi on Kirby Wolfe’s spectacular Saturniidae site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

could you id this guy?
Hello,
I stumbled across your website, and thought if anyone could id this bug, it would be you guys. I took the shot from the top of Victoria Falls in Zambia in February of this year. Can anyone identify this grasshopper/cricket? It is about 6 inches long, and I found it near the top of Victoria Falls, Zambia. It really was an amazing creature, and didn’t seem to mind me getting so close for this macro.
Cheers,
Remy

Hi Remy,
We are certain this is one of the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers in the genus Phymateus. The frontrunner is Phymateus morbillosus and we located a photo that seems to match your specimen, but other images look different. Grasshoppers in the genus Phymateus are known as Milkweed Locusts or Gaudy Grasshoppers. Because of their diet of Milkweed, they are highly toxic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help?
Great website- I was wondering if you could help me id these to caterpillars. The first (with yellow spiky balls) was found on a orange tree in South Texas. The other is from an unknown plant, again in South Texas. Thanks,
Lee

Rothschildia forbesiXylophanes pluto

Hi there Lee,
We are very excited to have identified both of your South Texas caterpillars. The one found on the orange tree is in the genus Rothschildia. Rothschildia forbesi is found in Texas, but Bugguide lists the caterpillar host plants as “several trees/shrubs, such as Ash, Fraxinus, prickly ash, Zanthoxylum, and willow, Salix.” The site goes on with the information that “Two other species in this genus rarely enter into SE Texas: Jorulla silkmoth (R. jorulla) and Orizaba silkmoth (R. orizaba).” We cannot find a photo of either species caterpillar, nor indication of its food plant. The other caterpillar is a Sphinx Moth, Xylophanes pluto. We located information and images on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website. There are three known color morphs for the caterpillar, and your example is the green morph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We photographed the female Valley Carpenter Bee covered in pollen as she gathered nectar from our sweet peas. When she is gathering the pollen from the sweet peas, the blossoms pistel pushes up through the petals and caresses the bee, and is fertilized by the pollen trapped on the bees fuzzy body.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

golden bumble bee??
Hi!,
I took pictures of this guy today, he is as big as a bumble bee, but golden with green eyes! He sure loved all the pollen! Can you tell me what type of bee he is? Thanks,
Amber
Madera California

Hi Amber,
This is our featured Bug of the Month, the Valley Carpenter Bee. The male bee is golden like your example, and the female bee is black. We have not seen any male bees in our yard yet this year, but the females are very busy gathering pollen from our sweet peas and honeysuckle. We photographed a female bee today and will be posting that image after we answer some of our readers’ questions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination