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

Hello, Was looking thru your site trying to id this fella and my wife said to just ask you. So… We’ve been able to id a few of the Caterpillars we have seen in our butterfly garden thru your site. So thanks for that! My wife found it yesterday on the Violets and Veronica plants. It seems to be about an inch long and red body, white patches, and black “spikes”. I think we are close looking at some of the other fellas on your site (Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar ?) , but just wanted to know for sure. Thanks in advance,
Chris & Valerie
North Carolina

Hi Chris and Valerie,
Finding a spiny caterpillar on violets is always a good indication that the caterpillar is one of the Fritillaries. Most are difficult to distinguish from one another, but we are confident that you have correctly identified your Variegated Fritillary.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what’s this?
I write for a local news paper on the Outer Banks of N.C. I spotted this fascinating creature on the beach, perched on the piling under a pier. Any idea what it is? Thanks for your help.
Megan Shaw

Hi Megan,
We hope our little trip home to hot and humid Ohio to plant tomatoes for mom did not interfere with you doing a newspaper article on the lovely Pandorus Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus. The Pandorus Sphinx is sometimes mistaken for a hummingbird because of its color, shape and flight pattern. Caterpillars feed on grape and Virginia creeper.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this very friendly fellow one morning in my back yard of Strongsville, Ohio, in June of last year. He was just sitting there, clinging to some grass. I went inside to get my camera, and he allowed me to get within inches of him to take some incredible close-ups. Eventually he tired of my attention and flew away, but I was left with about 20 amazing photographs. These are actually scaled down, the originals that I have are double the resolution.

Your Dragonfly is a Saddlebags in the genus Tramea, but we are not certain of the species. We really consider currency when posting images, so we are very happy your image was taken in June, even though it was last year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This is a pitiful excuse for a photo but I tried my best, sorry. Anyway, I found this caterpillar in the backyard curled in a ball in the dirt. He was ripe for the picking by the birds so I brought him in to see if I could help her make it to a butterfly. She is black with reddish at the base of the spikes and has been eating violet leaves (through trial and error). Caterpillar is ready to pupate and I want to make sure I have the right nectar plants for her release. I ruled out mourning cloak because there are no whitish spots. I am truly at a loss. Thanks for your time and I love your website!
Lorrie in Vermont

Hi Lorrie,
Violets as a food plant are pretty much compelling information that this caterpillar is a species of Fritillary, probably a Greater Fritillary in the genus Speyeria, though we are not confident enough to identify what species. Fritillaries are nectaring butterflies that love Phlox, Joe Pye Weed, Milkweed, Coneflowers, Thistles, Goldenrod and many other flowers. We doubt your adult butterfly will starve when released.

Update: (06/28/2008)
It ended up being a Great Spangled Fritallary and when we released it he flew so high into the sky right for a tree. A beautiful experience. I haven’t seen many of those around here. Thanks for your help trying to identify the caterpillar. Sincerely,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

ummm… what’s this bug?
We saw these in a few places in Costa Rica including at 1500 meters in the Talamancas and closer to sea level as well. Someone told us this is a beetle that looks like an ant but I don’t remember what they said it was called. It is always alone. Can you tell me what this is? Thanks,

Hi Kerry,
While we are not certain of the exact species, we are relatively sure this is a Tiger Beetle in the subfamily Cicindelinae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of ladybug
Is this an Ash Gray, it’s spots are creamy brown not black? Thanks

Hi Amber from Tennessee,
This is a Fifteen Spotted Ladybird, Anatis labiculata. BugGuide illustrates two different color variations on this species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination