From the monthly archives: "March 2012"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Water Bug
Location: Rochester, NY
March 27, 2012 11:34 pm
Dear WTB,
I found this beautiful Giant Water Bug lost in my garage a few nights back. I brought her in the house to take a few pictures and set her loose on my front porch. We normally leave the garage door closed with the lights off so I have no idea how or why she decided to come in but her visit made my night. I hope you like the picture!
Signature: Jenn K

Giant Water Bug

Hi Jenn,
Thank you for sending us your photograph.  We have been calling Giant Water Bugs by the name Toe-Biters for years, and it may be an undeserving name.  We don’t believe we have ever received a report of a person being bitten anywhere by a Giant Water Bug, much less on the toe.  That name allegedly originated from hapless swimmers being bitten while swimming in lakes and ponds.  Giant Water Bugs are also called Electric Light Bugs because they are attracted to lights.  Now that temperatures have risen, albeit unseasonably early in the eastern states, we expect the reports of Giant Water Bugs to come pouring in.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug studying geometry
Location: Sulpher Springs Valley, Cochise County, Arizona
March 27, 2012 5:54 pm
This beautiful insect landed on my mother’s notes for her Geometry students. I’d assumed it was a dragonfly, but this is southeastern Arizona near the Cochise Stronghold (in the Dragoon Mountains) and the nearest source of water is a small pond which I believe is man-made. I searched websites of Arizona dragonflies and came up with nothing, and someone said it was not a dragonfly (though they didn’t know what it was). I don’t know if any genus has a penchant for geometry, so I suppose the setting isn’t much help!
Signature: Timothy J


Hi Timothy,
Thank you for submitting such a humorous and amusing photograph.  Though it superficially resembles a Dragonfly, this Antlion is not even closely related.

Thanks for the very quick response! My mother corrected me and said she thinks she was teaching Algebra, not Geometry, though the appearance of Pi had me fooled. So if scientists ever use this photo for behavioral studies in entomology it is Algebra, not Geometry, which the Antlion has an affinity to, which I might have guessed if the climates of Arizona and Arabia (from which Algebra comes)  are to be compared. For reference, two common insects in the vicinity are the notorious Fire Ant, and the Horse Lubber (which we refer to as the “Mexican Grasshopper,” perhaps improperly).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cicindella campestris
Location: Europe/Spain/Galicia/Coruña
March 27, 2012 4:41 pm
We find it running in the beach, near the roch and grass. It was very fast, with brillian colours and a weird mouth. We think it wmay be a cicindella.
Signature: cicindella

Tiger Beetle

What a beautiful Tiger Beetle this is.  Thank you for sending the photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Atlas Moth
Location: Arusha Tanzania. November
March 26, 2012 4:20 am
Beautiful big moth,tattered, but very happy to sit on my hand-never seen the larvae but believe they are beautiful too.
Signature: Teena

Giant Silkmoth

Hi Teena,
This Giant Silkmoth is in the same family, Saturniidae, as the Atlas Moth, but it is a different species.  It somewhat resembles Epiphora bauhinia which we found on, but we believe you have a different species.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to see what he can provide in the way of information.

Bill Oehlke provides an identification
Epiphora mythimnia male.
Do you have date and or location in Tanzania?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Nevada. West Tech insect survey
Location: Wheeler Camp Spring in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Blue Diamond, NV
March 25, 2012 6:49 pm
This spider was among many on rocks in a riparian pool. Researching books and bugguide takes me to Dolomedes sp, a fishing spider.
If it is Dolomedes, can you direct me to a key to species for NV or southern CA?
Signature: Bruce Lund

Nursery Web Spider

Hi Bruce,
BugGuide has records of
Dolomedes Fishing Spiders from Arizona, but not Nevada nor California.  In the past, we identified what we thought was a Fishing Spider from Nevada, but Karl who frequently assists in identifications thought it was a Nursery Web Spider in a different genus, specifically Tinus peregrinus.  Eric Eaton has a nice profile of that species on his Bug Eric blog.  Your spider does look remarkably like a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, but we cannot provide you with any information on how to key out the specimen.  Perhaps on of our readers will be able to provide additional information.

Nursery Web Spider


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help with ID?
Location: Mexico City
March 25, 2012 2:39 pm
I have 2 pictures of butterflies taken December 1, 2011 just north of Mexico City. I have been unable to identify these two.
For other views, please see
Can you help?
Signature: Karl

Mexican Silverspot

Dear Karl,
We cannot for certain identify either of your Brush-Footed Butterflies in the family Nymphalidae to the species level, or even the genus level.  One resembles the common Gulf Fritillary shown on BugGuide in both wing shape and markings, so it may be a related species.  We are posting your photos in a rush prior to leaving for work.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply an identification.  One place to try searching is the Nymphalidae of the Americas website.  The link you provided does not work.

Brush Footed Butterfly, a Crescent perhaps

Update:  March 27, 2012
Thanks to some research by Bugophile who provided us with a few comments, we now know that the butterfly that resembles the Gulf Fritillary is a Mexican Silverspot,
Dione moneta, which can be verified on the NABA website.  Seems the Mexican Silverspot also feeds on passionflower vines as a larval host.  The Butterflies and Moths of North America also has some information.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination