From the monthly archives: "July 2011"

spider in nicaragua
Location: Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua
July 30, 2011 4:55 pm
Dear What’sThatBug
What’s this bug?
I found it crawling on me. Looks like some sort of jumping spider. It was definitely not afraid to lunge at my camera as I snapped some pictures.
As you can see from the photos, the front legs were much longer than the other legs… And they were striped (black and white). The abdomen was a shiny green color. God bless!
Signature: hector

Jumping Spider

Hi Hector,
YOu are correct that this is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but we don’t recognize the species.  Judging from the enlarged pedipalps, this is a male.

Bug dressed in 70s attire?
Location: Michigan
July 30, 2011 3:46 pm
Hiked the field with my son this morning in search of monarch eggs.. no luck. But did find this beautiful bug on the queens anne lace! His colors remind me of the mod clothes from the 70’s .. bold flowers that fit his environment! Question is? what is his name? Any help you can give is appreciated!
Signature: buggy in michigan

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Dear buggy in michigan,
We keep hoping the Ailanthus Webworm Moth will eat all the Ailanthus trees, an invasive exotic species, but alas, the trees persist.

never seen this before
Location: Muskegon, MI
July 30, 2011 5:39 pm
Hi, we found this caterpillar outside our house and i was wondering what it is. I have never seen a caterpillar this large before, it was about 3in. long. sorry i couldn’t get a very good photo of it. i’m excited to find out what it is.
Signature: Thanks, Katherine

Four Horned Sphinx

Hi Katherine,
This is the caterpillar of the Four Horned Sphinx or Elm Sphinx.  You can see some nice photos that show the four horns on the head by viewing the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  We are amused that the common name Four Horned Sphinx ignores the prominent caudal horn, and perhaps a more fitting name would be Five Horned Sphinx.

Unknown bug next to American cockroach
Location: So Cal Hi Desert City of Adelanto zip 92301
July 30, 2011 7:54 pm
I was having trouble with the American cockroach in my lawn, but not in the house. This morning I sprayed around the house and the lawn and I found this dark brown striped bug by some dead cockroaches. What is is? I only found one so far as compared to many dead cockroaches that came out of my lawn after I sprayed.
Signature: Bill Riechel

Male Turkestan Cockroach (above) and female

Hi Bill,
These are both Cockroaches.  The individual you are calling the American Cockroach is lighter than we would expect.  How large was the dark brown striped Cockroach?  American Cockroaches are quite large.  We are going to try to get some assistance from Eric Eaton on this identification.

Male Turkestan Cockroach (above) and female

As we continued to browse BugGuide, we found this unidentified Cockroach from Riverside California.  This may be a new introduction, or a newly discovered native species.  Hopefully, we will get some additional information.

Female Turkestan Cockroach (left) and male

Eric Eaton provides and identification
August 1, 2011
Male (right) and female (left) Turkestan Cockroach, Blatta lateralis.  They are a common “outdoor” roach in urban areas here in Tucson.

Ed. Note:  See BugGuide

Update from Bill
August 3, 2011
Subject: Turkestan Cockroach
Location: Adelanto, CA 92301
August 3, 2011 3:45 pm
When I wrote the other day for bug ID I was wrong on the lighter color cockroach as I thought it was an American, but is only about 1” long and in my research I found that it is the male Turkestan cockroach. I have now caught a female and have attached a set of photos here, but in al my searching I was never able to ID the bigger striped bug which is about 1.5” long.
Signature: Bill Riechel

Turkestan Cockroaches, female above

Ed. Note:  August 4, 2011
We are in agreement with Bill that he now has a pair of Turkestan Cockroaches, and we feel that the previously submitted images contain the unknown Cockroach that is similar to one posted to
BugGuide.  We are going to recontact Eric Eaton to ask him to revisit his original identification.

Hi Daniel:
So you don’t think it could be a drown female that is bloated as per Eric’s answer?
The body segments match in number and the strip on the wing buds is the same and if it was swollen then the head maybe pushed out from under its protective shell.  I don’t know!
I am going to try and catch a live female and drop her in a bucket of water for a couple of days to see if I can duplicate the swelling effect from drowning.
Last night I inspected my lawn area where the heaviest concentration of the roaches were and even with a flash light I could find none, nor did I even see any possible movement.  I used “Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Control”  in the quart bottle that attaches to you hose.  I did all around the house 2 feet up the stucco and 2 feet out from the house on my gravel that surrounds most of the house and my lawn.
I then sprayed “Ortho Home Defense Max”  around the house at the bottom of the stucco where the stucco breather strip is.  The next morning when I walked around the house I found more dead Turkestan males, 3 dead black widows and a few dead silverfish.
I have only seen 9 females as compared to numerous males.  What is the normal ratio of females to males?
Thanks for all the help!

Eric Eaton confirms his original identification
The “unknown” roach is a bloated, probably drowned, female Turkestan Roach, plain and simple.

Update:  Scientific Experiment verifies identity
August 8, 2011
Hi Daniel & Eric:
I found a female Turkestan cockroach and put her in a cup of water and it took two days for her to swell up and expose the white bands of her body segments, also her head came out from under the protection of the shell to look just like the one I pictured for ID.



Beautiful very large bug
Location: Central Nebraska – plains
July 30, 2011 3:33 pm
Here’s a photo of this giant bug that landed on my window screen here in central Nebraska yesterday morning. Though I’ve scoured the site trying to find one similar the only pic that came close was the Longicorn from Thailand and we’re a little far from there. lol
This guy is about 2” long, as big around as a woman’s pinky finger and has these amazing long antenna and legs! He has wings obviously since he flew onto the window screen but can climb and stick to anything he chooses.
Thanks for your help identifying him AND if you could please answer one question – what does he eat? I’d greatly appreciate knowing that answer.
thanks so much for you excellent information.
Signature: Marguerite

Cottonwood Borer

Hi Marguerite,
This is a Cottonwood Borer,
Plectrodera scalator, one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  Longhorned Borers are also called Longicorns, generally in French speaking countries, and Thailand was occupied by the French.  It was astute of you to recognize the family resemblance.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are reported to browse on shoots of host trees, especially leaf-stems (petioles), and bark.”  Try feeding this Cottonwood Borer young leaves from a cottonwood tree.  Most of our reports come from Texas and Oklahoma, and you may be our first report from neighboring Nebraska.

Tomato Hornworm- Not shuttlecock!
Location: Housatonic, Massachusetts.
July 29, 2011 3:13 pm
I know you get hundreds of letters, and I apologize for annoying you!
I must admit, I have learned a LOT- and I mean A LOT from your site. I can now recognize insects/arachnids/etc. (Though, I’m still much better with canine breeds).
Funny story with this is, we were outside playing badmitten. My fiance hit the shuttlecock, which landed on the ground, nothing unusual. I went to pick it up, and noticed it landed right next to this handsome guy!
I was a little shocked, as I have never seen this caterpillar more than three times in my life. I was a little wary of the ’stinger’ but I am certain he was harmless. He was heavy and, might I add, looked quite delicious.
I petted him for a while before letting him go!
So, could you guys confirm my suspicions? Thanks again, and keep up the amazing work!
Signature: Terra

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Terra,
Many Sphinx Moth Caterpillars look quite similar, and you need to concentrate on the details to get the identifications correct.  We believe we have correctly identified your caterpillar as a Laurel Sphinx,
Sphinx kalmiae, thanks to the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  The blue caudal horn with black markings is correct, as is the black markings on the head, however, the typically black prolegs appear green in your photo.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion.

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar