From the monthly archives: "April 2008"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown caterpillar – Flagstaff, AZ, U.S.A.
Hello,
I am hopeful that you’ll be able to help me with the caterpillar in the attached photos. These were taken on April 26, 2008 in my yard in Flagstaff, AZ, U.S. Flagstaff is in the mountains of Arizona at an elevation of about 7000 feet (a bit over 2130 meters – I think). After perusing your letters on caterpillars (I am amazed at your knowledge), I am wondering if it is an early instar of a Parnassian species? However, my “Butterflies of Arizona” does not list any Parnassians. And, while the National Audubon “Field Guide to North American Butterflies” does list a few, the descriptions of the caterpillars don’t seem to match. This particular caterpillar appears to be white with black, longitudinal stripes, and yellow spots along the sides. It was on a Penstemon, which is listed (in the Audubon book) as a host plant for the Arachne Checkerspot, but the caterpillar description doesn’t seem to match up. I’m at a bit of a loss … Thank you for a wonderful site, and thank you in advance for any assistance.
John Ellison,
Flagstaff, AZ, U.S.A

Hi John,
We have to come clean and say we just don’t know for sure. Based on the absence of most typical pairs of prolegs, we believe this is a Spanworm or Inchworm in the family Geometridae, but we cannot locate a good match on BugGuide.

Update May 25, 2014:  Meris paradoxa
Thanks to an identification request we received today, we were able to identify the new request as well as the long unidentified posting from our archives as
Meris paradoxa, an Inchworm with no common name.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

FishFly or Female Dobson Fly?
Hey Bug Man,
You have a ton of Dobson flies on your site, but I’m still not convinced that this is one because of the lack of mandibles (or else this one’s are puny). It also doesn’t have the trademark feathered antennae of a fishfly. The orange accents were also interesting. I found this 3 inch specimen on a tree in my backyard in Ashburn, Virginia on April 26. I live 100 yards from a stream and the weather has given us several 80 degree days for the first time this year. Thanks for the great compilation of excellent photos on your site.
Joe

Hi Joe,
This is a Common Stonefly in the family Perlidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown true-bug
Hello again.
I thought I’d try you again on a bug that’s been a bit of a quandary for me for a while. I did browse through your pages on the True Bugs, but, alas, found nothing close. The attached photo was taken in August of 2005, in my front yard in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. The insects appear to be one of the "true bugs", possibly a Hemiptera species? They’re small, between 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch (6.4 mm to 9.5 mm). But, again, I’ve been unable to find an exact match, though it seems to have some similarities to the stink bugs. The "host" plant is a Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina) … these bugs were, in 2005, quite numerous and, though they appear to be feeding on plant juices, the plants didn’t seem to suffer for it … so, we left them alone. Personally I thought they were rather attractive insects with the stark contrast between the black and white with the splash of orange. But some people think I’m a bit odd. Thank you for a wonderful website! And, thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
John Ellison,
Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A

Hi John,
We can be a bit more specific. These are Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae, but we cannot locate a visual match for your distinctive specimens on BugGuide’s extensive Stink Bug pages. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Question: Help! What is this bug?!
Dear Bugman,
Please help me identify this bug. I have searched all the pages on the internet for moths and cannot locate a picture that looks like this one. Thank you so much!
Julie

Hi Julie,
On our website, the Sphinx Moths, a large family, get their own pages separate from general moths. This is a White Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata. It is one of the most common U.S. Sphinx Moths, and in desert areas the species go through cyclical population explosions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Question: Help! What is this bug?!
Dear Bugman,
Please help me identify this bug. I have searched all the pages on the internet for moths and cannot locate a picture that looks like this one. Thank you so much!
Julie

Hi Julie,
On our website, the Sphinx Moths, a large family, get their own pages separate from general moths. This is a White Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata. It is one of the most common U.S. Sphinx Moths, and in desert areas the species go through cyclical population explosions. Because the California rains this season have been spread out rather than concentrated, there is lush native plant growth and we expect to continue to get reports of both the adult Striped Morning Sphinx moths and the caterpillars as well.

White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar
(03/26/2008) caterpillar picture attached
I saw this caterpillar in Anzo-Borrego Desert in southern California last week. Curious if you know what it is. Pictures attached.
paul

Hi Paul,
With the desert wildflowers being so spectacular this year, there is plenty of food for plant eaters like caterpillars. We expect to get numerous queries regarding your species, the White Lined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx, Hyles lineata. The caterpillars of this species are highly variable and become quite numerous at times. They were eaten by Native Americans and still are eaten by some adventuresome modern Americans as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dorsal view, Large Marble
Hi again Bugman.
I do have a dorsal view of a Large Marble taken further south. Sorry, I didn’t think to include it.
D–

Large Marble
(04/24/2008) Large Marble
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel.
I was surprised to find this Large Marble near Casper, WY so early. Hope it will be OK as we are expecting 3"-10" of snow tonight. Peace, Love and Jerry Garcia,
Dwaine

Hi Dwaine,
Thanks for your lovely photo of a Large Marble, or Creamy Marblewing, Euchloe ausonides. We rotated the image so as to post it larger. We believe it will find some shelter from this spring snow as the species also survives in Alaska. We located an Alaskan Website with a nice image of the open wings of a Large Marble.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination