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

South Texas Caterpillars
Hi! Since you were so helpful the last time i found a great bug, here’s another for you: I found two of these little guys in my back yard under an oak tree. They were on plants close to the ground in close proximity to eachother. I put them in a “tank” i had for a betta fish with the plants they were on plus a few more to chow on. The plants were kept alive by pulling up the roots (easy to do in sandy soil) and placing them into a bulb vase with water. A wire/mesh screen was taped to the top of the “tank” to prevent escape. I found them on Wednesday and by Friday afternoon they were already starting to pupate. I am really excited to see what they turn into. I am in Magnolia, Texas (a bit north of Houston). Any chance you can tell me what kind of butterfly/moth to expect? Thanks!

Hi there Mary,
This is an American Lady Butterfly Caterpillar, Vanessa virginiensis, which we located on BugGuide. The Lady Butterflies, including the Painted Lady, are Brush-Footed Butterflies. The caterpillar feeds on Cudweeds and Everlastings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I live in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The other day on my way out I spotted this moth on the wall of my apartment building, having my camera with I took this picture. I put on a web site and had some feedback as to what it was. I know it is a Hawkmoth of, but I am not sure which. So I was kind of hoping you might be able to help me.
Matthew Tyndale-Tozer

Hi Matthew,
We had no idea what this species was either, but we did a websearch of Sphingidae Japan and found a fascinating site that appears to identify your moth as Callambulyx tatarinovii gabyae. Since we could not read the Japanese site, we then searched the moth’s name and found another site that states Callambulyx tatarinovii gabyae is endemic to Japan.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Widow? Strange Mark?
Hi Bugman,
I enjoy your site daily. We were cleaning out our Garage today and ran into this spider under some cardboard boxes. I assume it’s a Black Widow, but didn’t see any red on her. What I found interesting was the mark she has on her body. I thought it might just be a scratch of some sort, but was curious to see what you made of it. I can send you a larger picture if you want to zoom in more. I am located in Woodland Hills, California. I sent while you have been having trouble getting pictures and then I was looking at the site today and read the one part about the person posting the picture incase you didn’t get it in the email… And I thought "Why didn’t I think of that!"
Here is a link to the below spider I mentioned: Thanks so much,

Also if you might have the time, we have this spider very often in our house and we are always ushering them outside. I think it might be a wolf spider, but I can’t quite seem to find a wolf spider that looks like this one on your site? Thank you so much! I have your site as my default page because I love checking it everyday!

Hi Angela,
That works nicely for us. We hope to have our email attachments straightened out soon. This is a Widow. Immature females are gaily colored spiders with cream and red markings on their backs. As the spiders mature and molt, they loose the colors and eventually become glossy black. Your spider is nearing maturity. Your other spider is one that Charles Hogue, in his fabulous book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, identifies as a Mouse Spider, Scotophaeus blackwalli. It is a European immigrant often found in homes where it hunts and does not build webs. While searching for online substantiation, we located a Frequently Encounted Spiders in California website that substantiates this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Possible tick found?
I live in Rockford, Illinois (obviously USA) and this area isn’t really known for ticks unless you go into woods. Otherwise no ones sees them. I live in what you could consider a brady bunch sorta neighborhood. Anywho I was in my moms computer room and saw this bug crawling. I immediately thought it was a tick as my dog has had one before and seen one crawling on me once after a game some friends and I had played in the woods some years ago but I know they don’t die when squashed. I smashed it as hard as I could and threw it in the toilet and was still alive trying to swim around the water. I’m hoping I’m wrong as i hate ticks but mabye you could tell me more? Thanks for the response if given one. I also uploaded the picture to just in case it doesn’t show up in the email as you stated some pics weren’t showing up.

This is most probably an American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis. BugGuide has images from Illinois

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I spotted this butterfly (?) in the south of France by a swimmingpool. Any idee? Many regards,
Wouter Schutters

Hi Wouter,
It is quite understandable that you would mistake this Owlfly for a butterfly. Owlflies are members of the order Neuroptera, the Nerve-Winged Insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you identify this insect?
I found this in my lawn. It’s the size of a common housefly, but very distinctive with the clear/colored wings. It appears to have a nector probe. Any idea what it is? Thanks!

Hi John,
This is a Major Bee Fly, Bombylius major. It is a nectar feeding fly that is found in both North America and Europe.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination