From the yearly archives: "2008"

Black Witch Moths – Male & Female
Both sexes on the same screen!
Enjoy Keep the Spirit of Aloha alive!
Michael F. O’Brien
Waikoloa, HI

Hi Michael,
We we first read your very short email, we thought you had a photo of a pair of Black Witch Moths on the same window screen. Upon opening the photo files, we realized the screen you have in mind is the computer screen. We are also surprised that you manage to meticulously lable the file names on your digital photos with much information, yet your communication to us is quite spare. We know that collected insects without information regarding the circumstances of the capture are relatively worthless, so in the interest of credibility, we are including your label information here. The darker male Black Witch has the label: “P1070967(72)

3 bug pix 4 you…pictures for you
I took these pics of a small creature , approximately 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch in length, on August 22, 2004. It was residing on my front screen door about 4 feet above the porch. It was not moving at the time . I do not know what happened to it. Our house is located in Lawrenceville, in north central Georgia,USA. I have no idea what it actually is , so I decided to call it a “Tribble” after a creature in a famous “Star Trek” episode. Can you tell me what kind of creature it is ? Thanks,
Ferd R Hall

Hi Ferd,
This is actually a stinging caterpillar known in the south as an Asp. It is the caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth, Megalopyge opercularis, and the caterpillar is also called the Puss Caterpillar because of its resemblance to a cat. We love your comparison to the Tribbles, and that observation may help other readers with their identification. The sting of the Asp is reportedly quite painful.

Coppery beetle in NY – brown prionid?
Here’s a bug that appeared on an old maple tree in central New York state. The size is what surprised us when it flew. It’s huge! I tried to identify it, and it may be a brown prionid, but only its back is bronze. The rest is black. The bronze sparkles in the sun. This was on your website. It has similar wings and antennae, but this one is all brown, and the one I saw was only brown on the wing covers. Can you tell what it is? Thanks! We love your site – amazing!

Hi Leslie,
Your beetle is in the same family as the Prionids, but a different subfamily. This is a Flower Longhorn in the subfamily Lepturinae. We believe it is Stenelytrana emarginata based on photos posted to BugGuide. Sadly, this gorgeous beetle does not have a common name.

Smiling Mantis
I found this Praying Mantis peepin in my bedroom window in Dayton, Ohio. He looks as if he is smiling. lol. I thought maybe you would like to add this photo to your archive of smiling Mantidae. I thought it was a good close-up. Thanks again for your wonderful site.
Terry in Dayton, Ohio

Hi Terry,
Your “Peeping Tom” Preying Mantis photo is pretty funny. We can’t help but wonder: “whatever were you doing to capture that mantid’s attention?”

Beleive it or not, I was looking at some photo’s on your website when something caught the corner of my eye and there he was on the window. He may have been looking at some of his relatives on my monitor. I immediately grabbed my camera. It was as if he was posing for me. Its unknown if he can read but he sure does like looking at pictures. I think the monitor captured his attention. (Or maybe he was looking at his reflection in the glass. More plausible). In any case it was great to see such a beautiful creature so close up. I didn’t know they could climb straight up on glass. Pretty cool. Thanks for your response.

Is this a painted grasshopper
We found this guy on our door sill in Rio Rico AZ. Are they poisonous? Thank you,
Barbara Kuzara

Hi Barbara,
You have submitted an image of a Painted Grasshopper, Dactylotum bicolor. Though many brightly colored insects, including the African Milkweed Grasshoppers, advertise toxicity with color and pattern, to the best of our knowledge, the Painted Grasshopper is not one of them. The Painted Grasshopper is also known as the Rainbow Grasshopper or Barber Pole Grasshopper according to BugGuide.

Can you tell me the name of this caterpillar?
We were out in Fish Creek, Calgary (Alberta, Canada) and came across this caterpillar. Can you tell me what sort of caterpillar this is. Thanks,

Hi Timothy,
This is a Leafy Spurge Hawk Moth Caterpillar, Hyles euphorbiae. In 1965, it was introduced from Europe to help control the invasive exotic plant, the leafy spurge. We will copy Bill Oehlke on this because he is compiling comprehensive data on species distribution.