From the monthly archives: "November 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

HUGE caterpillar
November 1, 2009
I found this big guy on a sweetgum tree and would love to know what kind he is. He’s very big and beautiful. Thanks
Martha
Lindale, TX

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Hi Martha,
Your caterpillar is an Imperial Moth.  After pupating underground, it will emerge as a lovely large yellow and purple moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

imperial moth catepillar?
November 1, 2009
this guy fell off a night blooming cereus plant. 11/01/09. i put him in the pot and took a few more photos. when i checked on it 20 minutes later it was gone. buried in the pot maybe? will this be its ground to pupae stage? will it eat the roots if this is indeed where it went?
Cathy Saunders
Longview Tx

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Hi Cathy,
The only question we are able to answer for certain is to confirm that this is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar.  Finding it on the cactus plant is unusual and we would not expect that it was feeding there.  It may have buried itself in the pot where it will not eat the roots (guess we answered a second question), but it may also have wandered off or fallen prey to some hungry bird or other predator.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Predatory Orange Bug
November 1, 2009
These bugs are everywhere in my butterfly garden! They rapidly consume the caterpillars, and the favorite food seems to be the Cloudless Sulphur cats. Getting these photos was difficult as they kept flying away, but I finally got a few….
Any ideas on what these might be?
Thanks so much!
Houston, TX

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Because of its resemblance to the Milkweed Bug, your insect, Zelus longipes, is known as a Milkweed Assassin Bug, though it is not typically associated with Milkweed.  Both wingless nymphs and winged adults feed on soft bodied insects like caterpillars, and they are generally thought of as beneficial in the garden where they feed on armyworms and cucumber beetle larvae.  If carelessly handled, Milkweed Assassin Bugs might bite and the bite is reported to be painful.

Milkweed Assassin Bug Nymph

Milkweed Assassin Bug Nymph

Thanks so much! I really appreciate yall’s site. The Unnecessary
Carnage page was definitely my favorite – please ignore the Nasty
Readers 🙂

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

“Wheelbarrow Bug”
November 2, 2009
This is a bug I see about once a year, although it’s probably common. My parents’ generation calls it a “wheelbarrow” bug because of the wheel-like appendage on it’s back. But, I’d like to know what it’s real name is. My aunt said it was odd to see one this late in the year, but we haven’t had a freeze yet. This bug was crawling on the swing, and it would watch me as I tried to get in close to photograph it, and turn to face me. It was not a fast-moving creature (as bugs go). It’s most unusual feature is the thin gear- or wheel-like appendage on the creature’s back that is visible when viewed from the side. It is grey and black in color, and about 3.5 cm in length.
Michael Wilson
Carter County, Oklahoma, USA

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Hi Michael,
Though we have not heard the common name Wheelbarrow Bug, we like it.  The common name for this large Assassin Bug, Arulus cristatus, is Wheel Bug.  Since it only has one “wheel” like a wheelbarrow, we find your name to be most appropriate.
Like other Assassin Bugs, Wheel Bugs might bite if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination