From the monthly archives: "June 2007"

Possible Amorpha juglandis?
Dear "What’s That Bug?",
I was walking outside to get the mail this morning, and I noticed this bug on my front door. At first, I didn’t know if it was real or not, due to trick that people in my family like to pull, but when it moved I realized that it wasn’t a fake. At the same time, I had never seen this sort of bug before, and really had no idea what it was. After doing a bit of research, it seems to be quite similar to the Amorpha juglandis, but there are still some differences that make me wonder, and the sites didn’t say that they were found in New York, where I live. No one I’ve asked so far has been able to tell me what it is, and so I was wondering if you could clear things up. Attached to this email is a photo of the bug, and I have a few others posted on my DeviantArt page ( ), if that one doesn’t help, since it’s from the back. If you can identify this, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks a lot! Sincerely,

Hi Jessica,
This is a Spotted Apatelodes, Apatelodes torrefacta. We like checking BugGuide’s Data pages for range information (since they are a much more thorough, organized and scientific site than our own), though their information is based on submissions to their website. There is not a submission from New York, but there are submissions from many adjacent states as well as Canada. If you submit your image to BugGuide, the range information will be more complete.

Follow-up on Zebra Longwing caterpillar
I just love your site! 🙂 Thanks again for letting me know that I had Zebra Longwing caterpillars on a passion vine. I had followed them through the stages and have attached additional pictures of the cacoon and adults on a cacoon.

Lastly. I have now found a SECOND different caterpillar on the same passion vine. It has the same spikes as the Zebra Longwing but it is differently colored. Do you know what this caterpillar is? Thanks.
Miami, FL

Wow Bill,
That is one impressive looking Chrysalis. We have never seen the Chrysalis or Pupa of a Zebra Longwing. It is very ornate. It appears that the Zebra Longwing adults are mating, and we suspect the caterpillar might be the coloration of an earlier instar. Caterpillars molt four times, once after each of the five instars or growth phase. On many species, each instar is a different color with different markings. After the fifth molt is the Chrysalis stage. Your metamorphosis series is a fabulous addition to our site.

Is this a Crane Fly?
We saw this on the outside of our window the other night and had never seen one with eggs around its neck. Also, the wings on the crane fly’s I see usually are not folded back like this one. Picture taken in Kenmore WA (near Seattle) Taken with a digital camera on macro looking through a hand held magnifying lens. Thanks,

Hi Doug,
You are correct about this being a Crane Fly, but those are not eggs. They are Mites that are hitching a ride on the Crane Fly in order to be transported to a new location. This method of dispersal is known as Phoresy. We will contact a Crane Fly expert, Dr. Chen W. Young, to see if he can add anything. Dr. Chen Young quickly wrote back to us with this information: “Crane flies can hold their wings either way, fold over their back or spread out to the sides. The crane fly of your image actually is one belongs to the subfamily Limoniinae. They are smaller in body size and their antennae are 14-16 segments. The large crane flies belong to subfamily Tipulinae and their antennae are 13 segments. Check this section and scroll down to see the part regarding mites on crane flies Several species of pseudoscorpions and mites have been reported to attach themselves to crane flies. The majority of these associations are actually phoretic relationships, where the pseudoscorpions and mites are carried as hitchhikers by the crane flies. However, others are parasitic mites that feed on the body fluid of the crane flies.” 

Update:  October 14, 2019
We just received a comment that the above link is not working.  The Crane Flies of Pennsylvania has a new url.

Really BIG caterpillar
Dear Bugman,
I live in Appomattox, VA, and we saw this caterpillar on the trunk of an oak tree. We don’t see it at night, but we have seen it every morning in the same place. It is very large–about 3 1/2 inches in length, and about 1/2 inch in diameter. I looked through your 9 pages of caterpillars, but nothing looked like it. It looks like it would sting. I love your site!!! Best regards,
Nina Eagle

Hi Nina,
We found your caterpillar on BugGuide. It is an unidentified Buck Moth Caterpillar in the genus Hemileuca. It was found in Texas, also on an oak tree.

What is this Bug?
Dear Bugman,
I take photos professionally as a freelance stock photographer…I also have a "CREEPY CRAWLER" exhibit that I show gratis at local elementary schools which has been a great hit. I would like to include this bug, but I can’t ID it, can you? It would be a great help to me and the kids would enjoy looking at the bug in a large macro format. This incredibly beautiful bug has been hanging around our water garden and several times I have tried to shoot it, but was only able to when I found it in a pail of water. It flies! I want to put it in my bug photo exhibit which travels to elementary schools. I live in Wenham, MA. Many thanks,
Susan Van Etten

Hi Susan,
This is a Six Spotted Tiger Beetle, Cicindela sexguttata.

A few pics
I am sending these pics I took of a Polyphemus Moth, some sort of Hawk Moth?, a couple shots of spiders (I think they may be some sort of Orb Spider? There are literally hundreds of them in every nook and cranny of my acreage!) and a large bettle I found in my sunporch. I have looked through your site to try and ID this beetle, but I am on dial-up, and therefore the length of time it is taking me to load up all of the beautiful pictures to compare it to is almost enough to make me want to throw my laptop across the room … lol … I have run a search and tried every sort of search words … ahh well, maybe you can help me 🙂 I have began taking "bug" pictures as a hobby, and I am enjoying your site each and every time I visit. I wanted to send along a few pictures of bugs from angles that perhaps you do not have pics from … like the fluffy poly moth’s face and head … he/she almost looks cuddly 🙂 And the spider picture where it is eating a fly might work for your page devoted to insects eating other things 🙂 I would love to know what type of beetle is in the attached picture … It was very aggressive, agile, and active … He was around the size of an adult’s thumb … Very nice colouring, but in the pictures he is covered in fuzz … crawling around under a sofa in the sunporch where the dogs sleep will do that to ya! … lol … It took a couple swings at my Rottweiller and I decided to release it somewhere where my dogs would be safe 🙂 Thanks so Much!
Heather – Central Saskatchewan, Canada

Hi Heather,
While all of your images are very nice, it is very complicated for us to post multi-image letters efficiently. The beetle in question is one of the Caterpillar Hunters, probably Calosoma calidum.