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

Irisdescent blue w black wings, white spots and red butt
Hi,
Can you tell me what kind of bug this is? I think it is a wasp. I’m in northeast Florida and they like lantana and this daisy looking flowered plant. The body looks black when not hit just right from the sun. Thanks!
Pam

Hi Pam,
The mimicry of the Polka Dot Wasp Moth really works. Many people who write in wishing an identification have mistaken this moth for a wasp. The caterpillars feed on oleander.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pic of Black Witch Moth with tape measure
Hi there,
I thought you might be interested in a picture I took of a female Black Witch Moth I found roosting near the ceiling of my back porch today. Thanks for the excellent info and pics you show on your site! Best regards,
Kat
San Antonio, TX

Hi Kat,
Thanks for sending us your beautiful photograph of a female Black Witch Moth. Females can be distinguished from the males because of the light undulating stripes on their wings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large green caterpillar
Hi,
I just found this large catterpillar hanging from a tree and was wondering what it was. I found it hanging in what I think was a eurpean buckthorn tree in the Oak Ridge’s Morraine, Clarington, Ontario, Canada. It was at the edge of a forest with bitternut hickory trees, swamp oak, white oak, red oak, pines, maple, silver birch, butternut, hawthorn, yellow beech and a wide variety of plants. I’m curious about what it is and will turn into! It seems to be quite close to changing into a chrysalis, it was hanging upside down and not moving when I found it. It’s very inactive.
Stella

Hi Stella,
The good news is we can identify your Cecropia Moth Caterpillar. The bad news is that it will not live to adulthood. The orange, yellow and blue tubercles are typical caterpillar markings, but the white nodules with the brown spots are a sign the caterpillar has been parasitized, probably by a Brachonid Wasp. These pupa look much smaller than the Brachonid Pupa we sometimes see on Sphingidae caterpillars and Saddleback Caterpillars, so they must be a different species. We will try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can tell us what species of Brachonid parasitizes Cecropia Caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi,
Your site is a wonderful resource as we study the wildlife around our home and perennial gardens! Here are some butterfly pictures taken in the clematis and budlia bushes. Can you identify them for us? (just beginning to learn butterfly identification). These were photographed in SE CT. Thanks so much!
Marcek Family

Hi Marcek Family,
All of your photos are quite lovely, but we are posting the Red Spotted Purple to our site as we are underrepresented regarding this exquisite butterfly. Your other butterflies are a Monarch and a Tiger Swallowtail.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Here’s a bug for you… What is it?
Any insight would be appreciated! It was rather large, saw it in Big Bend National Park. I have other pictures for comparison, but this pic along with the walking stick in the same frame should give you a good idea of how large this insect is:
Stingrey

Hi Stingrey,
This is a Black Witch Moth, a tropical species that flies north in summer and fall, often reaching as far as Canada. Most of the numerous images of Black Witch Moths we have received over the years have been taken on walls after the moths were attracted to lights. Your image is the first in a natural environment.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Imperial Moth Caterpillar
Hello, Bugman,
We were called to retrieve this charming fellow from someone’s yard. I had never seen an imperial moth caterpillar in real life before (I believe we’re at the very edge of the range), and was shocked at how enormous it was. My mother isn’t a fan of bugs, and refers to the critter as “the crawling turd,” and is fascinated by its “Predator-like butt. I’ve placed the caterpillar in a container (12x6x12”) with a bunch of loose dirt. At the moment, it’s just wandering around, but I’m hoping it will burrow down and pupate soon. I guess I’ll have to wait a few months to get picture of the adult, barring infestation by tachinid maggots. Regards!
Emily

Hi Emily,
Thank you for sending your photo of the Imperial Moth Caterpillar acompanied by you mother’s colorful description.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination