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

Tape worm or slug?
Our dog either eliminated it or found it crawling in our carport in Hilo, HI a very long (about 1 foot), very skinny (like a guitar string) slimy worm like animal. The head is flat and fan shaped. The body does not seem to be segmented and can elongate and shrink. Our dog was treated for tapeworm about a month ago, when we found a white segment on her tail; her vet confirmed it was a tapeworm by doing a fecal check. Since then we haven’t found any more segments and we thought the tapeworm problem was finished. We’ve been using Frontline monthly to control fleas, but she is an outdoor dog who runs free. Please check out these 6 pictures. Thank you.
Rick and Karen

Hi Rick and Karen,
No problem here. Your dog did not eliminate the Arrow-headed Flatworm, a Land Planaria. It is probably Bipalium kewensis, a species with a wide distribution in warm climates with moist conditions. It was originally discovered in the Kew Gardens greenhouses in London, hence the scientific name. It is a benign species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

wasp moth? Hello,
I just downloaded a bunch of photos of wonderful bugs shot in weed patch along the edge of a small wooded area in Northampton, PA. Most of them were bees and wasps. This one was different than most of them and at first I thought it might be a wasp moth. After looking at your site, it appears it could be a digger wasp, but I couldn’t quite tell from the photo. You are welcome to use this photo if you wish. I cropped it so it would not clog your server. I have a larger, uncropped version too if you want. But this one cuts to the subject pretty well. I also got a great photo of a Wheel Bug devouring a bee while a wasp gathered nectar within 2 inches of it. I’ll send that under separate cover. Thanks
Johanna

Hi Johanna,
This is a real wasp, a Digger Wasp, Scolia dubia. We posted another photo of this species last week, but since your photo is so much clearer, we are posting it as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

PRAYING or PREYING MANTIS IN OUR CONNECTICUT GARDEN (9-5-07)
Hello Daniel,
I hope this email reaches you. My first attempt failed, according to message received from my carrier, "due to an unexpected disconnection from service. Yes, I know you have praying mantis pictures posted on your site but perhaps these will be of use to you as well. On September 1st I commented, to my husband, that I’d yet to find a praying mantis to "shoot" for my photo collection of insects. On September 2nd, we were host to a tremendous monarch butterfly convention. Perhaps we are on a flyway here in Connecticut? They were swarming about our Joe Pie weed and having a great time. I suddenly noticed that one of the revelers was, apparently, "stuck" in the flowers. It was behaving as if engaged in a battle. Upon closer examination, I discovered the truth. A battle to the death. Just look at the "arms" of the praying mantis . . . "all the better to hug you with, my dear. I’m wondering; can you tell if our ravenous praying mantis is a female or male? The creature is still here, well-disguised as a Joe Pie weed branch, waiting for another victim, but our monarchs seem to be gone. From Connecticut, would they travel to Mexico, California or Florida to spend the winter? Thanks for providing such a marvelous site for those of us fascinated by the insects found in our gardens. One does not have to travel far, as I have found, for great adventure!
Susan B. Naumann

Hi Susan,
What a marvelous Food Chain documentation. Your Chinese Mantis might be a male, but we cannot be certain. Your Monarchs would not winter in California but the Oyamel Fir forests of Mexico’s Transverse Volcanic Belt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Stinging Rose I believe
Hello!
My name is David Donaldson, I am a nature photographer and recently I was backpacking through the woods of the near Flagstaff, AZ when I came across this little thing on the ground. Could you possibly let me know if my assumption on it being a version of the stinging rose. Thanks for your time!
Dave Donaldson

Hi Dave,
We have gotten four requests for identifications of similar caterpillars from Arizona in the past week. They were all members of the genus Automeris, but there are at least four species found in Arizona. Your caterpillar is the only one we can identify for certain. This is a Cecrops Eyed Silkmoth Caterpillar, Automeris cecrops. It matches an image on the Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help!
I failed to mention earlier that we’re in Greensboro, NC and the little guys are over 2 inches long. This caterpillar, yes, that is a caterpillar, is eating my fringe tree which is very small and can’t take much more! there are five of these and I don’t want to kill them if they are going to turn into some lovely butterfly or moth…. it’s head is to the right, with the three hairy brown balls hanging off of it….lower left is its back end.
Melissa

Hi Melissa,
Probably 15 letters will go unanswered because we spent so much time trying to identify your bizarre caterpillar. We were relatively sure it was an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, one of the largest moth families. We scoured BugGuide until we located Harris’s Three Spot, Harrisimemna trisignata. The hairy balls are actually “old dry head capsules shed by the earlier instars!” The adults are a very lovely moth, also pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spiders on Kauai, hawaii
Hi, I found these spiders last week on the hawaiian island of Kauai, and was wondering if you could identify them for me. The green one was very small, but he was pretty conspicious, as he was running across the dirt. Almost flourescent green/yellow. Awesome site you’ve got here. Thanks!
Julie Dixon

Hi Julie,
The Garden Spider, Argiope appensa, is a magnificent specimen. According to Wikipedia, it has been introduced to Hawaii. Your small green spider is a Crab Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination