From the monthly archives: "October 2007"

just curious
I live in central florida and i see these fly like insects every year, they have never stung or bitten me, i dont even know if they can. I would just like to know what they are called.

As for the green spider, i am terrified of them but i am also very curious as to what type it is. i am assuming it is female since it seems to have and egg sack. thanks for you help in advance,
devan s.

Hi Devan,
Your “weird fly” is actually a moth, but a moth that mimics the appearance of a wasp for protection. It is a Polkadot Wasp Moth, also known as the Oleander Moth since leaves from oleander are the primary food of the caterpillars. Your spider is a Green Lynx Spider, and the female has just laid eggs. It is time for us to choose a Bug of the Month for November, and we are going to post your Green Lynx Spider image as the Bug of the Month. This fascinating spider is found more commonly in warmer climates, and not that winter is approaching, our northern readers will not be writing in much. Readers from Florida, Texas, California and other warmer climates will start to notice Green Lynx Spiders now that they have matured and are larger.

Caterpillar on Cornus
Please help me identify this hitchhiker. I found it on a Cornus mas cutting I took from a friend’s garden. He is oriented facing downward on the twig. In the first photo, you can see two ridges coming from either side of his body and coming together along his back, just above another similar protuberance that is just above his tail. The horn above his head has two red-tipped points. He has a very small, round head that is tucked-in under a hood-like structure above his head. He appears to have three different kinds of feet: the front three pairs are small and pointy. The middle four pairs are fleshy. The last pair, near his tail, are small and stubby. I put the Cornus mas cutting with a potted Cornus nuttallii in case he should need more food, but when I checked on him the next day, he was nowhere to be seen. Can you help me identify him, and what he eats? Thanks
Tammy Romero

Hi Tammy,
This is a Redwashed Prominent Caterpillar, Oligocentria semirufescens. According to BugGuide, the caterpillar eats a wide variety of leaves, including “Apple, beech, birch, poplar, oak, maples, roses and willows.” Based on your latter, we can add Cornus to the list.

Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid
Hi there! Thanks to your awesome website, I was able to identify this enormous, very vocal, Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid (we live in Wimberley, TX). My husband and I heard his loud chirps before we saw him, and caught him for a photo session. He’s since been relocated to the elephant ear plant outside the office door – I can hear him chirping even as I write this. Feel free to use the pics – this guy is especially handsome!
Milly W.

Hi Millie,
We more commonly get photos of female Greater Aridland Predaceous Katydids. Thanks for sending us your photo of a male of the species.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Neobarrettia spinosa

For the love of Caterpillars
Dear Bugman:
Hope you had a great trip with the students. I know you all are super busy so since I last wrote you, I did some serious web searching and managed to identify my two ‘pillars that I sent in earlier this month (Hickory Tussock moth caterpillar and Yellow bear caterpillar–I think).

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Since your site is so great and I use it so much, I thought I would give back a bit. Attached are all the photos I have taken of caterpillars near our home in Churchville, Virginia.

Buck Moth Caterpillar Io Moth Caterpillar

Hope you like them! (Higher resolution photos available if you want). Sincerely,
Lacey Parker

Monarch Caterpillar Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Wow Lacey,
We really hit the jackpot with your awesome Caterpillar photos.

pecan weevil
I thought you might enjoy this photo of a pecan weevil I found in our Houston yard a couple of weeks ago. I misidentified it as a boll weevil and contacted the County Extension Office which informed me it was actually a pecan weevil. As always, I love your site!

Hi Dana,
We eagerly welcome your photo of a Pecan Weevil, Curculio caryae, to our site.

moth id?
i found your web site and am so glad because i would love to know what kind of moth this is. it may be a common moth, or not. i don’t know but i’ve never seen one before and it is so beautiful. maybe you could recommend a moth field guide that i could use. thanks for any help, and i love your web site.
venice kelly

Hi Venice,
This is a Columbia Silkmoth, Hyalophora columbia. This species has a coast to coast range in North America, with several different subspecies. We have always liked Holland’s Moth Book, but we believe it is out of print.