From the monthly archives: "June 2010"

Large orange moth
June 28, 2010
We have a wide variety of moths each day in the foyer of our apartment complex, but this morning I saw something completely different next to my neighbor’s door. It is the largest moth I have ever seen, next to a Luna Moth. I originally thought it may be a Cecropia Moth because of the orange body, but the markings on the wings look different than any photos I have found online.
Shelly B.
East Tennessee

Royal Walnut Moth

Good Morning Shelly,
Your lovely moth is a Royal Walnut Moth, Citheronia regalis, is the adult form of the largest caterpillar in North America, the formidable looking Hickory Horned Devil.

A butterfly !
June 28, 2010
Your letter to the bugman    Hi I took this photograph in a butterfly garden located in Quepos, Costa Rica, Pacific Coast.
How you want your letter signed    mmh ? don’t understand the question ?
Geographic Location of Bug     Quepos, Costa Rica, Pacific Coast.

Might this be an Owl Butterfly

Dear mmh ? don’t understand the question ?,
The line on our form that indicates “How you want your letter signed” is the field that allows the writer to use their real name or a pseudonym with the submission of the letter.  The letters that are submitted may be posted to our website and it is generally considered proper etiquette to place a name or identifying mark after writing a letter.  We respect our readership’s desire to maintain anonymity sometimes, so we do not post real names or email addresses unless the person completes the “How you want your letter signed” field with a real name, or unless they request that their email address be posted.  Your photo is very nice.

Ed. Note: mmh ? don’t understand the question ? did not request an identification and we don’t understand what they want us to do with the photograph.  The correct identification of a rarely seen species might take hours, and even then, there might not be a satisfactory result.  Though we don’t believe this is an Owl Butterfly in the genus Caligo, it does share some similarities.  Cirrus IMages has a nice image of an Owl Butterfly.  This specimen might be in the genus Caligo, and it might be a related genus in the family Nymphalidae, the Brush Footed Butterflies.  We suspect that Karl will be able to provide us with more information.

Hi Daniel
Thanks a lot for your answer ! I’m french and sometimes my english is a bit too light !!
Shall I complete the form with my real name then : Sabine Bernert
In fact, now that I have more space to explain my question, I should add that I’m working on two books about Costa Rica wildlife (adult and kids versions).
Many thanks for your help !!
All the best

Hi Again Sabine,
Now that you have clarified your confusion, we feel that we owe you an apology for not providing you with an identification.  Also, we would think the butterfly garden might have information on the species represented in the garden.

this bug was in my dad’s vegtable garden.
June 27, 2010
the bug lives vegtables , i t bit my dad and his hand swoll up for a couple of days, we live in tampa florida.
thanx sarah
tampa florida

Leaf Footed Bug

Hi Sarah,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the genus Leptoglossus.  We find your letter quite interesting because this is a plant feeding species, not a predator.  It tends to be the predatory True Bugs that bite, like Assassin Bugs and Toe-Biters.  We have not heard of a Leaf Footed Bug biting a person, however, they have piercing mouthparts that would be capable of biting.

Strange large moth type insect
June 27, 2010
Discovered this moth in our backyard in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 26, 2010. I thought it was a leaf. Very effective camouflage. It was perhaps 2″ long. Can you identify it?
R. Lee Mundorff
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Achemon Sphinx

Dear R. Lee,
Your moth is an Achemon Sphinx and you may read more about this species on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website where he indicates:  “
Those who first published descriptions and assigned scientific names to many insects, simply chose names of biblical or mythological origin without any real descriptive qualities. Their purpose was simply to set a standard for purposes of identification by assigned name. On some occasions, names, mostly of Latin or Greek origin, were chosen to signify a particular character of the genus or of an individual species.  The genus name ‘Eumorpha’ means well-formed.In Greek mythology, Achemon and his brother Basalas were two Cercopes who were constantly arguing. One day they insulted Hercules, who tied them by their feet to his club and marched off with them like a brace of hares.

Which Walkingstick?
June 27, 2010
The first two photos were taken last August. When we saw the first walking stick on the wall of our patio, we assumed it was a male. Then a week later I saw two of them mating (second photo, Bug Love) and realized the one on the patio had been the female.
I was weed eating in the garden yesterday and noticed movement ahead of me and then saw a walking stick climbing out of the way. I stopped what I was doing and bent to pick it up and move it so it wouldn’t get hurt, but noticed it was already missing some legs (see third photo). I’m pretty sure I *didn’t* do that with the weed eater (at least I hope I didn’t), but wonder how it could have happened and what are her chances now? Also, what kind of walking stick is it? I kept reading about striped, spitting walking sticks, but these don’t have stripes.
Jayne Wilson
Houston area, Texas

Mating Northern Two-Striped Walkingsticks

Hi Jayne,
You Walkingsticks are in the genus Anisomorpha, most likely the Northern Two-Striped Walkingstick based on photos posted to BugGuide.  You should handle with care.  BugGuide provided the following critical information:  “
Members of this genus can deliver a chemical spray to the eyes that can cause corneal damage.”  You can get additional information on the Texas Walkingstick website.

Handle with Care: Walkingstick

Caterpillar with “eyes.”
June 27, 2010
From what I’ve found on your site, I think this caterpillar may be related to the Tersa Sphinx Moth. However, the one that I found didn’t have a horn. Is it a different species in the same family? It was found crawling on a wall in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 28th, 2010.
Michael M.
Shreveport, LA

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Michael,
There are many caterpillars that have protective coloration that includes eyespots.  This is not a Sphinx Caterpillar, but rather a Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar, most likely the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail which is pictured on BugGuide.