From the monthly archives: "June 2010"

Gigantic Fly?
June 29, 2010
I found this bug on a Tomato plant (June ’10). Its’ body (not counting the wings) was slightly larger than a US Quarter. It didn’t appear to be eating any of the plant and didn’t move until a couple of hours after I had taken the picture when it moved underneath the leaf – this was after sunset.
Twin Cites, MN


Hi Chris,
Whenever we get an email with a reference to a large fly in the subject line and the email arrives in mid to late summer, we immediately suspect a Cicada, and this was the case with your letter even before we looked at the photo.  Your Cicada is probably in the genus Tibicen.  Appearances generally begin in July, so your individual is earlier than most, and the size you indicate is smaller than most.  We are reluctant to try to identify your Cicada to the species level, but one good candidate might be Linne’s Cicada, Tibicen linnei, which is profiled on BugGuide.  One photo on BugGuide with a finger for scale indicates that it is in the size range of your specimen, and the data page on BugGuide shows that Minnesota is likely in the range and that there are some reported June appearances (though they are in the southern portion of the range).

Cheetah Spotted Bug?
June 29, 2010
Cheetah Spotted Bug?
I found this bug on the sidewalk outside my job today and i have never seen a bug like that in my life…do yo know what it is?
Ruby from Northern Virginia

Giant Leopard Moth

Hi Ruby,
Interestingly, your moth is named after two other large cats.  It is sometimes called the Eyed Tiger Moth, and other writers prefer that it be called the Giant Leopard Moth, but either way, scientifically it is Hypercompe scribonia.

“My spiritual moth” the Clymene
June 29, 2010
Hello Daniel, thank you so much for your speedy reply to my last letter regarding the Longhorn Beetle “Spined Oak Borer”! I really appreciate your reply, honestly thought that I might not get a reply considering how busy you guys are,which of course would be understandable. Once again your site is awesome and although im still trying to figure out my way around it, I am getting better. With these pictures that I am enclosing, thanks to your website I was able to make a postive Id on this beautiful moth, or well of course I believe I have, if I am correct it is the Clymene Moth. Although I have been able to identify it, I seen that on your site you just had a couple of other pictures of this same moth, so I wanted to send you mine and let you make the decisi on whether or not you wanted to post it.. I have only seen this moth a couple of times in my life, yet it always seems to come at a time in my life when I need a spiritual lift, as was true when I come across this one this morning as I got up to get my husband off to work. He works in the coal mines and leaves very early for work, I constantly worry about him being underground, and when we got up this morning I really needed a spiritual blessing. So here are the pics of my “spiritual” moth, hope you and your readers enoy this beautiful blessing as much as what my husband and I have. Thanks again and look forward to when I need another one of “God’s little creatures” identified.
Dryden VA

Clymene Moth

Hi Tina,
Thank you for your nondenominational ruminations on spirituality.  We have had people in the past associate the markings on the Clymene Moth’s wings with symbolism and iconography.  We received a letter in the past week with a blurry image of a Clymene Moth and we considered posting it, so your high resolution image is greatly welcomed.  More information on the Clymene Moth, Haploa clymene, can be found on BugGuide.

Interested to know what the heck this is.
June 29, 2010
The past couple of months something has been biting me and my family members. I haven’t ever seen it though. I was thinking it might have been a spider of some kind but i think this is the culprit. I saw him dart across my floor and i gave chase. i tried to save the little guy but my girlfriend freaked out and killed it. I still managed to get some pics of it. I would really like to know what this is, Thank you!
p.s. its a little less than an inch long and maybe 2 to 3 millimeters wide.
Southern Virginia, great dismal swamp area

House Centipede

Hi Chuck,
Thank you for writing in to inquire about this unfortunate harmless House Centipede, a frequent victim of Unnecessary Carnage.  Few examples of Unnecessary Carnage sadden us more that that of the beneficial predatory House Centipede.  Though it is too late to benefit the individual in your tragic photograph, perhaps future House Centipedes will be spared through education.  House Centipedes are generally nocturnal hunters that will prey upon cockroaches and other undesirable household intruders.  House Centipedes should be considered as household visitors despite their startling appearance.

found in my garden
June 29, 2010
this was found in my garden in manchester yesterdaybut i dont think its native to britain could you help me with identification?
Kevin loch

Elephant Hawkmoth

Hi Kevin,
There are two species of Elephant Hawkmoths in the genus Deilephila that are native to the UK.  We believe your individual may be Deilephila elpenor, which is profiled on the UK Moths website.  The caterpillars burrow underground to pupate.  Adults emerge and must dig to the surface before their wings harden and dry.  Your individual is newly metamorphosed and its wings have not yet expanded and hardened for flight.

Thanks for the prompt reply, after doing a little more research and watching it for a little while longer i discovered that it was an elephant hawk moth once its wings had dried and i now feel quite priviledged to have watch it take its first flight!

Large Unknown Spider
June 28, 2010
Hi- I noted this spider inside one of the cells of my honeycomb window shades. I encouraged it to come out, whereupon it quickly made its way to the ceiling. It’s legspan is at least 2 inches and its body is about 1/2 inch log. I did capture it but want to know what it is before I release it. Thank you very much.
San Francisco, California

Giant Crab Spider

Hi Alison,
This is a Giant Crab Spider in the genus Olios, so called because of their crablike sideways movements and large size, and they are sometimes called Huntsman Spiders because they do not build webs for snaring, but rather, they hunt for prey.
Often when we get a letter claiming to have seen a really big spider, we chuckle when we see the photos of a small house spider, but your Giant Crab Spider can truly be called a large spider.